Social / community features in Logos 5 and beyond

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Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 1:47 AM

toughski:
I think most posters on this thread are talking about philosophical or "in principle" objections, while Bob is talking about reality and specific uses of data-mining or tracking of Logos application' use.

Not sure I can speak for all of the other pastors here but my issue is not with the collection or analysis of the data but with the way that it is displayed in the program. Whilst I can see how some users will benefit from knowing who is interested in what and in how other users rate resources these features simply don't help me. I still maintain that we need to keep the two issues separate, collection and analysis versus display options

.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 762
Patrick S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 2:39 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Patrick S.:

Bob thank you for all your replies and efforts, I am impressed that you and the Logos team 'suffer all the little ones (Logos users) to come to you'.

You know I could get on my (techo) soapbox and write a long post countering you on various technical & privacy points — but I don't want to. Like the empty quotes above, after a while it becomes hollow words.

I would rather, given that we are talking about a Christian company, providing Christian content to Christian consumers, remind all of us what it is we are dealing with here. We're not talking about Google/Tivo/Facebook/Amazon/a Samsung fridge, or any other entity under the power of the ruler of this age, we're talking about the words of our God. 

What is the purpose of Logos Bible Software and how should Logos be acting and what should be guiding them? Should Logos (I am sure they're not) be like Amazon remotely deleting a user books they had paid full price for (when did books move from being owned to not really owned?). Or like copyright holders of movies who 'licence', not sell, movies but who, when movies come out on new platforms (DVD to Blu-Ray), will charge you full price to 'own' the movie all over again on the new platform. Or like Google or Facebook snooping on you to get as much juicy information on you as possible to make you a more valuable commodity to them to sell to advertisers. These ones love to rule it over us, but I hope that Logos tries to follow the spirit of Matthew 20:25-28.

What is the purpose Logos Bible Software? Is it not to help Christians understand God's word and to help equip them, and, as God leads, to help spread His word? Our discussion should be focused on how to achieve that goal.

I have a niece who works for United Bible Societies, below is a picture (not of my niece Smile I might feel old sometimes but I'm not that old Wink) of Hanna, here is the story of how she got her first Bible in her own language...

http://translationstories.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/hannahs-hope/

my niece was there to see it.

I don't believe there is anything more to say...

 

"I want to know all God's thoughts; the rest are just details." - Albert Einstein

Posts 487
John Duffy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 3:02 AM

Patrick S.:

Bob Pritchett:

Patrick S.:

Bob thank you for all your replies and efforts, I am impressed that you and the Logos team 'suffer all the little ones (Logos users) to come to you'.

You know I could get on my (techo) soapbox and write a long post countering you on various technical & privacy points — but I don't want to. Like the empty quotes above, after a while it becomes hollow words.

I would rather, given that we are talking about a Christian company, providing Christian content to Christian consumers, remind all of us what it is we are dealing with here. We're not talking about Google/Tivo/Facebook/Amazon/a Samsung fridge, or any other entity under the power of the ruler of this age, we're talking about the words of our God. 

What is the purpose of Logos Bible Software and how should Logos be acting and what should be guiding them? Should Logos (I am sure they're not) be like Amazon remotely deleting a user books they had paid full price for (when did books move from being owned to not really owned?). Or like copyright holders of movies who 'licence', not sell, movies but who, when movies come out on new platforms (DVD to Blu-Ray), will charge you full price to 'own' the movie all over again on the new platform. Or like Google or Facebook snooping on you to get as much juicy information on you as possible to make you a more valuable commodity to them to sell to advertisers. These ones love to rule it over us, but I hope that Logos tries to follow the spirit of Matthew 20:25-28.

What is the purpose Logos Bible Software? Is it not to help Christians understand God's word and to help equip them, and, as God leads, to help spread His word? Our discussion should be focused on how to achieve that goal.

I have a niece who works for United Bible Societies, below is a picture (not of my niece Smile I might feel old sometimes but I'm not that old Wink) of Hanna, here is the story of how she got her first Bible in her own language...

http://translationstories.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/hannahs-hope/

my niece was there to see it.

