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This post has 44 Replies | 5 Followers

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Martin Folley | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Oct 1 2014 2:26 AM

I visited faithlife today ... first time in a while ... and it seems to be the same as it was many months and years ago ... but worse!

'My Faithlife' seems to have many biblical quotes from people I have never heard of ... no disrespect is intended to them ... I simply do not want to 'follow them', to use the Twitter phrase. I cannot see why they are on my page ... unless they are in the same group as me (possibly the theology/denominations group, or the collections group). I cannot see a way of deciding which groups are generic (and to be hidden) and which groups are personal (where I actually converse with the individuals, to be seen).  Does anybody know how to filter the content in that main panel of 'my faithlife'?

Not that I use the groups beyond those with useful shared documents ... simply because I still cannot find any groups! The search does not seem to be any different from the past years ... either nobody uses faithlife, or the search terms I am using are wrong ... or something! Is there a browsing facility that I have missed? One that might show by region?

Apart from the frustration of having to log in the Faithlife so that these forums will work ... I am concerned with the recent move of Logos to the Faithlife brand ... complete with forum logos and at least one MVP referring to the 'folks at Faithlife', or similar, (again, not a slur against our wonderful MVPs) ... my concern is simply that if the Faithlife brand ever becomes established outside of this community ... and people search for Faithlife instead of Logos ... they will find the Faithlife forums (unfinished) and not the bible software (world beating).  I see that this forum is marked Faithlife - Beta ... is there going to a new version soon?

Thanks.

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Posts 446
Jonathan Sine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 4 2014 4:40 PM

Lots of good questions and concerns here. I'd also like to see some development on this. I know Bob recently noted that Faithlife.com is a priority. It just  hasn't materialized yet. 

Jonathan Sine

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David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 12:38 PM

I have been on Faithlife.com since they first opened it a couple of years ago.  I have tried to get several groups involved and our church group was a test group for feedback.

In answer to your questions, most of the functions are the same there has been very little changed on the front end with the exception of feature additions such as discussions, prayer requests, photos, etc...

The use of faithlife.com is sporadic.  There are some active groups but generally they tend to be very specialized.  And example would be groups about Greek, etc.

Faithlife has great potential, but I think in the world of facebook and twitter, it is going to take a lot for it to be adopted as another major social network.

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John (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 12:55 PM

Martin,

If you see activity in "My Faithlife" that is not interesting, just hover over those users to see which groups you have in common. In those groups, just reduce your participation to Follower and you'll no longer see their interactions on "My Faithlife" unless they specifically post to the group you follow. The reasoning is that you are closely tied to the other members of groups where you're a member and their interactions are likely to be interesting to you.

Thanks,

John 

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tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 12:57 PM

David Taylor Jr:
it is going to take a lot for it to be adopted as another major social network.
I simply do not see it happening.  Too many people are already overloaded with social networks.  Even google+ users are only spending 3.5 minutes a month on google+ according to wikipedia.

Posts 3297
David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 1:07 PM

tom:

David Taylor Jr:
it is going to take a lot for it to be adopted as another major social network.
I simply do not see it happening.  Too many people are already overloaded with social networks.  Even google+ users are only spending 3.5 minutes a month on google+ according to wikipedia.

That was my point you were just more blunt Wink

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Martin Folley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 2:48 PM

Thanks for the reply John.

The problem with your suggestion, as I understand it, is that 'Followers' do not seem to have access to the documents. So far, it is the documents that have been with only redeeming feature of Faithlife, the theology/denomination tags group in particular.

There is a tension here ... a group's documents can become more useful the larger it gets (or the more useful the documents leads to more users in the group, like myself). BUT the larger a group gets, the greater the need to filter out the chatter. It seems that whilst Faithlife is inert, there is little need to filter out chatter from groups to which you belong ... but should Faithlife ever succeed then I would expect a greater demand for users to take control of their home page.

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John (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 3:15 PM

Martin Folley:
'Followers' do not seem to have access to the documents.

You can ask the group administrator or moderators to change the groups settings so that Followers can Connect and Share documents.

Martin Folley:
There is a tension here ...

