Looks like Zondervan bought themselves some Bible software...

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This post has 85 Replies | 6 Followers

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 8 2014 9:25 AM

Oh, I've no doubt OT's a nice product. Maybe pull Logos' chain a bit during contract talks. 

But in corporate-land, you have to deliver your division results.  Sell product with margin.  Quarterly. 

I just worry for the OT staff; having been in the executive ranks, pulling the plug is an accounting issue. Nothing more.

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

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 8 2014 9:36 AM

Mark Smith:
(Of course we have no access to their rationale...)

I think that maybe it becomes somewhat clear when you think about the one man who is behind HC, and what seems to be his determination to have a large presence/ownership in Christian publishing.

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

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 8 2014 10:30 AM

PL:

I love Olive Tree's Resource Guide -- fast, usable offline, clear and simple.  If only they have more robust commentaries available.

Peter

Well they have a fair selection including:

  • Anchor (87 Volumes)
  • New International Commentary on the Old/New Testament
  • Understanding the Bible (36 Volumes),
  • Word Biblical Commentary
  • MacArthur New Testament Commentary series
  • NIV Application
  • New International Greek Testament Commentary Series
  • Expositor’s Bible Commentary
  • Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Revised)
  • Preaching the Word Commentary
  • New American Commentary
  • Pillar New Testament Commentary
  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
  • Lenski's Commentary on the New Testament
  • United Bible Societies' New Testament Handbook Series
  • IVP New Testament Commentary Series (20 Volumes).
  • John Phillips Commentary Series (27 volumes)
  • Preacher's Commentary 35 Volume Series
  • Courson's Application Commentary (3 Volumes)
  • Thru the Bible Commentary, Volumes 1-5: Genesis through Revelation

So I think they have a fair amount available although of course nothing compared to Logos.

-Dan

Posts 1565
PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 8 2014 12:45 PM

Thanks Dan, I stand corrected.

Finding the funds to buy them is a different issue. :)

Posts 408
Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 1:19 AM

Geo Philips:

News like this makes me think more and more that Biblia.com (or its next iteration) is the future of Logos.

I know there is a lot of resistance to an always-online app but an offline/online app built on Web principles has a lot of benefits.

Agreed. Logos has lost me in mobile at the tablet level since I switched to the Venue 8 Pro.  I do have the desktop app installed, but for straight consumption and devotional study on the go, the Logos app for Metro pales in comparison to the OT Bible+ app. Android and iOS get the lion's share of mobile support from Logos...the Metro app has been orphaned.

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 6:16 AM

Look at LifeChurch, 40 million downloads with web only access. 

The most recent 10 million downloads have come since they started implementing offline resources.

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

Posts 2040
Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 12:42 PM

Hmm Look at all the entertainment available - both cheap and expensive "sollutions" available both in the Bible Study Software and the TV and rock-concert industries. If everyone else jumps off a cliff I won't though:

Paul Golder:
Look at LifeChurch, 40 million downloads with web only access. 

The most recent 10 million downloads have come since they started implementing offline resources.


Look at what OliveTree offers - have only the Logos software, then avoid those resources in Logos.

Disclosure!
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48G AMD octacore V9.2 Acc 11

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 1:07 PM

PL:

Thanks Dan, I stand corrected.

Finding the funds to buy them is a different issue. :)

I know that for sure... the one thing about OT I will say I like is often many of their resources go on sale on at a very deep discount. But there is always something else that would be nice to have... thankfully I have most all i need.

-Dan

Posts 2040
Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 1:18 PM

It's easy to lower the prices on the worst scholarship/theology.

Disclosure!
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48G AMD octacore V9.2 Acc 11

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 1:59 PM

lol I laugh because the last thing I got was New International Commentary for $600.... which i think is useful but many consider it the best commentary out there...

-Dan

Posts 2844
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 3:13 PM

Don Awalt:

What really seems to drive the Bible software market these days is content - people don't want to buy the same book multiple times, so it's hard to switch. You can bet the software companies like Logos know that. So if the Bible software market proves to be of a size that's worth going after for a new comer or an also-ran, the key is (1) good software (2) be able, both by license and through software, to convert existing resources to a new format. If you could move from software product A to B and take your resources, it's a new ball game.

