RSS in Plain English

If you keep hearing theacronym “RSS” while waiting in vain for a clear explanation of RSS in non-geek terms…wait no longer.

This video from The Common Craft Show explains the concept simply and memorably.

For a detailed video tutorial on how to set up Google Reader as your RSS reader, see Getting Started with Google Reader.

Why should you care about RSS? Because it’s a convenient way to receive information on topics that interest you. Things like the latest prepubs and community pricing titles from Logos, or the latest thoughts on the mind of Bob Pritchett, for example. For a list of all the Logos-related RSS feeds you can subscribe to, see Logos and RSS.

Via: Worlds Apart

With Whom Am I Speaking?

Guest blogger Mark VanDyke, formerly a Logos support rep,works in the marketing department at Logos.

carmen

Carmen Cazares-Tovar (Spanish Support) in action.

Whenever I speak with a customer service representative over the phone I can’t help but wonder…where on earth is this person? What are their working conditions like? Have they seen the light of day in the past 48 hours?

Then it hit me. People who call Logos’ customer support linemight be wondering the same thing.

For starters, Logos has three types of customer service reps: Spanish support representatives, customer support (or CS) representatives and technical support reps. CS reps are on the front lines of the Logos support team. That’s who you’ll be talking with if you need help with basic program operations like installation or product activation. If a call requires advanced intervention it will be forwarded to a technical support rep.

There are currently 27 people working in the customer support department. While many companies’ call centers resemble Industrial Revolution sweatshops, the Logos Customer Support staff actually has some of the best offices in the entire company. In addition to the charming decor and natural light their workspace features a ping pong table and copious amounts of nerf darts (which, of course, accompany the 2 or 3 nerf guns in circulation).

If you end up contacting Logos customer support, here are just a few of the people who you might be on the other end of your call.

sarah_elizabeth_mark_adam

From Left to Right Sarah Swier (Technical Support), Elizabeth Borries (CS), Mark French (Technical Support) and Adam Borries (CS).

shake'n'bake

Mike Bryant (Technical Support) and Luc Button (CS) also known around customer support as Shake’n’Bake, respectively.

tara

Tara Everret (Customer Support) has the best view in the house.

The Logos customer support staff will tell anyone that we have the greatest customers in the world – and our customers have a lot of great things to say about them too…

“I want to tell you what a wonderful experience it was to deal with your customer service. I worked with two women who were polite, patient, kind, calm…. list goes on. (The process) was very simple because they made it that way.”–Karen from Precept Ministries

And

“I’ve had a chance to interact three times with Logos support, and they have been immediately helpful and pleasant to deal with. Anyone who has ever tried tech support for some other product knows what a big deal this is. The staff there genuinely seems to love both their product and the customers. Could it be an act? Sure…But I’m willing to believe the illusion, aren’t you?”–Brian,Dluxe’s World

It takes a certain type of person to enjoy solving software issues for 40 hours each week. Is it the chic office or the ping-pong that keep the Logos CS reps going? We asked Jerry Godfrey, Manager of Customer Support, who explains,

“When I’m being served as a customer there is no better feeling than receiving great service, and being treated with care and respect. Here at Logos we constantly work to help all of our customers as well as we possibly can. I really enjoy being a part of a team that truly enjoys making our customers happy and satisfied.”

Bible Study Bus Rollin’ Through the Bayou

Landon Nortonfiles this brief from the Bible Study Bus. View more road trip photos at Flickror readprevious posts from the trip.

Hello Logos blog readers…and greetings from the Handing off the keysBible Study Bus!!

The Bible Study Bus Road Trip: America has entered into its 3rd month and after taking the reins from Bob, the Norton Four (my wife Krissy and I together with our nearly 3-year-oldTaylor and 11-month-old Nicholas), began presenting Logos Bible Softwareat churches across Arkansas – Razorback Nation!

This year,ouraccommodations havebeen mostly KOA campgrounds, which have been really great – family friendly and fun. That’s not to say we had too much time to play. Logos on the RadioWith 5 Road Trip stops the first week and radio interviews in Little Rock, our time was filled pretty quickly.