You are absolutely correct. With limited resources comes a tension between building features that will attract more people and building the features required *when there are more people*. Right now, we're prioritizing the features and design adjustments with an eye toward making Faithlife.com *the killer app* for connecting with others around the Bible so that more people feel compelled to get involved.

Posts 1985
mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 7:47 PM

John Nobile (Faithlife):

making Faithlife.com *the killer app* for connecting with others around the Bible so that more people feel compelled to get involved.

John,

Just a suggestion..

Maybe you guys need to throw is some free books or some type of giveaways for people to participate more in Faithlife community.

They way Faithlife is progressing now, I doubt it'll ever be a "killer app". Not enough advertising and honey..

Posts 5416
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 9:24 PM

I have looked at Faithlife on a few occasions, and each time I do I feel like I'm looking at a blank page. I haven't got a foggy clue what it does...it seems to me like a design ghost town. I just don't see any "there" there.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 22 2014 11:31 PM

However, if your parish were offering a Bible Study online or a Bible Study supplemented with an online presence, you would see in Faithlife:

  • the means for sharing documents within your group
  • the ability to share notes within the book you are studying
  • the ability to have discussions, ask questions and not wait a week for an answer ...

If you look at Faithlife and see a blank page, consider it a lack of imagination of the potential for reaching those unable to physically attend parish-sponsored studies.

And yes, the pastor definitely saw the possibilities at the demo put on by the Verbum staff. My only worry? he might be more excited by the possibilities at seminary than in the parish ... but I do expect to get the go ahead from the staff as a whole.

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

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 23 2014 1:46 AM

David Paul:

I have looked at Faithlife on a few occasions, and each time I do I feel like I'm looking at a blank page. I haven't got a foggy clue what it does...it seems to me like a design ghost town. I just don't see any "there" there.

I think the issue is that Faithlife doesn't have any indicator of things that are going on in groups you are not member of. This may be intentional (for privacy reasons, for the design reason that Faithlife should support groups of people that know each other from "elsewhere".....) or they just didn't get around.

If one is member of a more active group, one gets e.g. several mesages a day of people joining a reading list (which for me is annoying and can't be opted out of with all the granular messaging configuration), several messages a day of people who wrote a review on a Logos product (unfortunately differentiating reviews from ratings is not yet implemented, so those often are only ratings), people joining and leaving groups etc.

This is not a ghost town. However, some rules from the digital world do apply, such as that keeping up a discussion requires a certain number of active participants, that there's a reader/writer ratio near 10:1. And all of us have something of a life besides Faithlife, so very promising and interesting groups that are more than just document sharing (such as learning Greek based on Mounce's BBG) stall when core members need to shift their priorities. Other groups lose interest since their topic may not have been that interesting to keep it running (wading through what atheists believe are irenic and relevant questions towards the Christian faith may be instructive for six weeks, but gets very tedious afterwards). And of course the forums on the one side, Christiandiscourse.com on the other side will siphon away parts of potential interest.         

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 23 2014 1:56 AM

One hint we were given for making it work at a parish level was requiring a certain amount of participation up front and reminding people when they failed to meet their obligation ... and yes there are a couple of people for whom waivers would be appropriate - and understood by the whole group.

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

Posts 3297
David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 24 2014 6:37 AM

MJ. Smith:

One hint we were given for making it work at a parish level was requiring a certain amount of participation up front and reminding people when they failed to meet their obligation ... and yes there are a couple of people for whom waivers would be appropriate - and understood by the whole group.

We tried this with our approach but found the only people who ever participated was the core group.  No matter how hard we tried to recruit, convince, or sway people into using it, it just didn't catch.

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 24 2014 7:07 AM

tom:
David Taylor Jr:
it is going to take a lot for it to be adopted as another major social network.
I simply do not see it happening.

I agree with these analyses. I watched "The City" flop with a dull thud, and while Faithlife is more creative than was The City in some ways, it is harder to use in other ways.

I'll buy somebody's lunch if it explodes into popularity, but I don't see it either.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 3073
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 24 2014 7:11 AM

NB: Perhaps the author of Hebrews was on to something when he said we should actually meet together. (Flame-proof suit on.)

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 1843
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 24 2014 7:26 AM

Doc B:
Perhaps the author of Hebrews was on to something when he said we should actually meet together.

