The Art of Divine Twittering

ref.lyHow many Twitter followers do you have? Five? Twenty-five? One thousand!? Think about how many of those followers are walking through any number of the difficulties that life tends to toss our way. Consider how many of them just need to hear some encouragement. Maybe today would be a good time to send out a favorite, encouraging scripture or two. Perhaps you have a verse which has so inspired you it has become your life-verse and is the kind of support that someone might need today. Ref.ly was created to meet such a need.

With ref.ly you can provide a short link to that verse that has been on your mind and send followers directly to that passage at Bible.Logos.com.

[Read more...]

Keeping the Word before Me

While I try to keep God’s Word in my heart and mind on a regular basis, I must say that among email, work projects, family, Facebook, Twitter . . . my heart and mind tend to stray a little. That’s why I’m excited about the new project we’re launching today.

Today we are announcing the launch of 7 new Twitter accounts that are designed to help you take a moment in your day and meditate on God’s word.

We set the accounts up about a couple week ago to run them through some testing, and I’ve been following them in my personal twitter account. It has been really encouraging to glance over at my feed throughout the day and see a simple reminder of who God is and who I am in Christ.

We hope that these accounts will be a blessing to all you Twitter users and that, amongst the endless chatter of Twitter, you will stop for a moment focus your heart and mind on God’s Word.

[Read more...]

GOD’S WORD Translation Now on Bible.Logos.com

GOD'S WORD

We’re constantly expanding our offerings at Bible.Logos.com. If you’ve been watching closely, you might have noticed the addition of the GOD’S WORD translation to Bible.Logos.com—which also means you can link to GOD’S WORD using Ref.ly and RefTagger.

What is the GOD’S WORD translation? This new translation renders the best available texts into readable English with the closest possible accuracy. This commitment to accurately translating the Bible includes expressing the meaning naturally and in a style that preserves the characteristics of the source text. The result? An eminently readable Bible translation for all ages.

David Dockery recently called the GOD’S WORD translation “a remarkably fresh, accurate, and readable translation that communicates well the original text for modern readers.” It has also been endorsed by Billy Graham, Josh McDowell, D. James Kennedy, and lots of other pastors and scholars.

[Read more...]

The Twittering Pastor

supert.gifWhen people ask me what I do for work, I half-jokingly tell them that I Twitter for a living. At any given time I can have up to 4 different Twitter clients up on my screen. I monitor a lot of different conversations and do my best to keep tabs on the vast number of discussion taking place. This can be a little crazy since @Logos has almost 5,000 followers and we follow all of them (spammers and SEO experts excluded, of course).

While there is a lot of information being thrown at me, there was one tweet that caught my eye the other day. @pastorjamie tweeted this:

tweet.png

[Read more...]

Bible References on Twitter

A little over a year ago we launched RefTagger. Since launching, RefTagger has been installed on thousands of sites and helped bloggers and site owners engage readers with the text of the Bible.
The other day we began talking about how cool it would be to have something like RefTagger, only for Twitter. A couple emails, a designer, and one developer later, we launched ref.ly.
Ref.ly is a URL shortening service with a twist. Simply go to ref.ly, type in a Bible verse, and a custom link is automatically generated that you can use to link your friends and followers to the Bible. The added beauty of ref.ly is that the URL structure is really easy to remember, so you can simply create the link on your own. In fact, ref.ly recognizes almost every conceivable Bible referencing scheme, so you can share Matthew 16:18 as http://ref.ly/Mt16.18, http://ref.ly/Mat16.18, http://ref.ly/Matt16.18, or http://ref.ly/Matthew16.18.
Along with an easy to remember structure, you also have the ability to share a single verse (http://ref.ly/Ro8.28), a range of verses, (http://ref.ly/Jn1.1-18), a chapter (http://ref.ly/Ps23), or an entire book (http://ref.ly/3Jn). You can even specify a particular version by simply adding @ followed by the version abbreviation (http://ref.ly/1P2.2@ESV).
With ref.ly you can now help your Twitter followers and Facebook friends engage more deeply with scriptures you reference in your updates.
ref.ly – To the point.

