Social / community features in Logos 5 and beyond

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This post has 191 Replies | 8 Followers

Posts 2423
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 10:14 AM

Patrick S.:

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.

Oh, by the way: that item that is only used by 0.1% of the users - that item that we are going to chop off

It just might only be used by the TOP 0.1% of Logos Buyers [you know: those ones with over 12,000 resources and bid on every pre-pub]

[That is the very people that are paying all the bills - Don't have the numbers for Logos sales but the top 5% of tax payers pay 50% of all taxes]

So maybe Logos does need to keep user information in the Data Mining database [and Yes, I am playing both sides of the street]

Posts 103
Mark O'Hearn | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 10:26 AM

Appreciate the comment alabama24. 

What motivated my post was Bob's original comment, "Moving forward, we plan to offer "crowd sourced" data that benefits all our users.  (You will be able to turn off, or ignore, this crowd-sourced data if you don't want to use it.)"

As one customer, and apparently I'm not alone, just not interested in yet another social experience.  If we step back and consider the generations perhaps being represented in this discussion, not surprising you have the older folks (myself included) who prefer to work in relative isolation, whereas the younger folks prefer to work in a team environment.  The younger generation (and the next one) has given "birth" to the Facebook and Twitter age.  I sense these realities are behind the desire for increased collaboration, and I don't deny this trend will continue, nor that there is benefit depending on theological compatibility. 

All that some users are suggesting is they are not interested.  That's all.  Sure there's emotion, silly, and immature comments as one person observed, but in the end some folks simply don't want to see Logos headed in that direction.  Selfish lot we are really.  Of course, in the end we understand that is not our decision to make.

As for highlighting, I personally do not highlight in my paper-based books and Bibles.  Never have.  Never highlighted in my text books either, so it is not a religious thing.  This habit has continued with my digital library as well.  I find it distracting, though I certainly concede there is an obvious benefit to the practice.  Instead, when studying a passage I will print that out, and manually mark it up and highlight key points.  I find this most engaging and helpful for me.  Notwithstanding, I would encourage Logos to keep popular highlighting, as I can see some benefit to me when consulting lengthy articles in say the Anchor dictionary or in laborious comments in certain technical commentaries.  But most of the time, like my Kindle that offers this same service (that I can also turn on/off), it will remain off for me.

Alabama24, just uneasy about where Logos may wish to take my "personal" Bible study.  I do appreciate and see some value in the collaborative endeavors like - Faithlife, community ratings, highlights, notes, but as a member of Generation X all these things really do not appeal to me.  Add to the mix that I am an introvert; well we have a real social mess on our hands.  Gee, lots of young folks at Logos.  Wonder how many old, grumpy folks use Logos?  Perhaps there needs to be some consideration to the generational differences.  Yet, young believers are the future of the church for sure. In my defense I do have a Facebook account now, though I cannot understand for the life of me why so many people think I am interested in hourly updates on their mundane lives?

Sorry for the long post.

Best regards

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 11:04 AM

Thanks for your comments Mark. Smile If you every pass through Lynchburg, VA, I'll buy you a cup o coffee. Coffee 

OSX & iOS | Logs |  Install

Posts 778
JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 11:15 AM

IRONY: 

The company whose philosophy was always thought to be "Don't Be Evil" turns out to be the quintessential data miner (in order to make a buck), and yet, people readily accept it and continue to happily use their services. 

On the other hand, a company devoted to serving the Church with the finest Bible study software is constantly accused of the most evil of intentions whether they be financial, data mining/monitoring/ or whatever, and yet, they continually demonstrate their integrity through such things as high levels of corporate transparency, unexpected rebates/credits to Users, discounts/sales/giveaways, being genuinely desirous to receive User feedback and suggestions, public apologies, bending over backwards to "make it right" with offended Users, a completely open communication policy with anyone in the company, &etc. 

___________________

While I don't want Community information pushed at me (I could care less what the "Community" thinks - if we always followed what the "Community" thought, we would all have been Arians for the last two millenia - sound theology and good exegesis does not rest on groupthink or polls), it doesn't bother me if Logos wants to monitor my anonymous usage of their product in order to refine the software.  If datamining of my personal usage should suddenly become a vehicle for sales and marketing, however, then I object.  But I see no indication of that happening and I have no reason to doubt the integrity of Bob Pritchett.

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 11:29 AM

NB.Mick:

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 

With all due respect, I'm sorry you missed my point. Bob outlined the Logos desktop application reporting to Logos servers on user behavior all the way down to what search queries we are running on our desktops. In that case, yes Logos is "out to count me." The application does not need to do that to function, and it's reasonable to be able to turn that off. It's not necessarily to any functionality. It's not a process that has to happen. It's the application reporting on us. I realize some people don't care. All some of us want is an off switch.