 

I don't believe there is anything more to say...

 

Yes

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 4:32 AM

Rene Atchley:

Dominick Sela:

Rene Atchley:
I see no such offer of compensation from Logos for years worth of data...not even a discount.

I hope you don't use ANY search engine on the Internet - they grab a lot more data about what you are doing than Logos does! Or I hope you don't use any Microsoft products....or Adobe....or browser...or any of a number of other "non community" products. People think only Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the like are grabbing data, but that's grossly inaccurate. Oh and don't forget your TV viewing preferences, unless you only do over the air (and they collect data too, just not as much), DirecTV, Comcast, and all the other satellite/cable providers are collecting huge amounts of preference/usage data.

The only way to avoid this, as Bob says, is turn off the Internet. It's a connected world now.

Honestly to argue that because everyone else does it justifies Logos doing it (especially as a "Christian" company) seems rather a weak argument to me. 

Not to belabor the point Rene, but I think you missed the point. I was trying to explain if people are getting all worked up about the Internet/data/mining issues that Bob is explaining that relate to Logos, what about the other two dozen programs on their computers that are doing the exact same thing, or worse. No complaints there, because people usually don't know it's going on; those companies have not been as open and forthright on their policies and proposed policies as Bob. Bob said it better than I, if this is really an issue, you likely need to get off the computer entirely and disconnect completely from the Internet.

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 4:44 AM

toughski:
I think most posters on this thread are talking about philosophical or "in principle" objections, while Bob is talking about reality and specific uses of data-mining or tracking of Logos application' use.

There is anything wrong with philosophical or objections on principle. The large scale data mining currently being done has never before been done in history so we do not even know the full repercussions of it yet. It's not unreasonable to not want to be endlessly tracked. Desktop applications that track every keystroke is not the "new normal" - at least not yet and hopefully never. There's not a single desktop program on my computer that I expect to be logging everything I do without a way to disable it. We used to call things like that malware Big Smile and I'll remove any apps that behave that way and find alternatives.

There are some things, such as buying resources, where "tracking" would be expected because I'm willingly giving Logos information. When I buy a book at a bookstore, the bookstore knows what book was purchased and has to buy a new one. That's expected. A book that phones home and tells the publisher how long it took me to read it, what shelf I put it on,and what chapters I skipped is an invasion of privacy. If customer wants their live profiled, that's their opinion but there will be many of us who do not want to be.

I understand Logos sees benefit from feedback, but feedback should remain optional. That's not unreasonable. yes, it's in principle, but it's also in fact. Some of us don't want our entire lives tracked. Yes, we have to make tradeoffs with what websites we visit and how we visit them, but that doesn't mean we should have to submit to tracking to use an application. I personally would just replace an application with another or do without it at that point.

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 4:54 AM

Dominick Sela:
Not to belabor the point Rene, but I think you missed the point. I was trying to explain if people are getting all worked up about the Internet/data/mining issues that Bob is explaining that relate to Logos, what about the other two dozen programs on their computers that are doing the exact same thing, or worse. No complaints there, because people usually don't know it's going on; those companies have not been as open and forthright on their policies and proposed policies as Bob. Bob said it better than I, if this is really an issue, you likely need to get off the computer entirely and disconnect completely from the Internet.

Not to belabor the point more Big Smile, but I don't agree that every program on our computers is tracking us (websites excluded) or that we should get off the computer if we don't want every program tracking us. It's not unreasonable that computer use now and in the future will have the option to not be tracked using desktop applications and a lot of us don't agree that every desktop application is or should be doing this. Our vision of the future is not the same and that's why Logos should simply provide simple options for those of us with differing views of the future. Perhaps the setting could be named "1984" Big Smile

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 5:26 AM

Dominick Sela:

Not to belabor the point Rene, but I think you missed the point. I was trying to explain if people are getting all worked up about the Internet/data/mining issues that Bob is explaining that relate to Logos, what about the other two dozen programs on their computers that are doing the exact same thing, or worse. No complaints there, because people usually don't know it's going on; those companies have not been as open and forthright on their policies and proposed policies as Bob. Bob said it better than I, if this is really an issue, you likely need to get off the computer entirely and disconnect completely from the Internet. 