People have no idea what to expect when they show up at the church. It’s great to see their face when these Bible study tools go into action right before their eyes. I’ve been telling radio listeners to bring two pairs of socks to the presentation – because they will have one pair blown off!

The Bus rolled through the Bayou State this past week, stopping in Lake Charles for a few days and the weekend here in Lafayette. Landon at the GrillWe had a little more time for fun this week and made the most of it. After having the RV worked on for regular maintenance (insert toll booth joke here), we hit the barbecue, the pool and a few local points of interest.

During one event here, we had more Spanish-speaking people show up than English-speaking and I had to have an interpreter repeat my entire presentation on the fly. It was really neat!

On Saturday, WSJY, the AFR station in Lafayette had their big fundraiser the day after our event – it’s called AFR car and Logos RVFreedom Fest. We pulled the Bus in and had a great time celebrating our freedom in Christ with people in the great Acadian region of Louisiana – even Bob and Larry showed up!

This week we head into Mississippi as we make our jaunt northward for a few days before going into the end-run of our month-long leg.

I hope to make some more time to write, but honestly, folks, most days I live on airplanes, shuttles and rental cars. Having my kids here to play with each night…let’s just say I love making ‘Father Time’ a major part of this awesome endeavor.

Blessings from the Bus Crew!Landon, Krissy, Taylor and Nicholas

Veggie TalesWater slide

What people say the Bible says about…

OpenBible.info just launched a new topical Bible service that is steeped in crowdsourcing-mashup-web-2.0 goodness. Since I just blogged about the “old school”What the Bible Says About… service from Logos I thought I’d give this upstart service a mini-review.

You can try it out:OpenBible.info Topical Bible

Here’s how it works: The developerscompiled a topic list using Yahoo! Related Suggestions, then searched Yahoo! for the most relevant web pages about each topic, then pulled any Bible references from those pages. So what you end up with is a list of Bible verses that are most closely associated with a particular topic across the web.

The label next to the “find” box says, “What does the Bible say about…” But I think it’s a stretchto say this service helps you find out what the Bible says about a topic. It would be more accurate to say you’re finding out what people say the Bible says about a topic. Or maybe what people say about the Bible when speaking about a topic. And by people I mean “the people.” The OpenBible.info project is truly trusting in the wisdom of crowds.

Admittedly, any topical indexto the Bible involves editorial decisions and inferences. Orville James Nave (1841-1917), who spent 14 yearsworking on his project to”…note and classify everything found in the Scriptures”, certainly did not work in a vacuum. (The New Nave’s Topical Bible used at What the Bible Says About and available inside Logos Bible Software is a revision of Orville Nave’s classic work.) But he was methodical, thoroughand consistent in his appproach to the task.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I do think there’s value to a service like the OpenBible Topical Bible.

What I like about it:

  1. It offers current topics. If you want to find out what people say the Bible says about Harry Potter…you can.
  2. It offers a constantly-growing list of topics. If you enter a topic that’s new to the database, the topic is added and you’ll get some initial results after a few moments of waiting for the server to do its work. I entered “Iraq War”, which was brand new to the database.
  3. It offers a constantly-improving data set. The Helpful/Not Helpful buttons by each Bible verse or passage allow me to help fine tune the results, while the Suggest a Verse box lets me associate a verse to my topic.

Suggestions:

  1. Allow the user to associate a new topic with an existing topic. I found later that “War” (of course) and “The War in Iraq” are both existing topics. Before adding “Iraq War” as a new entity, the service could ask, “Did you really mean ‘The War in Iraq’?” and learn from my response. In this way, I would be training the database to understand that the two terms mean the same thing.
  2. I don’t know what method the Topical Bible service uses to identify Bible verses onweb pages, but it seems to me such an undertaking is fraught with perils. Sean Boisen has raised some good questions about this in the context of counting Scripture references in blog posts. Since the web is full of unruly data (unlike the carefully tagged bookswe work on here at Logos) the only solutions seem to be a) push people to adopt something like Bible reference microformat standards or b) develop ever-smarter verse extraction routines.

All in all this is a pretty cool service and I’m sure we’ll see more like it in the days to come.

What the Bible says about…

Did you know about the free service offered by Logos that lets Internet users find out what the Bible says about a topic? And did you know you could host this free topical lookup on your own site?