I do realize that data has to be stored on servers in order to sync files. To provide that functionality, Logos has to have some data and interactions between Logos servers and the application. I get that. Even there though, we should have options on how deeply and broadly that data is shared. 

Blessings,

Samuel

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 12:33 PM

Samuel Clough:
I realize some people don't care. All some of us want is an off switch.

Some of us think as follows:

  • to provide off switches on the desktop for features that run in the cloud for mobile devices decreases the amount of reusable code
  • to provide the tests for determining whether data is sent to the cloud increases the number of branches in the code - this increases the chances for error, increases the testing time and decreases efficiency thereby slowing the process down.
  • data mining improves the product for all of us by allowing Logos to allocate its the resources based on actual Logos user behavior.
  • coding and testing the turnoff feature takes resources that could be used to implement my highest priority request

I believe those wanting the off switches must present a very strong case, not based on fear or emotion, before I should have to bear the negative side-effects.

 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 10336
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 12:41 PM

Now MJ ... where's your fallacy detective dog?  Pursuing that logic would suggest Logos make resources for me and not you.  Now 'maybe' there's some logic in that, but the whole concept of multiple customer concerns would fail.


Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 12:44 PM

MJ. Smith:
I believe those wanting the off switches must present a very strong case, not based on fear or emotion, before I should have to bear the negative side-effects.

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 12:46 PM

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 12:49 PM

To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone — to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink — greetings!

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 12:52 PM

I only quote Orwell because I believe that privacy is priceless, and should not be surrendered for any reward.

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 27044
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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 12:57 PM

DMB:
Now MJ ... where's your fallacy detective dog?  Pursuing that logic would suggest Logos make resources for me and not you.

Big Smile

I believe I deliberately committed the fallacy of "turn about is fair play" - one which is strangely missing in many lists. In it's formal form it closely resembles the "me first" and "us not you" fallacies, the most common social fallacies in America. Wink

Unfortunately, this is a bad time of year for social-fallacy logicians as the starting point of many arguments is "what am I getting for Christmas" rather than "what am I giving for Christmas" or "how am I celebrating the incarnation of God?". ....

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 27044
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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 1:04 PM

Paul Golder:

I only quote Orwell because I believe that privacy is priceless, and should not be surrendered for any reward.

I respect your position and could make a good case for it. However, the question is "when does your right to privacy trump my right to the best product Logos can provide?" That, my friend, is a very sticky problem for which a simple answer has yet to be agreed upon - the problem in the form presented by software is a new and ever moving target.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 1:15 PM

MJ. Smith:

Paul Golder:

I only quote Orwell because I believe that privacy is priceless, and should not be surrendered for any reward.

I respect your position and could make a good case for it. However, the question is "when does your right to privacy trump my right to the best product Logos can provide?" That, my friend, is a very sticky problem for which a simple answer has yet to be agreed upon - the problem in the form presented by software is a new and ever moving target.

I see what you are saying MJ, and while I have already offered myself on the facebook altar (among other privacy profiteers), my sensibilities make me feel that personal Bible study should be just that. I know that this is an emotional response, but what are we without our emotions?

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 1:36 PM

David Mitchell:
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.

That may explain why Graphical Query got the chop!

Dave
===

Windows 10 & Android 8

Posts 762
Patrick S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 2:29 PM

MJ. Smith:

  • to provide off switches on the desktop for features that run in the cloud for mobile devices decreases the amount of reusable code
  • to provide the tests for determining whether data is sent to the cloud increases the number of branches in the code - this increases the chances for error, increases the testing time and decreases efficiency thereby slowing the process down.
  • coding and testing the turnoff feature takes resources that could be used to implement my highest priority request

Sorry... it's right back at you.

 

MJ. Smith:

I believe those wanting the off switches must present a very strong case, not based on fear or emotion, before I should have to bear the negative side-effects.

Many believe the end does not automatically justify the means. And those who want change, if change means abrogating things like rights and privacy, must justify their case. Just because a thing can be done, does not mean it must be done — or even should be done. America could pre-emptively nuke those pesky Iranians out of existence — solve a lot of problems.

Brrrr, your logic and rationale scares me.

And I am not saying there shouldn't be any data mining in Logos.

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

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 2:35 PM

MJ. Smith:
I believe those wanting the off switches must present a very strong case, not based on fear or emotion, before I should have to bear the negative side-effects.