Something like that was the arguement of Gerhard Lohfink's book Jesus and Community.  Of course, it is dated in that it was written before the internet explosion...

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Anthony H | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 24 2014 9:59 AM

I understand the divergence that Faithlife makes from these other social applications but the competition for learning through online/social media is pretty significant. I'm mean, just look at Moodle and Angel. Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and soon Ello. (I know, Apples and Oranges)


Doc B:
Perhaps the author of Hebrews was on to something when he said we should actually meet together.


Well isn't that the rub of social media.... it's the illusion of relationship.   I'm not speaking of Faithlife per se.


But social media doesn't model real life relationships. It gives the illusion of closeness when for the most part it’s actually superficial. I think it actually makes people feel more isolated but they don't immediately recognize it because of the emotional illusion. The tangibility of closeness is missing. This may have more to do with making a distinction of personality types and usage. Many people say things on social media irresponsibly that they would never say in a real face to face social setting. Not to mention, how does one filter down to the stuff that really matters with all the inane and combative chatter? Hmm

Faithlife, what's the reality? What's the effectiveness as opposed to a live sit down? To divvy out a reading list before a sit down is so far the best adoption I have seen, but for the average church member that is still pretty much hit and miss. Otherwise it's all heavy Logos users and specialist groups that utilize the "inside the app/web" functions of Faithlife. The person on the pew can easily use another method to discuss and share without signing up for Faithlife, in fact they do in my neck of the woods. Sad


I know Faithlife's purpose is to be something better than all this. But to date I still have to export out of Logos/Faithlife to have a Bible study, to teach or preach. I may access the apps briefly while doing these tasks but it's very limited. There seems to be a certain amount of distraction (I'm purposely being ambiguous here) that is associated with using the app that make people hesitant and it also seems I'm dealing with people who are still very tactile.

Is this the experience everyone else is having?

John Nobile (Faithlife):

Right now, we're prioritizing the features and design adjustments with an eye toward making Faithlife.com *the killer app* for connecting with others around the Bible so that more people feel compelled to get involved.


Perhaps the the purpose and goals of Faithlife are languishing... in the "eye toward the killer app". I'm spit-balling here so don't jump down my back.

Features and design adjustments are great but if adoptions rates are so low why not divvy off some of the development budget for a short time and get some fairly significant Faithlife evangelism going. Roll out some free videos showing a pastor interacting through the app with the congregation while teaching. Or better yet, make some videos with collaborative bible study in action and others on facilitation that reaches out to the person on the pew. You won’t have a hard time selling to the pastors if the congregations are already on board.

I feel better, how 'bout you. Big Smile

Posts 3297
David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 24 2014 10:14 AM

Anthony H:

John Nobile (Faithlife):

Right now, we're prioritizing the features and design adjustments with an eye toward making Faithlife.com *the killer app* for connecting with others around the Bible so that more people feel compelled to get involved.


Perhaps the the purpose and goals of Faithlife are languishing... in the "eye toward the killer app". I'm spit-balling here so don't jump down my back.

Features and design adjustments are great but if adoptions rates are so low why not divvy off some of the development budget for a short time and get some fairly significant Faithlife evangelism going. Roll out some free videos showing a pastor interacting through the app with the congregation while teaching. Or better yet, make some videos with collaborative bible study in action and others on facilitation that reaches out to the person on the pew. You won’t have a hard time selling to the pastors if the congregations are already on board.

I feel better, how 'bout you. Big Smile

I think the enhanced marketing/training of faithlife.com is a great idea and necessary if it is ever going to be a success.  Of course, I still don't know if I am sure of what Faithlife's idea of success is with regards to faithlife.com

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Terri Young | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 8 2014 1:24 AM

I find it confusing to h and have forums on logos, but then have groups on faithlife site. It seems to ask around for a group one has to come to the forums to post or know someone who started one. I think it would work better if the forums and groups were on the same site. 

I think if the two sites were somehow combined/integrated it would make it easier to promote groups. Plus all of my content would be under my faithlife, instead I have to keep going back and forth between the sites. Sometimes I have one open on my tablet and the other on my laptop, but not everyone can do the same.

I had really high hopes for the groups feature. 

God Bless

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