Social / community features in Logos 5 and beyond

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Posts 1721
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:30 PM

Samuel Clough:
Perhaps you could reconsider. There are many frontline missionaries that work in oppressive countries on a constant basis. Why should they not risk carrying Bible software if it helps their mission? It's very reasonable for them to take the risk to carry Bible software and yet have the ability to tell it not to "phone home" and thus create another risk for them.

If being observed using Bible software, or connecting to "christian" web sites, endangers you, I strongly encourage either not using our tool, and using one with NO Internet functionality, or at least turning off the "Use Internet" setting.

Samuel Clough:
It's so frustrating that Logos won't work correctly on my iPhone when I don't have a data connection, that I really hope Logos desktop isn't moving in that direction.

Samuel Clough:
I expect Google to track me.

This is really my "theoretical" point, aside from the details of what Logos does. If you expect Google to track you, but don't expect desktop apps to, you're living in the past, not the present -- and certainly not the future.

Much of this entire discussion comes down to expectations. We all "expect" web sites are logging our behavior (though do you realize how thoroughly? how interconnected? how cross-referenced? how a marketer can literally watch over your should as you browse the site?). But some of us are "expecting" that apps don't, because they didn't in 1985, or 1995, or 2005, or whenever we started using them. But that thinking is out of date / out of touch. Today, when I choose "File | New" in Microsoft Word, I get templates from the web. When I asked for help in Excel today, it returned web pages. Most of the system apps in Windows 8 talk to the web.

I won't be at all surprised when the calculator app on my phone uses GPS and web-based databases to detect I'm at a restaurant, and when I multiply a number by 15% it'll popup on the side a message saying "Recently other diners have been tipping an average of 18% here." :-)

 

Posts 1721
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:41 PM

Rene Atchley:
Since secure data is of little concern perhaps Mr. Pritchard would freely give us his private cell phone so we could contact him in more convient ways....you know its all in the public domain anyway. 

Good point. My home phone is 360-734-094; I'm available till 11 pm US pacific time. You can reach me at the office at 360-527-1700. Nobody screens my calls, and the receptionist is instructed to forward anyone who asks for me without questions. The stockbrokers, sales people, surveyors -- and Logos users! -- all get to me.

Because the cell phone is more interruptive, I choose to follow my own advice and generally don't store it digitally. It's not on my business card. (If it was, I'd post it here.) I don't provide it to databases, and am selective about emailing it. And, of course, I realize that it's not a "secret", and I won't be shocked / surprised if/when it is readily Googleable. I'm just adding some delay/friction to that by not sharing it. But I'm happy to share it with any of you who request it by email, and you're free to use it. I just don't want to post it somewhere "scrape-able." I fear SMS spam more than anything else...

And, honestly, I prefer email for everything. So I do share my address -- bob@logos.com -- and even include it on a letter in our packaged software. I even have an alternate address -- bob.pritchett@logos.com -- so it's "guessable", though you keep addressing me as "Prichard", so your mail would bounce. :-)

I usually see every email within an hour (barring sleep or a long, immersive meeting) and I respond to email more quickly than voicemail or snail mail. (Inexplicably, two users with Logos 5 questions sent me paper letters in November. I didn't see them for two weeks while I was traveling....and still haven't replied. (Sorry! I plan to today...))

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:42 PM

For anyone that quits Logos (5?) after each session (I keep mine open for weeks at a time), by denying internet access (not just the internal radio button), it comes up in 2+ seconds. Pretty nifty.

Of course loading my 84 resource layout still is about 20 seconds or about 1/4 second per book. Still almost time to get a fresh cup of coffee.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:58 PM

Bob Pritchett:

Samuel Clough:
I expect Google to track me.

This is really my "theoretical" point, aside from the details of what Logos does. If you expect Google to track you, but don't expect desktop apps to, you're living in the past, not the present -- and certainly not the future.

