When I explain what an incredible tool Logos Bible Software is for everyone who studies the Bible, I am inevitably asked, “Have you considered using your platform for other kinds of books?”
The answer is yes, we have. But for many reasons we have not expanded beyond the disciplines of biblical and theological studies. When Logos was a desktop-only platform we weren’t sure there was enough digital content—or enough interest—to justify a desktop platform for other fields. Our tools were highly specialized for biblical content, and we were overwhelmed just meeting the pressing, obvious needs of our core market.
But things have changed. Logos is no longer just a desktop software package. Logos is a multi-platform ecosystem for working with electronic texts, which our users employ in different ways. Some work exclusively on the web, some on mobile devices, whereas others use all our interfaces, depending on whether they’re reading, studying, or writing. We’ve listened to our customers and expanded our library to more than 35,000 titles, ranging from ancient texts to reference works to novels. In the process, we’ve built a tool set that’s appropriate for every kind of text-based content. Continue Reading…
They may be hiding—in your church, school, or neighborhood.
In communities around the world, brilliant software developers are quietly going about their business, writing great code, building cool websites, and sighing as they fix their friends’ computers.
The best developers often aren’t looking for a job, so they need someone like you to tell them about even better opportunities.
You’d be doing them a favor. Because awesome software developers enjoy working for awesome companies. Great technical minds prefer working at companies with strong technical leadership, where the standards are high, where they work with talented peers, and where they write code with a purpose, building tools used by more than a million people around the world. Companies heavy on fun and light on bureaucracy.
Refer a software developer to Logos, and if we hire them we’ll give you a $2,000 Logos credit. (One referral award per hire, to first person to refer the person we hire, disputes settled by asking the new hire, etc.)
We are hiring software developers at our headquarters in Bellingham, Washington, as well as our satellite development office in Tempe, Arizona, near Phoenix. New hires can choose their location.
We confess: we have high standards. We hire only a small percentage of candidates who apply. But we believe that Bible study is the highest use of your computer, and that the tools we develop to support it must be world-class. We need the best and brightest.
Where are these people? Maybe in your church. Maybe preparing to graduate in computer science at the local college. Maybe your friend’s smart kid who works at Google / Microsoft / Amazon / Facebook.
Bible study is about connection. The Bible connects us to the very words of God, and to study it is to make connections: between facts and feelings, texts and commentators, hearts and minds, ourselves and God and one another.
Logos Bible Software 5 is a significant update that is all about connection. Logos 5 connects the people, places, things, events, topics, and themes of the Bible with new and expanded databases. It is completely integrated with Faithlife, an online network for connecting your faith community, where you can share biblical insights, maintain a group prayer list, or read the Bible (or any book in your Logos library) in community with others. Logos 5 features new guides and tools for connecting the dots in your Bible study.
Experts have spent more than three years writing, editing, and tagging our unique databases of Bible knowledge. Dozens of books have been thoroughly tagged with special metadata about Bible outlines, preaching themes, historical events and Bible facts. Every original language word in the Bible has been reanalyzed and connected to new databases, while staying connected to modern translations. We have created nearly a million connections between our data elements and Bible verses.
All this connection is toward one end: helping you do more and better Bible study.
And, conveniently, all this connection makes that easier than ever before. In addition to powerful new tools for sermon preparation and topical study, Logos 5 contains many small updates and improvements that streamline your study. Logos 5 quickly becomes a transparent tool that gets all the overhead out of the way, so you can get connected to the Word.
We stopped making Logos 3 / Libronix editions of new resources on January 1, but we neglected to give any advance warning about this change, and it surprised some of our users.
I am sorry; it was my fault. I authorized the change in process but didn’t think about the need to communicate the change to all of you with plenty of advance notice.
We’re going to make it right. We’re going back and creating Logos 3 editions of resources we’ve already shipped in 2012, and we will continue to make Logos 3 editions of new releases through March (except where a resource requires Logos 4-specific functionality).
New products released after March, 2012 will only be made available for Logos 4.
