Writing Reviews of books in Logos

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This post has 38 Replies | 5 Followers

Posts 611
Jesse Blevins | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Dec 19 2010 12:40 PM

How would other Logos users feel about writing reviews about books that they have read that are contained in Logos?

When I go to purchase a book from Christian Book Distributors they have reviews available that were written by people that have read the book.

 

I would love to be able to read peer reviews about a book before I purchase it. Any thoughts??

 

 

Posts 171
Abi Gail | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2010 1:01 PM

I totally understand what you are attempting to achieve. The question is... Who will review the reviewers. We would have to know their perspective/theology before we could trust their analysis . 

~

Posts 5337
Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2010 1:06 PM

I believe I've seen a comment that this is on Logos' to-do list for the website (See http://community.logos.com/forums/p/25541/189010.aspx#189010  for an example). I think it would be very helpful, especially in the case of public domain works; I find it's very hard to evaluate whether they are worth investing in.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2010 1:10 PM

Jesse, this is a great idea.  And several months ago, when Logos asked for suggestions on their new website (which you are using now), reviews was a popular suggestion.  We just don't know if or when it will be implemented.  Logos said they were incorporating many/most of our ideas, and we think they are not completely done---but we don't know.

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Posts 401
Timothy Ha | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:11 PM

Abi Gail:

I totally understand what you are attempting to achieve. The question is... Who will review the reviewers. We would have to know their perspective/theology before we could trust their analysis . 

The same department that selects the books for Logos can review the reviewers well, I think.

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Posts 114
James Matichuk | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 19 2010 11:28 PM

Timothy Ha:

Abi Gail:

I totally understand what you are attempting to achieve. The question is... Who will review the reviewers. We would have to know their perspective/theology before we could trust their analysis . 

The same department that selects the books for Logos can review the reviewers well, I think.

Or you could just read their reviews and see what it tells you about the reviewer. It's what I do on other sites with reviews. If I am unsure, I scroll through and see what else they reviewed.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 1:11 AM

Abi Gail:
The question is... Who will review the reviewers. We would have to know their perspective/theology before we could trust their analysis . 

I think one would have to apply the same cautions that one does with Amazon, etc. I would be slow to accept any assessment of perspective/theology - I'd have to see who's reviews provided useful input on resources I did know and trust them on resources I didn't. My concern would be that such reviews would be unlikely to call trash, trash because that would run counter to building Logos community.

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

Posts 171
Abi Gail | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 1:23 AM

Thanks for the input. It would seem that even with the reviews, we would be in a Caveat Emptor situation. ... We must Beware of the books as well as the critics who critique them. Smile

~

Posts 114
James Matichuk | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 1:51 AM

This is true but if you find a reviewer you trust, her opinion of a book may help guide you in your purchases. So I like reading reviews.

Short of thumbing through a book in a bookstore, I find google books the most useful tool in seeing if a book is worth it.

Posts 19
Josh Bond | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 6:50 AM

A reviewer's theological leanings should be disclosed, or easily visible, to give the review context.

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Juanita | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 8:39 AM

James Matichuk:

This is true but if you find a reviewer you trust, her opinion of a book may help guide you in your purchases. So I like reading reviews.

Short of thumbing through a book in a bookstore, I find google books the most useful tool in seeing if a book is worth it.

Google books when they have a preview and also Amazon, when they have the option of searching or looking inside, really work best for me and then I don't have to set aside the possible pre-disposition of a reviewer.  Also, archive.org has many of the public domain books which you can download as Kindle files, pdf or read online, in addition to ccel.org.

 

Posts 114
James Matichuk | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 9:32 AM

Josh:

A reviewer's theological leanings should be disclosed, or easily visible, to give the review context.

 

Which views would be relevant? I can tell you I grew up an ecclesial mutt in the Evangelical and Mainline Millieu. I now camp with the Baptist by the accident of my personal biography and the Providence of God, though I find much of the classical Baptist theology on sacraments to be appallingly reductionist. I do not consider myself a Calvinist, but John Calvin is one of my all time favorite theologians and there are sections of the Institutes which I think are poetic and profound. Like many Evangelicals, I bemoan the lack of ecclesiology in our churches so find myself looking to Rome and further East. I consider myself a disgruntled Charismatic in that I struggle to be open to the wind of the Spirit but am frustrated by the psychological manipulation, fantastical claims and bad theology in charismatic churches (some of which I sojourned with for a while). I am a pan-millennialist (it all pans out in the end) and put my hope in Christ's return and the kingdom's coming in it's fullest. I read voraciously and broadly across theological and historical literature and sit loosely to theological tribalism. This isn't to say that I don't have convictions, but I don't think I could classify them neatly for you at the beginning of a review. I doubt you could do the same unless your theology is: "I believe everything John MacCarthur says. (or whoever). 