I'm not sure if I speak for all of us that prefer privacy, but I think this is where we're missing each other. The reason I expect Google to track me is because it's been exposed over the last few years how deeply they do track us. I think a lot of us were shocked at how deeply Google was tracking us when we didn't realize it. In my case I expect them to not be fully truthful about how they track me and for that reason I've stopped using many of their products and don't login to a Google account. I also use privacy plugins to avoid them. Does it avoid it all? No. However, it helps some and it's definitely caused me to distance my relationship with Google as much as possible.

I am not living in the past if I don't expect desktop apps to track me and I'd say the vast majority of people would agree with me. Yes, some apps do, but the ones on my machine that do ask me if I want to submit feedback so I can clearly choose "no." It seems like you are saying that tracking is in the EULA and that being tracked is part of the price of using Logos. That's fair enough because you have that choice as owner of the company. However, it is still confusing why Logos doesn't want to support providing a clear path for users to keep their privacy, like other desktop applications do, and instead it sounds like you are only giving us the option of changing to a competing product because Logos has already decided that tracking is the new normal.

I think your assumption that every desktop application should track users is faulty and there are many who agree with me. Can Logos not also support customers with the assumption that we should not be tracked pervasively? Yes most connect online for updates these days, but most desktiop applications do not track users pervasively without a clear way to turn this off. It's a philosophical issue and I can't see why Logos doesn't want to support those of us with a different preference for how we use our desktops.

Blessings,

Samuel

Posts 1721
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:59 PM

Samuel Clough:
Can you help us to understand why there is hesitation to do this? Why not gives users a full choice?

We probably will.... I'm just trying to:

A) See how strong the feelings are, and make sure we're addressing a real need, not just a knee-jerk reaction.

B) Reduce complexity. The more fine-grained the control, the more code we have to write, the more interaction there is between multiple settings, and the more likely that a year from now someone calls tech support to ask why Feature X doesn't work, when all the other forum users say it works for them, and neither the user nor the tech support agent knows/remembers that Feature X requires data that Privacy Setting Y disabled a year ago.

This sounds silly, but is a real problem. We used to let users set font options per book, for example. A regular tech support call was "I decided to change my global font from Times New Roman to Helvetica, but this one book won't change." Because you forgot that you set that one book to Palatino 2 years ago. And a dozen similar problems.

Also, on the complexity front, some of these things are/aren't connected in different ways. "Send Feedback" controls what the desktop app does. But popular highlights aren't calculated or sent from the app -- they're collated from an analysis of the synchronized notes / highlights on our servers. So you'd be setting an app setting that we then have to look up on the server side, where the analysis is presently done by a stand-alone process that doesn't even have access to user id's. So instead of just running a big batch process on highlight ranges while ignoring users, this service will need to be coded to look-up the user id of each highlight in the database (data it isn't even retrieving right now), then look up the user on a separate server where user program settings are stored, then check if that user wants to participate.

Do-able? Yes. Just a pain, and more code and more complexity.

Thought example:

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.

What's the worse privacy system?

(Now if the kid was already recording who entered town, the cost of the privacy check would be lower and its value much higher. But in the specific case of Popular Highlights, it's like my example. We'll have to spread more info about you to more disconnected code and databases in order to "not" share your info.)

Posts 4625
RIP
Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 4:15 PM

Rene Atchley:

Since secure data is of little concern perhaps Mr. Pritchard would freely give us his private cell phone so we could contact him in more convient ways....you know its all in the public domain anyway. 

Rene, I truly wish for you Peace of Mind and Peace of Heart!     and wish for a calm and unemotional and rational conversation over against the Logos Forums.

                I do not understand why "you have it in for Mr. Pritchard .... "     I remember your posting on the Old Logos Newsgroups many years ago, long before the Logos Forums ever came into existence  ...........                So very many of your posts then, Rene, were extremely negative   .....     and now on the Logos Forums they still are   ....     very much so...          extremely negative   .....

Certainly, at the very least you must be aware that you are indeed deliberately misspelling the name of the Founder and CEO of Logos Bible Software  ............         or do you really believe that he is "Mr. Pritchard" ???           ... or are you just trying to be funny???

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 4:46 PM

Not a knee-jerk for me! When I saw your Logos4 in 2009, I knew the plan. It's too irresistable. I used to do corporate data mining. Monetizing data can not be resisted. It's too 'neat'.