April will be two years and five months after the release of Logos 4, and more than 11 years after the first release of the Libronix platform used by Logos 3. We’re flattered that some users still like Logos 3 and find it useful. And the good news is that it still runs, and should for the foreseeable future. Installing Logos 4 doesn’t disable Logos 3, and we’re not retroactively removing anything.
Logos 3 / Libronix support articles have moved to an archive on Logos.com, to avoid confusing the majority of our user base which only uses Logos 4. Post-purchase email download instructions will continue to reference Logos 3 until March 31, and existing Logos 3 ebook files will still be available online through the “Orders” tab of your Logos.com/MyAccount page.
We want to be efficient in our use of resources; building new products for the old platform takes time and money we’d rather put into forward-looking development.
But we understand that some users had placed pre-orders or made purchases with the expectation that they could use those resources with Logos 3, and we want to honor that expectation.
New content released since January 1, including Pre-Pubs, will be available for you Friday, January 27. You can unlock and download these files from the “Orders” tab in your account after next Friday.
I apologize for any confusion and frustration we have caused you.
Logos Bible Software has hired some great software developers in the past year, but we still need more!
Earlier this year we offered a $1,000 Logos credit to anyone who referred us a programmer we hired. We’re happy to extend that offer, and hope lots of you will take us up on it.
We believe that Bellingham, Washington is one of the country’s greatest places to live, and we’ve gone to great lengths to make our office here a Best Workplace. But sometimes moving to Bellingham isn’t possible for everyone.
So in January we’re opening a development office in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Different weather, different community size, and more people who can join our team without having to move!
(Why Phoenix? To start with, we have direct flights from Bellingham’s easy, little airport to the easy, little Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport. And then there’s the sun, which apparently spends the winter in Arizona so we will appreciate Bellingham’s glorious summers all the more. . . .)
So now it doesn’t matter if you want a big town or small town, a large office or a small group of co-workers, waterfront living or a desert paradise. If you’re a software developer who wants to serve the church and the world, we’re the place to be—in two places!
The number one obstacle to improving Logos Bible Software is a shortage of awesome software developers. We have desks, chairs, computers, and money to meet payroll. We have a list of projects longer than your arm. We have free coffee and a new employee outdoor center. What we don’t have is enough people.
Almost 20 years ago we started Logos Bible Software with the idea of building a tool to help people study the Bible. Over the years Logos has grown from two programmers in a basement with one idea to 200 people offering 10,000 resources for Bible study.
As you can imagine, our mission has changed along the way, too. Today it reads:
To help more people do more and better Bible study.
Okay, so the mission hasn’t changed much; we added some adjectives. We have spent a lot of time on the plan of execution, though, and I thought I should share it with you so you can understand what we’re doing, what we’re going to be doing, and why.
First, the fundamentals:
Logos is all about Bible study. We’ve released software, a paper magazine, and video training materials. We host a conference. We’re on multiple technology platforms. We’re on the desktop and on the web. How does everything fit together? It’s all about Bible study.
Logos leverages technology. We choose projects that leverage our technology expertise. Even if a project isn’t software, you can be sure our decision to do it was based on leveraging technology. Of course technology isn’t essential to Bible study; it’s just our particular skill, and a place where we can serve well. We’re following centuries of non-technology-based Bible study tools, and many organizations serve that need well already.
Logos harnesses the network effect. Each e-book we add to our system is extensively tagged and linked to all the others. The scholarly translations and databases we build are both made with and delivered inside our software; the books and articles we commission build on content we offer and help users go deeper with our tools.
Logos is easy. The real work of Bible study is inside the student. We just provide tools and resources, so we need to focus on equipping without obstructing. The easier we make it to get into Bible study, the more people we can encourage to do it. The easier the tools, the more likely people can do better study. Easy means excellent user interface. Easy means elegant design that engages the student. Easy means fantastic customer service so a technical problem or misunderstanding doesn’t get in the way of getting into the Word.