So again we can turn to a type of "blaming the victim" for having concerns about corporate practices that in other arenas of life would typically get us excited.  For instance a local community has cameras that catch speeders going 1 mile an hour over the speed limit and sends a very expensive ticket to the owner of the car...talk about the world seeking justice.  Mr. Pritchett has been clear about the general direction and philosophy of the Logos brand in the coming years.  The general response to concerns has been (imo) since Logos 3 has been "get use to it" which has been supported by a monopoly position in the market.  To admire a company for their...well bravery I suppose..for notifying their customers that they have no choice in this matter especially since everyone is doing it seems to be a bit of tone deaf in my view.  Making threats about what I will do or not do seems just as useless as protesting the inevitable march of progress being told to us by Logos.  If you find comfort in turning over your hard drive to corporate America then feel free to do so...I just feel a bit nauseous thinking of all the good things that happen when we trust corporations. 

Posts 1896
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 5:41 AM

Rene Atchley:
Mr. Pritchard has been clear about the general direction and philosophy of the Logos brand in the coming years.

Are you ever going to get his name right, or are you just doing this in a passive-aggressive manner to tweak Bob? His name is "Bob Pritchett."

Donnie

 

Posts 103
Mark O'Hearn | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 6:12 AM

The concept is ultimately flawed.  It is clear to me that there are Logos users with substantially different theology than myself.  It is inconceivable to me that I can collaborate with such persons in my personal study of the Word, especially when it is likely that some viewpoints held by certain others I consider heresy.  It is for these reasons why I carefully choose the resources I purchase, or in the case of base packages, choose what resources not to consult.  That believers should be one is clearly taught in Scriptures, and even prayed for by the Lord Himself, and this effort is noble indeed, but at last we are not one in actuality.  Doctrine is important, it always has been.  I believe my fundamental beliefs are not necessarily shared by all Logos users, so again to have this type of collaboration is most unwelcomed, and I look forward to being able to disable such community involvement.

Regards

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 6:36 AM

Donnie Hale:

Rene Atchley:
Mr. Pritchard has been clear about the general direction and philosophy of the Logos brand in the coming years.

Are you ever going to get his name right, or are you just doing this in a passive-aggressive manner to tweak Bob? His name is "Bob Pritchett."

Donnie

 

Which ever implied reason pleases you the most I suppose

 

Posts 2423
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 6:40 AM

How to keep everyone happy 

From one of Bob Pritchett posts: 

“”I hire a kid to sit at the freeway ramp that comes into downtown and count cars by make. He makes tick-marks on a sheet every time he sees a Ford, a Chevy, a Volvo, etc. I can report each week that 40% of cars coming into town are American made.

Now people freak out at the privacy intrusion. They want to "opt-out" of the "Auto Make Survey" statistics. So the Department of Motor Vehicles adds a "do not track" flag to everyone's auto registration records. Now the kid has to write down license plate numbers, too, then look them up in the database, and determine if the Ford / Chevy / Volvo can be counted.””

In case anyone missed the point: in order to not invade the perceived privacy of the driver [and not count their car] we now have to make a list of WHO entered the city in addition to WHAT entered.  A list now exists that tracks when YOU entered the city when all they wanted was WHAT entered.  YOU lost privacy by demanding privacy! [Before it was just that a FORD entered the city. Now it is YOUR FORD entered and we have an approximate time of day [those don’t stop to pay toll gizmos record every time you go through a toll booth to the nearest second] ] Are we having fun yet?  