But I DO appreciate being able to load up on Libronix resources since 2009. Maybe $12,000 or so. I feel lucky.

So for me, a Logos design decision is really just a confirmation of human behavior. But I do feel a little sad for purchasers that are on the Logos train and can't get off.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 325
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 4:51 PM

Patrick S.:

Rene Atchley:

Since secure data is of little concern perhaps Mr. Pritchard would freely give us his private cell phone so we could contact him in more convient ways....you know its all in the public domain anyway. 

I believe we should not get personal in this discussion.

I'm working from the position & belief that Bob & the whole Logos team are honestly working for the best for the product, and for users. I'm simply asking that they consider the usage of the Logos application, and the needs and wishes of users. In the end that things are balanced, and there be options in the software to cater for the valid wishes and concerns of users.

So it's not personal when my information is sent to the company for multiple reason's but it is personal when public domain information about the company and it officers is asked for.  This is exactly the problem with data mining, tracking of such data, and use of that data for unspecified "business" reasons...its always different when it involves someone else's information.

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 5:00 PM

Bob Pritchett:

where the analysis is presently done by a stand-alone process that doesn't even have access to user id's. So instead of just running a big batch process on highlight ranges while ignoring users, this service will need to be coded to look-up the user id of each highlight in the database (data it isn't even retrieving right now), then look up the user on a separate server where user program settings are stored, then check if that user wants to participate.

Do-able? Yes. Just a pain, and more code and more complexity.

Thought example:

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.

What's the worse privacy system?

(Now if the kid was already recording who entered town, the cost of the privacy check would be lower and its value much higher. But in the specific case of Popular Highlights, it's like my example. We'll have to spread more info about you to more disconnected code and databases in order to "not" share your info.)

Bob, 

I do not know how your system is currently setup, but I am not completely buying this argument.  The reason why, the sync system must know who I am in order update my computer with my information.  And the new setting would only take one bit (not one byte or one nibble - just one bit).  

Therefore, the SQL where statement that selected the records would have to include something like, "...AND USER_PREF = 1 AND NOTES.USERID = USER.ID".

Yes, this does add complexity, but it adds very little complexity IMHO.

Posts 325
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 5:16 PM

Bob Pritchett:

Rene Atchley:
Since secure data is of little concern perhaps Mr. Pritchard would freely give us his private cell phone so we could contact him in more convient ways....you know its all in the public domain anyway. 

Good point. My home phone is 360-734-094; I'm available till 11 pm US pacific time. You can reach me at the office at 360-527-1700. Nobody screens my calls, and the receptionist is instructed to forward anyone who asks for me without questions. The stockbrokers, sales people, surveyors -- and Logos users! -- all get to me.

Because the cell phone is more interruptive, I choose to follow my own advice and generally don't store it digitally. It's not on my business card. (If it was, I'd post it here.) I don't provide it to databases, and am selective about emailing it. And, of course, I realize that it's not a "secret", and I won't be shocked / surprised if/when it is readily Googleable. I'm just adding some delay/friction to that by not sharing it. But I'm happy to share it with any of you who request it by email, and you're free to use it. I just don't want to post it somewhere "scrape-able." I fear SMS spam more than anything else...

And, honestly, I prefer email for everything. So I do share my address -- bob@logos.com -- and even include it on a letter in our packaged software. I even have an alternate address -- bob.pritchett@logos.com -- so it's "guessable", though you keep addressing me as "Prichard", so your mail would bounce. :-)

I usually see every email within an hour (barring sleep or a long, immersive meeting) and I respond to email more quickly than voicemail or snail mail. (Inexplicably, two users with Logos 5 questions sent me paper letters in November. I didn't see them for two weeks while I was traveling....and still haven't replied. (Sorry! I plan to today...))

I just noticed this.  Indeed a man with conviction about his product and willing to go to the mat, so to speak, over issues related said product.  While I am not willing to make personal calls over this same product, looking at my recent purchase history will explain why, I am curious as to just how far this movement can go before there is a clear response from the consumer. Given what I have posted here and in the past perhaps another service Logos could develop would be an after market exchange or buy back of product license that no longer fit a persons perceived need for their product...now I would be willing to call you about that. 