RefTagger on Your Desktop

RefTagger is the perfect tool for making the Bible references on your blog or website more useful for your readers. Thousands of people have installed it, and we’ve delivered more than 100,000,000 Bible verses so far. If you don’t have it on your site yet, why don’t you give it a try?

We’ve received lots of good feedback regarding features you’d like to see implemented. Many of the improvements that we’ve made since we launched RefTagger a little over a year ago are the result of suggestions you’ve sent. So, thank you!

One of the things that has been requested on several occasions is the ability to use RefTagger in desktop applications like Microsoft Word or in emails. Based on the technology that RefTagger uses, it is not currently possible to use it anywhere other than on the web. So, unfortunately, I’m not announcing a desktop version of RefTagger (perhaps eventually—we’ll have to see).

However, there is a way to get some of the benefits of RefTagger on your desktop. You can use the power of RefTagger to add hyperlinks to Bible references in your sermons, papers, articles, books, emails, etc. You won’t get the tooltips, but at least you (and the people you share your content with) will have one-click access to the passages at Bible.Logos.com.

Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Copy the content of your Word document or email into a page or post on a website of yours that has RefTagger installed.
  2. View the page on your site.
  3. Copy and paste the content that RefTagger tagged back into your original document.

Voila! You now have the Bible verses in your document or email hyperlinked to Bible.Logos.com. If you have lots of Bible verses that you want to have hyperlinked, this will definitely be a big timesaver.

If you’re on the techie side, you might want to check out Sean Boisen’s post “A RefTagger Hack,” where he explains how to create a simple form that makes this even easier.

Logos on Twitter

twitter.jpgFor all you Twitter users out there, we wanted to let you know that Logos is now on Twitter.

As a self diagnosed Twitteraholic (shameless plug) I’m pretty excited to see the Logos Twitter page up and running. I’ve been using Twitter for almost a year now and have really enjoyed it as a way to stay up to date with not only my friends, but ministries and companies I’m interested in.

If you’re on Twitter and want to follow us, you’ll soon see that Twitter is a great way for you to keep tabs on things like new prepubs, blog posts, tips and tricks from Morris Proctor, office news, and (of course) the occasional Twitpic. Outside of these common uses, we’ll be experimenting with Twitter and how to use it in such a way that the Logos Twitter community can really benefit. While we’ll likely have multiple people contributing, I’ll be the main monitor for now. So, feel free to DM me @Logos if you have any ideas for how to make our Twitter better for all of our users.

For those of you reading this post and wondering what Twitter is all about, here’s a short video explanation:

Enjoy.

Adding RefTagger to a bbPress Site

bbPress is free forum software from the makers of WordPress. Though it’s not as popular as some of the other options, it’s looks to be a nice, simple alternative to more complicated platforms. It also has the advantage of integrating nicely with WordPress.

The latest version of bbPress, 0.9.0.2, does not allow you to edit your theme from the admin panel, and no one has developed a RefTagger plugin yet either. So to add RefTagger, you’ll need to do it the old fashion way—via FTP access to your site’s files.

Here’s how to get it set up:

  1. Navigate to your bbPress folder.
  2. Open the bb-templates folder, and then open your theme’s folder. The default theme is kakumei.
  3. Locate footer.php and save a local copy (and a backup copy too).
  4. Open the file in Dreamweaver, WordPad or your favorite code editor.
  5. Scroll to the bottom and paste the customizable RefTagger code right before the </body> tag.
  6. Save the file and upload it back to your server.

You’re all set. RefTagger is now transforming your bbPress site.

If you’re using RefTagger on your bbPress site, send us an email and let us know!

Adding RefTagger to a WordPress Blog

WordPress Logo WordPress is one of the most popular and powerful blogging platforms. It comes in two flavors: the hosted version (i.e., WordPress.com) and the self-hosted version (i.e., WordPress.org). This tutorial addresses how to add RefTagger to a WordPress.org blog since it is currently not possible to add it to a WordPress.com blog. WordPress.com bloggers, jump to the bottom to find out how you can help to change that.