But Bob is NOT hiring a kid to sit at the freeway ramp, he is looking at the recorded GPS data of every car and checking if they entered the city and if they did then report what make of car entered the city.  The fix is to add a privacy flag to that GPS data stream. [a NOT FOR PUBLIC USE flag] then that car’s GPS data never gets into the GPS FOR PUBLIC USE database. Then we do not have to check if the car’s privacy flag is set because if it was its data never got into the database that we used to count cars entering the city.

For Logos:  Add a DO NOT DATA MINE MY DATA flag to the upload of the DATA sent to Logos.  If DNDMND flag not set then send this record to the DATA MINE DATABASE.  Then Logos can do all the data mining it wants on its data mine database.  Only the data from customers that did not set the DNDMND flag would be in the database.  No need to check at the time it was data mined as it never got there.  The drivers that did not want their cars counted never were seen by the ‘hired kid’.  

A one time change to the program that sends the data to the different databases. [A onetime change to show that you do take customers concerns into account] And the only time the DNDMND flag needs to be checked.  Uses need to be told that any actions they take before they set the DNDMND flag is fair game for data mining.  We also need to be assured that the data mine databases will be cleared on a given date some time after the DNDMND flag is installed on the uploads to Logos so that our OLD DATA will be removed from the Data mining database.

Also you might want to assure us that when you make the DNDMND changes that all user ids are also striped off the data sent to the data mining database. If you want to track package usage then replace any user identification with a flag that shows the package owned by that customer before sending the data to the data mine database.  [Warning I own both Platinum and Capstone – have fun!]

Also you might want to assure us that the only user id info that you send to the rating, highlight, [etc] data mining databases is our DENOMINATION setting.  [then on the reports we see we can set the DENOMINATION flag to be what we want to see in the report.  If we want to see the reviews on a book about [for example] the POPE we can set the flag to CATHOLIC to see how his friends rate it or PROTESTANT to see how his non-friends rate it.  Of course if we forget to reset the flag then the data Logos up loads from us will be garbage [a protestant being recorded as a Catholic] unless there are two flags.  One flag for “my denomination is” and the second flag for “I want to know how this other denomination” sees things.  [most will set the two flags the same and never change the “how I see things” flag – others of us will change it six times a day]]

Posts 10309
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 6:43 AM

Well, I've no longer got a dog in this hunt. After reading Bob's thread (this one) the other night, I thought the whole thing is positively creepy. I can't image pulling a book out of my library knowing the creepy ones are watching ... I guess recording which page I turn to, etc. I do have privacy concerns but they mainly relate to our friend who must concern himself with other intrusions of the 'kgb' type .... plain old everyday courtesy.

But I was impressed with the above plea to separate the collection issue from the display issue.  Luckily the displayers (who meet on the 3rd day of the week at 10am) probably have an inside track from the collectors (who are positively weird, can't agree on even meeting and truth be told are paranoid).

Christianity is so funny. You'd think they perceive themselves as a common group with differing needs.  One need not intensionally denying the other.


Posts 27800
Forum MVP
JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 6:49 AM

Mark O'Hearn:
I believe my fundamental beliefs are not necessarily shared by all Logos users, so again to have this type of collaboration is most unwelcomed, and I look forward to being able to disable such community involvement.

You can turn off community highlights right now. 

OSX & iOS | Logs |  Install

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 7:24 AM

I think the "counting cars" analogy is a little flawed. I'm not asking Logos to "count" me driving in the city but then to hide the count based on my registration. I'm asking for the option for Logos not to count everywhere I go in the first place. It's a very easy fix. It doesn't require Logos to alter any databases. It simply requires the desktop application to not track and report on me.

It's not that I want Logos to collect a lot of data and then have to do a lot of work to hide it. I understand Bob's reasons why that creates a lot of extra work. Instead, just don't collect it in the first place. That's a fair and reasonable request. I think the controls here are very simple. If internet is enabled it's only a few options: Can the app check for updates? Do you want your documents synched for private use across devices? Do you want your documents included in "community" features? Do you want community content available in Logos? Do you want the application to record feedback based on your behavior?

This seems pretty simple to me unless Logos has already decided that their business model requires everyone to jump in.