 

 

Posts 1721
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 5:18 PM

tom:
I do not know how your system is currently setup, but I am not completely buying this argument.

I agree. You don't know how it's set up. :-) (Forgive me, I couldn't help it! I don't actually know all the details either...)

Pointless geeky detail follows...

We have more than a million user accounts. The data architecture is huge, and distributed over multiple databases at multiple sites.

One join from one database to another to look-up records for User #32910 isn't too expensive. But when you are scanning the entire highlights database (a million users, thousands of highlights each for many of those users), it's easier to just walk the table of highlights (which are stored apart from, but linked to, the user records). Going back from each highlight to look-up the user record involves a cross-database join or look-up -- possibly millions of them. Yes, it's doable, but no, it's not adding an AND to a SQL query. We're long-past that kind of simple database structure.

 

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 5:28 PM

Obviously since you can't attribute the data, your analyses are destined for (technical) naivete ... else Tom's correct.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 725
Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 5:53 PM

Samuel Clough:
Please give us a way to opt-out of all community features in the product.

Yes I agree. I don't want to have to do this individually for every resource.

Samuel Clough:
I'm not entirely clear why you anticipate it being nearly impossible to use Logos in the future without the internet.

I would be very concerned if Logos went this way. There are many situations in my life where I either don't have Internet access or it is slow/unreliable. I definitely still need to use all of the search capabilities of Logos in such situations. It is bad enough that the mobile app is so restricted without Internet access. But I definitely need the full power of Logos desktop when I am in situations where I cannot count on the Internet. Not everyone has reliable high speed data access all of the time.

Posts 757
Fr. Charles R. Matheny | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 9:00 PM

Dear Bob: Thank you so very much for providing more information and, real life examples of how the data mining works, examples of whats done with the info etc.

I did not realize the sensitivity of this subject when I asked for more examples, it is indeed a complex subject. Again, thank you for being so informative.

-------------------------------------

Opinions.

I do realize that much of my life is data mined each day. The way I drive, where I drive, how I drive during different times of the day is another good example. I have known for a long time that there is no such thing as "Private" computer usage if said computer is connected to the internet. To use the internet requires computers talking to one another, so there you go, right from the start, information IS exchanged and, that very first, very simple exchange, has a lot of information in it.

We are "Data Mined" in everything we do, from walking the streets, to driving, to purchasing, to working, medical, eating, sleeping, gas, water, electrical, garbage, television, clothing trends, literally everything and, alas, it did not start with the Internet.

A census is data mining, going to Church,( from the beginning, had data mining), building a bridge requires data mining etc, etc.

We all data mine throughout our day if we think about it. Going to lunch with friends, someone is going to ask : " How many people will we need tables for", thus we just asked for data so we could make a decision.

Data mining is nothing new, been done in sales long before we had computers, before they were thought of . 

Yet it is a concern now because we can , and do, save such an incredible amount of our personal lives on the little powerful devices.

I think many people have a hard time thinking about "data" in so many different ways and, tend to think : If they have my data, they have everything, all my data. 

I think it's hard for people to think of any data coming "off" their computer as "non-personal" data.

Personally, I do not care if Logos gets all my keystrokes, preferences, books most often used, those used occasionally, those never used, what highlights are used, what searches are performed, what visual filters stay constant, which are not used, what layouts I use, create, never use, so forth and so.

Does not bother me a bit because , as I understand it, Logos is not concerned about MY usage, but instead , Logos is concerned with how LOGOS is being used. Therefore, (as far as data is concerned) it's not "me" the mining is about, but how the program is being used by xyz number of "users". If I understand correctly, its about "usage" .

Thus "who" the data is coming from means nothing to Logos Data mining, "what" is being done with Logos Software is the part that is important.  "What is being done, and, What is not being done" as far as usage of the product is the "data" Logos needs in order to make a better product and, that does affect, "me".

Therefore, I do not mind the data mining as long as:

It is not clogging my internet connection.