Given the complexity of the Logos code base, I think the "negative side-effects" of letting users not be tracked are incredibly small compared to the complex features Logos is constantly programming. It's relatively simple and allows me to do without the "negative side-effects" of processor cycles used to record my keystrokes and bandwidth usage to send data.

If some of the posts I've seen are true, for example, it's Logos communication with servers that causes it to lock up every time I try to quit it so that I've had to use "force quit" to close Logos both in version 4 and version 5. With that logic I could say that this "data mining" is probably degrading my performance.

Posts 73
Paul Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 10:02 PM

Hi Bob,

To go back to the bottom line of your opening post...

Bob Pritchett:

I hope this overview is helpful, and that you can appreciate the value that these social / community features add to the Logos platform, and hopefully to your study and investment as well.

In the end it is a question of value, and as you can tell from this thread, not everyone values the same things. That's why, from a consumer's point of view, it is great to have choice. Some of us see very little value in the social / community features. We would very much like to opt out (or, better, not opt in).

You are not alone, though, in trying to push the social / community thing in software. For example, Apple recently released iTunes 11, which expands some of its iCloud features, including marking the spot you left off in your last movie and syncing that to all your devices so you can start watching on your iPad right where you left off on your iMac. In the iTunes Store, they advertise, "Good recommendations are easy to come by, thanks to In the Store picks. Just select an album, artist, or genre you like, and iTunes will suggest similar music you might never have found on your own." Much of this is similar to what you have said you are or are wanting to do with Logos--Apple's doing it with music; Logos is doing it with books.

But there is one BIG difference--Apple doesn't force me to participate. In the preference settings there are a number of user-controlled options like, "Share details about your library with Apple".

On my computer, that box is not checked.

Not everyone perceives value the same. Please give us choice.

Thank you.

Paul

Posts 757
Fr. Charles R. Matheny | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 5:41 AM

I have to say : I find this thread one of the most fascinating examples of Christian community thought I have ever read.

In it I find:

The difficulty of defining "privacy".

This whole , very strong idea of "private" studies of scriptures written primarily for communities and for communities to respond too.

The idea of not caring what others in the Christian Community thinks, believes, needs.

The last one is extremely  interesting as well as disturbing . Every Pastor/teacher should be concerned about all these areas. Shepherds need to know sheep well enough to know their needs: when they need water, food and when they are ill, it is through knowing sheep and their needs that they can be led properly, tended too properly, led away from what is evil and to/towards good health.

( Granted being able to turn these things on and off is needed).

Yet, I still find these comments very odd.Don't care or want to know what others are thinking? Then why do you own Biblical software which has a plethora of others thoughts, writings intwined within it and that presents these thoughts at a single click.

Everything in the software is just that, pure and simple. Every lexicon is another persons thoughts, research, work on particular words, every commentary is chock full of the sociological trends/thinking patterns of the time from which it comes.

Logos is trying to give you more of that which you are already buying, and trying to give Pastors a better idea of the Christian theological and sociological directions.( which might actually help us provide better correctives within a devolving society).

I really do find this a most interesting conversation, a very revealing "snippet " of Christian thinking in America and how we embrace life, the gospel etc.

One one hand we have the Life of Christ and the apostles who laid themselves open and bare for all, forever and spoke of everyone having the same hearts and minds, of trying to live life with an attitude to where the needs of others were of more value to us than our own. 

On the other, here we are, saying we do not care what others think/believe, wanting to protect our "privacy", wanting our biblical studies of community documents to be "private".

This is very interesting.

I love M.J.Smith thoughts on some of this and think they should be expanded on a bit more.

Reason? Christianity is based on the living example of Christ who gave up "HIMSELF" for the Mission of the Father which was the salvation of the many.

Separatism, narcissism and many other negatives are growing within our society, we are of course, not immune to these influences.

Are these sociological trends affecting our thinking on this and many other subjects?

I find it a good question for myself, perhaps others will as well.

I only post this here because this is a different "type" of thread than we usually have have on the Logos Forums. I mean no offense, simply stating my observations and interest.

Blessings all.

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 5 2012 6:03 AM

In an ideal world filled with ideal people we would treat each other ideally.  Christianity has had (as best that I can tell) less than an ideal history of how it treats people with different, minority, opposing, or simply new ideals.  Within the contemporary history of America itself are examples of Asians (WWII), Irish, Catholics, Gays, women, Germans (WWI), Native Americans, and other minority groups that have been discriminated against because of their status.  Now we are talking about allowing  or encouraging "communities" access to the whole range of human expression to be judged by religious people within an American historical context....lol...sorry I pass.

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