Posts 10309
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 7:28 AM

Oh lordy, Samuel ... Bob not track you in the first place?? That means him not sync your highlights, etc. And he's NOT going to do THAT. Since he made it easy for you to accidentally delete all your work, you'll SURELY need to call him to restore them. Guaranteed.


Posts 757
Fr. Charles R. Matheny | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 7:37 AM

Dear all: To my understanding the problem here is that we are "personalizing this thing".

Logos is not snooping on you, the person. As far as the data itself is concerned, when they compile it, you, the person, are a non-entity.

It how the Program and its features are being used. Your personal information is not part of it, your name and info are not part of it. The computer compiling and sorting the info does not know you exist.

Example: My car has to be put in the shop, they hook it up to the diagnostic computer which interfaces with the cars computer.

The mechanic and see's all the data of how the car is running, a diagnostic report is produced that shows all the information about the components of the car and, how the car was being driven when it failed: Throttle position , accelerating or coasting, or de-accelerating/braking, cornering or straight  etc, etc.

The download also goes to the manufacturer which has all of the cars "usage data" about how this car is being used/driven and how it is responding.

Thus the car maker's engineers have data in order to better make cars that match the driving habits of the average driver so as to improve the cars and gas milage reliability etc, etc.

It is a wrong idea that all of this is something new and never been done before.

It's been done though-out the history of humanity in ways appropriate to the technology of the time.

In the 70's people were paid to sit in restaurants and compile date as to how people reacted to the lay-outs of eating establishments : what tables were picked most often, how people reacted to displays, how long they stayed after eating, what is ordered most often, which way people most often faced, do they like windows or more private settings etc, etc.

Restaurant owners wanted/ want to know how many times they can 'roll" a table during peak times eta. These data sets allow them to know what they can and should be doing as far as volume.

Restaurants are designed according to these "data" and it changes as we have sociological changes within our society.

Cameras is stores are not simply for security, many are used to collect data, how people respond to to displays, how much time do they take to read a product advertisement if it is made a certain way, what traffic flow patterns do stores have if laid out in certain ways.

Everything , just about everywhere is data mined in order to maximize usability, promote sales, safety etc. etc, etc.

In every Church, staff has meeting where you talk about how people respond to this situation, these type hymns, songs, what people need to hear, what affects their lives, what the problems of society are and how we minister to that, what the needs of the children's ministry are etc, etc . We do this to meet the needs of people. In this, we are taking "data" from what is going on, we are reading people and their responses to what we are doing, we are "Data Miners".

The greatest computer ever created is the human mind and it "Data mines" all days long, some of this data going into the "fight or flight" sections of the human mind, thus, some situations automatically cause us to be on "alert" and out body instantly dumps adrenaline into our system because of the data "match" between the recorded data in our mind and the data we just saw/experienced.

We "data mined" when learning to ride a bike, drive a car, etc, etc.

We watch someone else do something and we record how they do it, we are data mining them, we are recoding data about what was done, how it was done, the best ways to do it, how to do it better.

Each time we purchase something, no matter if with cash or credit, that purchase is part of a data set.

I love to garden, farm, grow things. Every time I see a farm, garden, farmer, gardener, I start data mining. If I am talking to another gardener, I am "data mining" that person for information-data.

Yes, things can go too far, yes we can be vulnerable.

But we also have to understand that we are data miners and everyone else mines data and this is part and parcel of being Human Beings.

Human beings are the only species on the planet that can compile "data" ( experiences, knowledge etc.) and had it on generationally- nothing else on this planet does this-nothing.

We all started data mining before we were born, and after birth, none of us asked our parents, brothers and sisters, family friend, is we could record what they do, the sounds they make, the movements they make, the emotional activity they produced, yet we did indeed record all of those things and formed them into "data sets" within our minds.

All "data mining" is, by companies is, is the efforts by them of doing with computers what the human mind has always been doing and is doing right now, thats where the ideas and examples actually come from.