Now this is a very daunting task and license issues most certainly prevent it today I would think, but none of these problems are insurmountable if money can be applied to the solution - money to influence publishers to modify licenses, and money for the technology team to convert resources. But this could happen if the market gets big enough - it has happened in quite a few software markets where the conversion challenges are much more substantial than in this market IMHO.

Until the next Supreme Court ruling on copyright. When some one convinces the nine that we bought the contents and not the format. And all the licenses prohibiting moving resources between programs are declared null and void. [[Yes, I know that that is wishful thinking]]

Posts 2089
Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 3:51 PM

David Ames:

Don Awalt:

What really seems to drive the Bible software market these days is content - people don't want to buy the same book multiple times, so it's hard to switch. You can bet the software companies like Logos know that. So if the Bible software market proves to be of a size that's worth going after for a new comer or an also-ran, the key is (1) good software (2) be able, both by license and through software, to convert existing resources to a new format. If you could move from software product A to B and take your resources, it's a new ball game.

Now this is a very daunting task and license issues most certainly prevent it today I would think, but none of these problems are insurmountable if money can be applied to the solution - money to influence publishers to modify licenses, and money for the technology team to convert resources. But this could happen if the market gets big enough - it has happened in quite a few software markets where the conversion challenges are much more substantial than in this market IMHO.

Until the next Supreme Court ruling on copyright. When some one convinces the nine that we bought the contents and not the format. And all the licenses prohibiting moving resources between programs are declared null and void. [[Yes, I know that that is wishful thinking]]

Some bible software do allow deep discounts on books that you already own with a competitor with proof.

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 9 2014 4:31 PM

Randy W. Sims:
Some bible software do allow deep discounts on books that you already own with a competitor with proof.

This seems to happen less and less. Crossgrades are nice but they happen when a company negotiates it with the publishers. I know a few inquires we made to Accordance on if the New Interpreter's Bible will have a crossgrade price for those owning it already in Abingdon CDROM format. We were told they would inquire but had no idea if Abingdon would approve it. The crossgrades typically happen when a software is retired and a successor is arranged by the publisher. There is nothing in it for the publisher expect good will to costumers and possibly lack of legal responsibility for software maintenance (assuming one could argue they are responsible for providing fixes for software for a certain period of time). 

-Dan

Posts 1721
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 10 2014 11:26 AM

David Paul:
if Zondervan pulls its stable from Logos

The same day this deal was announced we finalized terms to get even more HarperCollins content into Logos. 

We have a great relationship with the HCCP (HarperCollins Christian Publishing = Zondervan + Thomas Nelson) team, and expect to continue to offer their great content. I think it's smart for publishers to build direct-to-consumer relationships, and I think this is part of HC's plans to improve in that area. I also think that publishing will continue to be a multi-channel, multi-customer business, and that HC understands that well. 

My biggest disappointment about HCCP buying Olive Tree is that I probably won't be seeing Drew at industry events anymore; I always enjoy hanging out with him. :-)

--- Bob

Posts 1721
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 10 2014 11:45 AM

Don Awalt:
While I love Logos, I grow very tired of the lack of attention of so many usability things

You are right -- we need to keep paying attention to the core user experience. We are working on improvements to a lot of features we haven't touched in a while, for upcoming releases. I'm sorry about some of the little details escaping attention in new features; we'll give them another review.

Don Awalt:
I also grow tired of the lack of transparency by Logos on their plans

You're right: we've been burned so many times by announcing things and then being unable to hit the date, or meet the raised expectations. We have found it better to just work quietly on new things and then release them.

The other problem is just size and information visibility. There was a day when I knew the status of every pre-pub off the top of my head, because we only did one or two a month. Today we're working on a goal of 10,000 new volumes per year, and between our staff and our contractor, there are over 900 people involved in book production. (And this summer, with interns, there will be 130+ software developers.) While what you want to know is known to the organization, the Logos employees who spend their time in the forums don't always have immediate access -- or even know where to find the information. And the time and distraction to hunt down 'What's the status of this book / bug / feature?' is very expensive. And even then the answer could be something that changes: a crisis or new priority could take precedence, and make that status update or delivery prediction wrong.