The URL is http://wbsa.logos.comand here’s what it looks like:

Enter topic, click “Search!” When you click through on a result, you’ll see a list of Bible verses linked to Bible Gateway so you can read verses in the Bible version of your choice. I searched on riches, which alsowildcard-matches ostriches.

Who knew the Bible had so much to say about ostriches? Even a quick survey of these 12 verses shows some difference of opinion among translators as to whether the animal named is an owl or an ostrich. And there’s a strong association between jackals and ostriches/owls as inhabitants of desolate places.

I hinted at the beginning of the post that you could put this lookup on your own site, and you can! Just paste this code into your site:

<iframe frameborder=0 src=”http://wbsa.logos.com/module.htm” width=540 height=138></iframe>

The resultlooks something like this:

FamilyLife Today (Logos on the Airwaves 3)

Part 1 | Part 2

Just about a year ago, Scott Lindsey sat down with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine and recorded an interview that aired over two days on the FamilyLife Today national radio show. That week,a number of us got a call from mom who was excited to hear Logos on the radio!

We, too,were thrilled that they so clearly saw the value of Logos that they would devote two half-hour shows to Bible software! It’s fun to hearDennis and Bob’sexcitement as they run searches in Logos Bible Software and discuss whatthe softwarecan mean for family Bible study…and the part it’s alreadyplaying in their own families.

Midway through the first segment, Bob Lepinetells a story about his 14-year-old son asking about the word that gets translated as rubbish when Paul says he counts everything as rubbish compared to the glory of knowing Christ. His son’s teacher had hinted that the word might mean something more than rubbish, and Bob was able to answer his question thanks to Logos. As he tells it,

So we…popped up Logos, and we pulled up that verse, and we found it, and I right-clicked on my mouse, I pulled up the Strong’s Concordance – right there was a wealth of information about that word, its usage, and we were able to study the Bible together. It was wonderful, and it was something that I’m picturing, again, 15 years ago, a father and a son having that conversation, and the dad going, “I don’t have a clue, son.”

Scott Lindseyalso shares a story about ayoung man whoattended one of Scott’s presentations and asked his mom for Bible software instead of an Xbox for Christmas! It’s enough to make any parent get a lump in the throat.

Enjoy the radio shows…and if you have a friend or family member who should hear this, be sure to send them a link! (You can use this shortened URL which won’t break if you send it in an email: http://snipurl.com/Logos_FamilyLife)

FamilyLife Today radio shows

A Library at the Tip of Your Fingers(Day 1 | 25 minutes)

Now Bible College Comes to You (Day 2 | 25 minutes)

Download Free Vocabulary Lists

If you are teaching yourself Greek or Hebrew or simply trying to keep your skills sharp, you may want to check out these freevocabulary lists that can be downloaded and opened within Logos Bible Software 3:

Vocabulary Lists for Popular Grammars

We’ve built vocab lists built around 11 Greek grammars, 6 Hebrew grammars and 2 Aramaic grammars. Some of these grammars are available for Logos Bible Software; some aren’t.

I was particularly excited to see a vocabulary list for Athenaze, the grammar I used when learning classical Greek at Hope College.

As you can see, the vocabulary words are given in the same order as they appear in the grammar, following the lessons or chapters and part-of-speech divisions. You can edit the glosses and words provided, delete an entry in the list (words you already know, perhaps?), and re-sort the entries.

Tip: To manually move a vocab word up or down the list, click and drag it. To delete a word, click it once and hit the Delete key.

Another cool thing is that you can print these vocab lists to make flash cards! So whether you’re starting out on the adventure of learning a biblical language—or want to make sure your skills don’t rust over the summer—take advantage of this freebie and give your studies a boost!

See also:

How-To: Make a Vocabulary Guide with Word Frequencies

How come I don’t have the Vocabulary Lists feature? Vocabulary Lists are part of the Original Languages Addin, included in the following Logos 3 collections: Original Languages Library, Scholar’s Library, Scholar’s Library: Silver, and Scholar’s Library: Gold. If you own the Original Languages Addin as part of an older collection but have not updated to Libronix DLS v3.0 or greater, you can get Vocabulary Lists for free: open Libronix DLS and click Tools | Libronix Update. If you own a collection like Bible Study Library or don’t own a base collection, you can get the Original Languages Addin by upgrading to a Logos 3 collection that includes the addin or purchasing it individually.