 

Yes, data can be used wrongly, yes we need options, yes there needs to be protections, yes there needs to be privacy.

However, privacy is not what people often think it is.

There is no thing as "complete privacy" unless one totally isolates oneself from the rest of humanity and even then, one's thoughts and actions are known by God- no matter what one believes.

As for "being of one mind" as Christians: This does not mean what many think it does, but that is not for discussion here, what is up for discussion is the FACT that people cannot be of "one mind" without "data mining" each other, in other words, there has to be the sharing of ideas, thoughts, beliefs, experiences and the coming to a general consensus.

Thus Bob sets up a post about the subject and interacts with the people he serves, his customers, and the response/s are what he comes to understand of the customers wants and needs.

These responses , we have all made are,,,, "data sets" .

He is not going to go to his code writers and say: well Fr. Charles wants this, and so and so wants that.

No, he is going to quickly see that xyz % of the people want fine controls, abc percent would be happy with global controls, efg% do not mind the data mining etc,etc.

We all just participated in creating a "data set" ( small set ) that helps Logos make decisions .

Our very lives are constantly creating data sets that are used in real time, space and history.

Yet, for the most part, this data is used impersonally , its the usage, not the person that is the most useful data in these cases, then things are made better for the community, which is "people".

All sociology is about "what people do, what they may do, how they did it, dis it in the past, etc". All business, to serve human beings, is based on these "data sets" , weather in the past, or in todays technology.

This is nothing new, for there is nothing new under the sun. We can just do more of it, more accurately and much faster and on wider scales with more detail, but it is nothing new.

Just think about it.

Its not the data mining that bothers me, what I concern myself with is : Who is doing it, why they are doing it, what they are doing with the data.

Blessings all.

Posts 10126
Forum MVP
NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 7:44 AM

Samuel Clough:
I think the "counting cars" analogy is a little flawed. I'm not asking Logos to "count" me driving in the city but then to hide the count based on my registration. I'm asking for the option for Logos not to count everywhere I go in the first place. It's a very easy fix. It doesn't require Logos to alter any databases. It simply requires the desktop application to not track and report on me.

Samuel, I think you misread the technical process here. Logos is not out to count you, but they are out to sync your data - which is the reason that you can see your notes, highlights and last read position etc accross multiple devices (and Logos can restore deleted notes etc.). Many many customers demanded very loudly to have all of their stuff synced to all of their devices - which means, it travels over the internet and is stored on Logos' servers. 

Your splendid isolation would require one new switch: sync on/off 

 

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

Posts 762
Patrick S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 7:58 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Logos collects stats on the use of the software. At various times we've collected all kinds of different stats; at the moment Logos 5 collects less information than earlier versions, but we expect to hook up more reporting in the future.

[...]

We tracked search queries. [...]

We tracked which dialog boxes were used. [...]

We tracked which books were opened. [...]

These stats, when aggregated, offer value to Logos and help us make a better product. Many of them also feed back into features that benefit users:

One of the potential issues/pitfalls I see with 'data mining' is what I would call 'pushing down to the lowest common denominator' or the race to mediocracy . I'm sure most of us would be familiar with one of the most abused statistical constructs — the old bell curve. It is unfortunately axiomatic that given a large enough population sampling, if one plots a curve of anything, one will end up with one of these.

Like any tool this can be used, or misused, or even abused.

Here's my point:

If there is a complex (but powerful) feature or function in a software package like Logos which data mining shows is used infrequently and/or ineffectively should the software company cut it out? After all, data mining clearly shows that it is not being used very much, and most of those people who do use it don't use it well/properly — it's right up there on the far side of the bell curve.

So should we follow one train of logic, go for the 95% and chop it off, or, should we aim higher and apply more resources to that top 3-5%, for example with more information and training. The concern I have is that if the top 3-5% is chopped off what will eventually happen is that the bell curve will just regain its shape and move to the left — the race to mediocracy.