'Communication' is the biggest problem in every organization. And it's not easily solved, because it's always a compromise. The technology exists for me to read everyone's email, view every case in the bug-tracking database, and see all the databases. But there are 400 people processing 50-200 emails a day, each. So managers get summary reports, which they summarize for their managers, etc. I get a big picture view: 150 books will be posted this week. Yes, I can ask for and get the list. I may even be able to get next week's list -- but now that's 300 titles! And what I get asked in the forums is "When is Book X going to ship?" Well, that's in a database (that I don't use -- I get summary reports), and even if I did consult it, it might say "Status: Waiting for Contract". And the actual details of the waiting could be with one individual, who knows that they emailed the publisher Tuesday, but that the publisher's permissions person is on vacation until next Wednesday, and so they're just waiting for the response, etc. 

You can accuse us of bad systems or management all you want, but I don't think there's a good solution to these problems that doesn't cost far more in productivity than the value returned. Because answering that question is next to impossible: the publisher's permissions person might be back Wednesday, but might take a week to dig out of their email -- we don't know! -- and even if we did know, and did tell you, it doesn't do anything to change the result, except slow it down by using staff time to answer the questions / send emails / create reports (and read them!).

If you've got a better solution, I'm open to hearing it. We try to be as transparent as we can, and I generally answer questions I do know the answer to. I just don't want to invest in hunting down all the answers to what are essentially "When will this happen?" questions, for these reasons.

Posts 826
JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 10 2014 12:39 PM

Bob Pritchett:

... "When is Book X going to ship?" Well, that's in a database ..."Status: Waiting for Contract"...

Why not make that status available to the public on the product page?  It sounds like it is a simple summary w/o details which would give people more information than the murky and indistinct, "Under Development".

JRS has left the building.

Posts 1956
Donovan R. Palmer | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 6:22 AM

Don Awalt:
While I love Logos, I grow very tired of the lack of attention of so many usability things (my personal pet peeves these days are the long-standing lack of attention on Personal Books, Info Pane is unusable, Notes needs more attention, and searching My Content is as sophisticated as Google in 1996; but there are others).

Not discounting anything you are saying, but at least as a Mac user, as much as I would like to see some of this stuff done (i.e. improvement of interoperability of notes with the mobile platforms, syncing PBs to devices, clippings on mobile devices, more enhancements to tag management), I thought things had steadily improved.  I have far fewer crashes and a lot of the UI sloppiness is gone.  If the forums are anything to judge, there are a lot less bug reports than we saw during the Logos 4 Mac days.

Yet, if there are specific things are you are waiting for, it can be hoped deferred. I am in this huge quandary myself of what to do since Galaxie journals left.  I have been using them again this week and realising that I do hope Logos has an ace card up their sleeve on this. I had to buy content on another platform!

Posts 855
Ron Corbett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 6:51 AM

Bob Pritchett:
We have a great relationship with the HCCP (HarperCollins Christian Publishing = Zondervan + Thomas Nelson) team, and expect to continue to offer their great content.

Thanks for weighing in on this. It is reassuring to know that there is no time limit on acquiring additional Zondervan titles. [Now if we can get Moody titles back on board ... - I was hoping that maybe Resurrection Day 2014 would have been a good time for such an announcement. But, alas!]

May all who read these posts pray for wisdom and grace upon Logos and you and your loved ones. Yes

BTW - I don't agree that the NOTES feature needs a great deal of attention. Yes, a few tweaks, but Logos is a Bible program and not a desktop publishing program. I would rather see Logos put their time and energies into program improvements and resources. Things like improving search features, making Logos more intuitive, continuing to increase speed and expand current features is of greater value to me.  

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 7:22 AM

Okay!  

Logos needs to concentrate on notes somewhere between tweaks and great attention.  Should user improvement preference reflect a binomial probability distribution or one more normal distribution?

Myself, I always recommend Logos forget what other users need since they're not right.

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

Posts 5423
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 8:43 AM

Denise:

Myself, I always recommend Logos Libronix -- forget what other users need since they're not right.

Denise, there was a minor (well, okay...major) oversight in your post...but don't worry--I fixed it for you. Smile

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