There are two ways to set up RefTagger on your WordPress.org blog: (1) use the plugin or (2) set it up manually. The plugin is the best option since it keeps the code separate from your theme, which allows you to change themes without having to reinstall the code. It also enables you to keep up to date easily with future changes and feature additions to RefTagger with WordPress’s simply one-click plugin updates. But some of you may prefer the control of the manual route or may just not know how to find your WordPress files via FTP.

So take your pick with either of the below methods.

Method 1: Using the Plugin

To use the plugin, you need FTP access to your site’s files—at least for now. With WordPress 2.7, you will be able to browse and install plugins right from the admin panel!

If you’re like me and happen to be using WordPress 2.7 Beta 2, adding a new plugin like RefTagger is amazingly easy.

  1. Simply navigate to Plugins > Add New (i.e., http://yoursite.com/wp-admin/plugin-install.php) and search for RefTagger. RefTagger should show up as the top search result.
  2. Click “Install” on the far right, and then click “Install Now” in the window that opens. It takes just a second or two to install, and then you’re taken to a screen where you can activate it.
  3. Click “Activate Plugin,” and then navigate to the RefTagger page under the Settings menu to customize it, if you’d like.

If you’re playing it safe and running WordPress 2.6.3 or earlier, here’s what you need to do to set it up.

  1. Go to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/reftagger/, and click “Download.” Save the zip folder, and then extract the contents.
  2. Fire up your favorite FTP program. (FileZilla is a nice free option.) Then navigate to the place where you installed WordPress. It’s probably in a folder called “public_html” or “www.” Locate the “wp-content” folder, and then open it. You’ll see a “plugins” folder inside. Open it, and then copy the RefTagger.php file that you extracted from the zip folder into that folder.
  3. Log in to your WordPress admin panel, and then go to your Plugins page. Find RefTagger in the list of inactivate plugins, and then click “Activate.”
  4. Navigate to the RefTagger page under the Settings menu to customize it, if you’d like.

Method 2: Adding the Code Manually

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin panel, navigate to the “Design” page, and click on “Theme Editor.”
  2. Find your theme’s “Footer” template, and click on it to open it.
  3. Scroll to the bottom, paste the customizable RefTagger code immediately before the </body> tag, and click “Update File.”
  4. Navigate to the RefTagger page under the Settings menu to customize it, if you’d like.

WordPress.com users, are you feeling a little left out? We want to help, but there’s only so much we can do. The good folks at WordPress.com are willing to consider adding built-in support for RefTagger, but they need to see that there is enough interest. One of the things that they look at is the number of times that our plugin has been downloaded and installed. If you have friends using WordPress.org, encourage them to download and use the plugin.

Finally, a word to those of you who create WordPress themes or help churches and ministries get websites set up with WordPress: please consider adding RefTagger as a standard part of your theme or site set-up process. It’s a great way to improve the service you provide to people—at no cost to you and with very little effort.

Now Your Visitors Can Customize RefTagger

RefTagger Control Panel Dark Grey WideIf you manage your own website or blog and use RefTagger, you get to choose the default Bible version that is used for the tooltips and the links to Bible.Logos.com. But your readers probably don’t all have the same favorite version as you do. Wouldn’t it be cool if they could all see the Bible passages in their preferred version?

Now they can with the RefTagger control panel. Every one of your visitors gets to chose their favorite Bible version and decide whether or not they want to see the links to Libronix. All you have to do is add one of the small control panels anywhere on your site—like in your sidebar—and your readers will be able to set their own preferences. The control panel uses a cookie to remember these preferences every time they return to any page on your site.

Try It Out

The control panel is now in the sidebar here on the blog, so test it out to see how it works. Watch what it does to these Bible verses: 1 Thes 2:13; Exodus 5:5ff; Rev. 1:1-3.

Add It to Your Site

Set up is a simple, two-step process. Just click on one of the sample control panels to get the necessary code and instructions on how to add it to your site. We provide you with eight different options to choose from, but we invite you to style the control panel any way you’d like to match the look of your site.

If you have RefTagger on your site, consider adding the control panel to make RefTagger even more useful for your readers.

Spread the Word

If you frequent a site that uses RefTagger, drop the site admins a note and encourage them to add the control panel. We don’t have contact information for all of the 4,000 sites using RefTagger, so we need your help to let them know about this cool new tool.