The Data mining is limited to my "usage" of said product.

Logos cannot be used ( no one can guarantee this ) as an entry point to hack my computer.

The data is not referenced to my account and sold to others that will e-mail/call me to sell other products.

Looking at the responses though, indicates to me that there needs to be a setting for " Updates and Upgrades only" while internet is connected.

As to the cloud: I can certainly see a lot of opportunities here. A cloud based library that could be accessed by membership ( like a net flicks ) could allow us access to many resources we would not nessesarily want to own, but just need to look at when doing research. This would be a wonderful option I would think , especially if one could "rent" access by the year, or the month, or week etc.

Imagine the whole of Logos resources is a searchable data base that we could access, when needed, but not taking up space when not needed. Imagine being able to "check out" a resource or set of resources that would "drop in"  to our software and tool system to be fully used while we needed it, then being able to "check it back in" when we were done with it. This would be perfect for things like the Perseus collection as well as many, many other books and collections.

Don't need or want to spend money and use up space on your computer for the Dead Sea Scrolls , some 17th century commentaries, 18th century lexicons , but then need them for a particular study/project- just check in to the Logos online library, check out  what you need, it fully functions within our software. When done, just "check it back in"  .

At any rate, I agree that things are going to be more and more cloud based in the future.

Again, people need options.

I appreciate Bob's open and honest information and that they are "Listening" to try and find ways to meet everyones needs and sensitivities.

Blessings all and, sorry this was soooo long.

 

Posts 757
Fr. Charles R. Matheny | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 9:29 PM

Dear Harry: If I may be so bold: I agree with your reaction as far as things stand right now, However, I "think" Bob is speaking of the future and of getting there " a bit at a time ". ( Not to put words in his mouth).

Here's the thing: We don't even think about electricity anymore, unless it's off- does not work.

We don't talk about it ( other than cost -smile ) at the water cooler, we don't e-mail about, we don't write letters about it, we simply do not even think about it unless there is suddenly an absence of it.

We come home at night, open the door, reach for the switch and expect the lights to come on. We don't reach for the switch hoping it will come on, we just do it, it's automatic.

We are conditioned to it being there, it's just part of life. We don't think about breathing, until some affects our breathing that changes it, same with electricity.

The internet is a baby compared to electricity and, like electricity of old, it is growing up.

It is an "immature" product/service and will not reach maturity until it gets to the point we no longer "think about it" unless something changes/fail's.

There is a day coming when everything will be so connected that the "Cloud" will simply be like electricity, or running water.

We won't be thinking about "is it on my computer or in the cloud" , we will not think about logging in and finding information, we will just ask for the information ( keyboard, finger swipe, speak - whatever) and it will be there, we will be startled when it's not.

Our refrigerator will defrost our food during the day so it's ready to be cooked, simply because we set up a menu, our oven will be pre-heated when we get home, Tv will come on when we walk in room with our shows already cued, lighting will automatically change color according to who is using the room, temps will adjust, water temps in shower will adjust for person and time of year ext, etc, etc and we won't even think about the internet, yet, thats where all things things will interface, talk to each other, about our whole day/week/month.

Logos and every other company making software will have to adjust and keep up with these changes and how the internet/cloud and people are interfacing.

Like you, I am often where I do not have a connection and need everything local to my device, yet, it will not be very many years before this is not the case. IMHO.

Blessings.

Posts 6724
Forum MVP
Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 9:33 PM

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:

Personally, I do not care if Logos gets all my keystrokes, preferences, books most often used, those used occasionally, those never used, what highlights are used, what searches are performed, what visual filters stay constant, which are not used, what layouts I use, create, never use, so forth and so.

Does not bother me a bit because , as I understand it, Logos is not concerned about MY usage, but instead , Logos is concerned with how LOGOS is being used. Therefore, (as far as data is concerned) it's not "me" the mining is about, but how the program is being used by xyz number of "users". If I understand correctly, its about "usage" .

Thus "who" the data is coming from means nothing to Logos Data mining, "what" is being done with Logos Software is the part that is important.  "What is being done, and, What is not being done" as far as usage of the product is the "data" Logos needs in order to make a better product and, that does affect, "me".