If I was forced to write up my theological leanings, I would be tempted to either cite the Apostle's Creed or simply say, "I believe in the Trinity." 

 

 

Posts 8899
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 10:58 AM

Josh:

A reviewer's theological leanings should be disclosed, or easily visible, to give the review context.

That kind of depends on the book, doesn't it? Yes, if you were reviewing a commentary on Revelation and calling it awful, then I would like some leads as to whether you had objective reasons to think this, or whether you simply disagreed with the author's theological views. But if you were reviewing a book on the archaeology of Israel, your main point being that it was useful for studies on the history of archaeology, but too old to be useful for studies in archaeology itself, then I wouldn't have any such need. And if you were reviewing a book on Hebrew grammar, then what interests me is simply your qualifications in Hebrew.

James

Like your post.

(EDIT: grammar)

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Posts 175
Silent Sam | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 11:11 AM

James Matichuk:

Josh:

A reviewer's theological leanings should be disclosed, or easily visible, to give the review context.

James Matichuk:
I can tell you I grew up an ecclesial mutt in the Evangelical and Mainline Millieu.

                                                                       Hmm hhhmmmMMM~~~ Hmm

 

Posts 114
James Matichuk | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 11:17 AM

Silent Sam:

 

 

 

                                                                       Hmm hhhmmmMMM~~~ Hmm

 

 

This is by far the greatest trademark response in the forums. You use it well, even if I have no idea what you are talking about most of the time. 

Posts 184
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Dan Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 11:47 AM

"Ratings" and "Reviews" will hopefully be attached to every product page on the web sometime in the first half of next year. If you want to get a head-start on the reviews, that would be a great way for us to kick-off the new feature with a ton of great reviews!

Start writing reviews now for all the titles you want, and save them in a document on your computer. When we launch the "Ratings" and "Reviews" you will be able to instantly post as many reviews as you have worked on while we were developing the feature. That way, when people check out the new feature, there will already be great content posted under reviews, and it won't look like an unfinished feature.

While we are on the subject... another great way to help people see that a new feature is in place and working is to go to your favorite titles right now and click the "Like" button for Facebook so the counter will go up.

As you can see, the feature is still new and not too many people have jumped on it yet. For example, I can't believe we only have 4 customers that "Like" John Piper's works.  Surprise

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 11:53 AM

Dan, flat out COOL!  thanks.  Looking forward to that rollin'.

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Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 1:20 PM

Dan Pritchett:
While we are on the subject... another great way to help people see that a new feature is in place and working is to go to your favorite titles right now and click the "Like" button for Facebook so the counter will go up.

As you can see, the feature is still new and not too many people have jumped on it yet. For example, I can't believe we only have 4 customers that "Like" John Piper's works.  Surprise

Clicking "Like" posts a message on your Facebook page and makes it a part of your profile, and, plus, it does it somewhat surreptitiously-- it doesn't ask you before it does it or give any indication that it did.  I'm selective about what goes on my Facebook profile (as I suspect many people are), and I don't like bombarding others' FB newsfeeds with a million "Likes" from my profile.

I have "Liked" one or two Logos products, but I'd much rather have the choice to keep my ratings and reviews only on the Logos website and not splatter it all over the social networking world willy-nilly.  I'm sure Logos feels differently from a marketing viewpoint, since Facebook seems to be a big part of their marketing push.  But it's not in my interest to clog my Facebook history with my Logos browsing history.

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Posts 5337
Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 4:33 PM

Dan Pritchett:
As you can see, the feature is still new and not too many people have jumped on it yet. For example, I can't believe we only have 4 customers that "Like" John Piper's works.  Surprise

I, for one, won't be using the like feature on products. I don't trust Facebook with any more than the bare bones of personal information. I also don't like having sites interact with my Facebook account. That is why I use a separate browser to for Facebook and another for my general browsing.

Posts 421
Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 20 2010 6:04 PM

Kevin Becker:
I also don't like having sites interact with my Facebook account. That is why I use a separate browser to for Facebook and another for my general browsing.

Kevin,

Thanks for posting this.  Does Facebook harvest browser history and/or cookies to enhance its user profiles and sell the information?

Thanks in advance,

Scott

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