Now, the plan:
Access. An internal joke at Logos goes “If it isn’t in the Passage Guide, it doesn’t exist,” because resources aren’t useful if you can’t find them. Logos Bible Software makes it easy to access the resources in your library when and where you need them. Our “one license, any platform” philosophy means you can access your content on Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, smart phone, and the web. We plan to offer even more interfaces in the future. We are planning task-specific mobile applications that connect to your library and web sites tailored to specific data sets.
Your Logos.com account will let you access your content (and documents you create) wherever you are, with whatever interface you need.
Content. We are planning more content for Bible study. Our scholarlytranslations and databases already make it easier to study the Bible in Greek and Hebrew; our visual resources are an aid in understanding and teaching others. Behind the scenes, we are building metadata that links content together and improves discoverability. An extensive set of tools lets you create your own content, too, ranging from notes to highlights to sentence diagrams. Synchronization with your Logos.com account connects your content to you, not a specific device.
Community. We study, learn, teach, and share in community with others. We are planning new ways to connect with others around Bible study. We will have ways to collaborate on documents, aids to studying in a group, and tools that help you share the fruit of your study with others. You will be able to link your Logos.com account to multiple groups and choose what you share with the communities important to you. And because we know that Logos Bible Software is itself part of a larger community, we plan new ways to connect our tools with the work of others.
Access, content, and community are interwoven; each both enables and is enabled by the other two. The connection point is your Logos.com account. Already this single login manages your content on multiple platforms and identifies you in communities like the Logos Forums and Sermons.Logos.com. In the future it will be even more valuable. (Is your profile filled in?)
How will this master plan be manifested?
That’s the exciting part: we are going to find out together.
We have some ideas, though, and you can see them starting to come together.
Books.Logos.com shows a content-specific search interface for scanned books from a seminary library. (We plan to link Logos Bible Software 4 to this site in the future.)
Sermons.Logos.com shows how community-created content can be shared with new users on the Internet and (through a section in the Passage Guide) inside Logos Bible Software.
Biblia.com is an alternate interface to most of the content in your digital library that is easy to use over the web. For some users it may be all they need for simple Bible reading; for others it’s a way to check a book when they aren’t at their own computer.
Topics.Logos.com exposes the Logos Controlled Vocabulary to everyone, and lets users contribute web links and share reading lists that will automatically show up in Logos 4.
Almanac.Logos.com lets our community of users search and edit a growing database of information on the Christian world (particularly seminaries, at this point). This database provides a platform for connecting users by school, organization, denomination, and area of interest.
Api.Biblia.com offers the power of Logos Bible Software to other web sites, enabling mashups and creative ideas we never imagined.
And we’re not done. There are new projects coming, and we are experimenting and learning as we go. We need to hear from you about what you need, and your ideas about how we can serve and connect more people who want – who need! – to study the Bible.
I am excited about our “master plan,” and thrilled that we get to play this small part in The Master’s Plan. Thanks for sharing in it with us!
We sure have; Logos 4 for Mac has been in Alpha all year long, yet thousands of users have already made the switch. Undeterred by theft or theft, our Mac team has been putting out new Alpha releases every two weeks. And today I’m happy to announce we’ve hit Beta!
Logos 4 for Mac is working well, and we have most features of Logos 4 for Windows up and running on the Mac. (And in some cases running twice as fast!) Beta means we’re confident you can install Logos 4 for Mac and join the thousands already using it as their primary Bible study tool. The developers will be focusing on your feedback, fixing bugs as they are reported, and polishing the user interface.
Then we’ll add the minor missing features and make sure we’re in sync with the 4.1 features already in beta on the Windows side. Moving forward, our goal is simultaneous release of new features on Mac and Windows, and a seamless cross-platform experience for all your books and data: Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and even the web.
To report bugs or get help, be sure to check out our forums, where you’ll find a strong user community and many of our developers hanging-out.
I hope you’ll join me in thanking our development team for their hard work and long hours. They’ve done an amazing job catching up to decades of Windows development in a very short time. And thank you for your patience; I trust you will find the result a blessing and an aid in more and better Bible study!
If you are interested in the beta for yourself, you can buy a Logos 4 base package, upgrade to Logos 4, or download the free beta and try it out. You’re going to be glad you did!