I have recently become interested in the 'Syntax Search' feature in Logos which I saw initially in the Logos 'Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew' video training. I don't see much mentioned about it in the usual places (forum etc.). I have the MP Seminars' 'Logos Bible Software Training Manual', a paid training documentation. Syntax Search gets a one line mention on page 2 of Volume 1 — that's it. I see from querying the forums that it is tricky to learn and master — fair to say it's a top 3-5% user feature. Data mining says it is not used much — shall we chop it off? Dave Hooten might have something to say about that! And, of course, the product will be the poorer.

I believe you will see my point — slavishly and unthinkingly following where data mining leads may end up undermining the edifice.

"I want to know all God's thoughts; the rest are just details." - Albert Einstein

Posts 1246
David Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 8:17 AM
Patrick S.:

Bob Pritchett:

Logos collects stats on the use of the software. At various times we've collected all kinds of different stats; at the moment Logos 5 collects less information than earlier versions, but we expect to hook up more reporting in the future.

[...]

We tracked search queries. [...]

We tracked which dialog boxes were used. [...]

We tracked which books were opened. [...]

These stats, when aggregated, offer value to Logos and help us make a better product. Many of them also feed back into features that benefit users:

One of the potential issues/pitfalls I see with 'data mining' is what I would call 'pushing down to the lowest common denominator' or the race to mediocracy . I'm sure most of us would be familiar with one of the most abused statistical constructs — the old bell curve. It is unfortunately axiomatic that given a large enough population sampling, if one plots a curve of anything, one will end up with one of these.

Like any tool this can be used, or misused, or even abused.

Here's my point:

If there is a complex (but powerful) feature or function in a software package like Logos which data mining shows is used infrequently and/or ineffectively should the software company cut it out? After all, data mining clearly shows that it is not being used very much, and those people who do use it don't use it well/properly — it's right up there on the far side of the bell curve.

So should we follow one train of logic, go for the 95% and chop it off, or, should we aim higher and apply more resources to that top 3-5%, for example with more information and training. The concern I have is that if the top 3-5% is chopped off what will eventually happen is that the bell curve will just regain its shape and move to the left — the race to mediocracy.

I have recently become interested in the 'Syntax Search' feature in Logos which I saw mentioned in the Logos 'Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew' video training. I don't see much mentioned about it. I have the MP Seminars' 'Logos Bible Software Training Manual', a paid training documentation. Syntax Search gets a one line mention on page 2 of Volume 1 — that's it. I see from querying the forums that it is tricky to learn and master — fair to say it's a top 3-5% user feature. Data mining says it is not used much — shall we chop it off? Dave Hooten might have something to say about that! And, of course, the product will be the poorer.

I believe you will see my point — slavishly and unthinkingly following where data mining leads may end up undermining the edifice.

These are not unreasonable concerns, and those concerns are why we use statistical data to inform our decisions, rather than using the data as the sole basis of our decisions.

To continue using the example of Syntax Search, it's true that not many people use it. However, this information, by itself, tells us little. It might mean that it's an unpopular feature that should be cut, or it could mean that we haven't yet made it easy enough to use. In the case of Syntax Search, we've chosen to add value to the data set it queries by inventing new features on top of it, like Grammatical Relationships in Bible Word Study and the new Clause Search in Logos 5. These make it easier to derive value from that data, and in some cases, they provide the spark necessary to motivate a person to learn how to use the more advanced Syntax Search feature.

David Mitchell
Development Lead
Faithlife

Posts 762
Patrick S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 8:29 AM

David Mitchell:

In the case of Syntax Search, we've chosen to add value to the data set it queries by inventing new features on top of it, like Grammatical Relationships in Bible Word Study and the new Clause Search in Logos 5. These make it easier to derive value from that data, and in some cases, they provide the spark necessary to motivate a person to learn how to use the more advanced Syntax Search feature.

Good on ya mate! (translation from Australian = 'that's great, good to see, thanks Dave!')

Cool

 

p.s. do you know/have any good resources for learning how to use it effectively?

"I want to know all God's thoughts; the rest are just details." - Albert Einstein

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