You summarized my thoughts. I have my feedback set to anonymous.

Lynden Williams Communications https://www.lyndenwilliams.net 

Posts 98
Joshua Coady | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 9:37 PM

tom:

Therefore, the SQL where statement that selected the records would have to include something like, "...AND USER_PREF = 1 AND NOTES.USERID = USER.ID".

Yes, this does add complexity, but it adds very little complexity IMHO.

Or, it could be that they are not even using a relational DB for this stuff. They could be using NoSQL or a hybrid or something else. Does Bob manage his Couch with a Futon, perhaps? Geeked

Posts 9146
LogosEmployee

Graham Owen:

I can turn off one of the items using a specific command, I can not currently disable the community ratings or tags and I can not disable any future options that may be introduced...

Bob covered this in his initial post:

 

Bob Pritchett:

We will be implementing a way to turn [community tags and ratings] off if you don't want to see this community info.

Community tags and ratings cannot be disabled right now, but we have listened to customer feedback and will implement a setting to turn them off in 5.0b. (As with any discussion of future product releases, it's possible that an unforeseen problem could push this feature out beyond 5.0b; however, as of the time of writing, it is planned for the 5.0b release.)

 

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 1:02 AM

Bradley Grainger (Logos):

Graham Owen:

I can turn off one of the items using a specific command, I can not currently disable the community ratings or tags and I can not disable any future options that may be introduced...

Bob covered this in his initial post:

 

Bob Pritchett:

We will be implementing a way to turn [community tags and ratings] off if you don't want to see this community info.

Community tags and ratings cannot be disabled right now, but we have listened to customer feedback and will implement a setting to turn them off in 5.0b. (As with any discussion of future product releases, it's possible that an unforeseen problem could push this feature out beyond 5.0b; however, as of the time of writing, it is planned for the 5.0b release.)

Thanks Bradley

I appreciate the fact that you are all working to fix these 'issues' the message you responded to was in response to a message that said I could already do disable them.

 

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 1281
toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 4 2012 1:32 AM

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. I used to be in the first camp, but when I looked at what Bob was saying, I have no objection to them improving the software for the million+ users they have:

Bob Pritchett:
These stats have led to actual improvements in our business and software

the software did improve, did it not?

Bob Pritchett:
We tracked what percentage of users were on what operating system. This helped us know when we could drop support for old versions of Windows or Mac OS X, affecting few users and allowing us to allocate resources to new work instead of old OS support.

There is absolutely no skin off my nose for LOGOS to know that I run Windows 7. I am glad that they drop support of legacy OS in order to innovate AND to make the software run better.

Bob Pritchett:
We tracked what percentage of users running the software each day had upgraded to a new version. It's useful to know when 80% of daily users are running Logos 5 -- we can stop promoting the upgrade so heavily. :-)

I am so glad they are doing it! It was such a pain to upgrade, or buy a resource they were "heavily" (HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT) promoting and continue to be nagged about it for weeks to come. Well done.

Bob Pritchett:
We tracked search queries. This is such a massive amount of info that the last time we decided to do some serious analysis on search queries we limited it to a single month. We sorted queries by frequency and looked to see how many used boolean operators, could not be parsed by the query engine, etc. We even just browsed them. (The document was a list of queries with counts -- no user identities.) From looking at a large aggregation of search queries we learned that boolean operators aren't used much, and were more likely to mess up a query than be used correctly. This led to the use of all-caps AND and OR as operators, reducing the chance that users would unintentionally include an "and" or "or" that messed up a query that was a phrase. We also saw people were searching for the names of holidays, like "Mothers' Day", which fed into our decision to develop the Preaching Themes database, which is used to tag resources -- and includes Mothers' Day and other holidays as themes.

what exactly are you opposed to from the privacy standpoint in the SPECIFIC tracking examples referenced by Bob? As a missionary, how am I in danger if LOGOS data-mines my usage in this way? I agree with Bob - most of the arguments on this thread are philosophical, not practical.

 

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