Teaming Up with AFR (Logos on the Airwaves 2)

Part 1 | Part 3

A cool thing about partnering up with American Family Radio for the Bible Study Bus road trip this year is that AFR has about a billion radio stations nationwide. So they’ve been able to promote the events with radio spots sprinkled throughout their normal programming in every city we visit.

That means hundreds of thousands of peopleacross the country are hearingabout Logos Bible Software this summer. And it might sound something like this…

Bible Study Bus (mp3 | 60 seconds)

Or far more entertaining, this…

Harry and Margaret (mp3 | 60 seconds)

Bible Study Bus is Not in Kansas Anymore

The Bible Study Bus rolls on…and we keep hearing good thingsfrom those who attend. An attendee/organizer from Kansas sent this email after the Bus visited her church in late May:

Landon,

The Bible Study Bus event was a success! We had between 40 and 50 people there, which I thought was good considering the majority were not from our church.I was really excited because I had sent a media alert to our local TV stations and one of them actually came and interviewed Bob and took pictures of the bus. It was featured on the news last night.

The presentation was awesome!I was impressed with how intuitive the Bible study software is. I suggested to Bob that he go back to work for Microsoft and make Word and Project more user friendly, too :) One of my favorite features is the ability to see flowcharts of the relationships between everyone in the Bible. I can never keep track of who knew who.

Please thank everyone for bringing the Bible Study Bus to Topeka. It was a terrific experience!

Thanks!

Wendy

Sure enough, channel 13 reported that “A big green tour bus cruised the streets of Topeka.” Big and green don’t quite do it justice, somehow…

Mark Goodacre is Coming to Town

Guest blogger Mark VanDyke provides some details on Monday’s lecture event…

The next Lecture Series event is just around the corner!


On Monday, June 11 Logos will welcome Dr. Mark Goodacre to Bellingham, Washington. Dr. Goodacre hails from Duke University where he teaches in the Department of Religion. The lecture, titled “Did the Jews of Jesus’ Day Expect the Messiah?”, will begin at 7:00 PM at the Mount Baker Theatre in downtown Bellingham.


It is popularly assumed that the Judaism of Jesus’ day had a clear, well-defined expectation of a Messiah figure whom God would send to liberate them with military might. It is then assumed that early Christians, and perhaps Jesus himself, revised this expectation and proclaimed a different kind of Messiah, one who was to suffer. But how accurate is this picture? Does it explain the evidence found in the Hebrew Scriptures, early Jewish texts and the New Testament? Or should we instead think of a great variety of expectations, as many scholars argue? In this lecture, Dr. Goodacre will revisit the term “Messiah” and explore evidence that it was used as a synonym for a new Davidic “king” or “ruler”. Dr. Goodacre also asserts that when the first Christians called Jesus “Messiah”, they were speaking not only about past events and present beliefs, but also about his future return as king.


Dr. Goodacre not only teaches at one of the world’s top universities but he also maintains one of the web’s best sites on New Testament studies. New Testament Gateway is a web directory of internet resources that is updated each day with blog posts, new information and discussion on anything relating to the New Testament. Dr. Goodacre’s blog is written for an academic audience but his lecture will be geared towards a wide range of people.


So far, the Lecture Series has been a major success. Attendees have been impressed not only by the quality scholarship on display at the events but also by the direct application that can be derived from each lecture. As a matter of fact, the lectures have been so good that a few employees at the Mount Baker Theatre have shown interest in attending when they aren’t “on duty”.


Once again, here are the event details:



  • Date: Monday, June 11
  • Location: Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, Washington
  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Topic: Did the Jews of Jesus’ Day Expect the Messiah?
  • Admission: Free!

We look forward to this event being another resounding success and, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, we hope to see you there!


Update 6/7: Mark shares additional details about the upcoming lecture on NTGateway Weblog.

Update 6/11: Follow Mark’s journeys in the Pacific Northwest: Travel Diary: Bellingham, WA