100 posts! What’s next?

Blogging is developing into its own literary genre. A blog is part diary, newsletter, press release and soap box. And one of the genre’s most distinctive (and annoying) characteristics is talking about itself. The Logos Blog is no different…for which we apologize.

This is the 100th post to the Logos Blog. We’ve been posting every business day since we started in late July, on topics ranging from personal to technical, from fun to features, and from soup to syntax.

Do you want more of the same? More of some and less of others? We would love to hear from you on what you want to see in the Logos Blog. Please take a moment and leave a comment with your feedback.

And if you started reading the Logos Blog recently, you may want to use the monthly archive links on the side column to catch up on older posts where you’ll find tips on using Logos Bible Software among many other posts interesting, useful, and irrelevant.

Thanks for reading!

Look, in the air, it’s Logos Bible Software!

One of my favorite sales stories is about the Logos salesperson who sat next to someone reading their Bible on a plane. Our employee took out his laptop, opened Logos to the same passage, and nudged his seatmate. After an in-air demo the Bible student pulled out a credit card and placed an order right there.

At a company meeting we awarded our flying sales rep a small airplane model as a sales trophy. Not be outdone, two other sales people “earned their wings” in short order.

Statistically, it is not too hard to find someone interested in Bible study sitting next to you on a plane. But people carrying paper Bibles still outnumber Bible software users, so I was really impressed when Scott Lindsey came back to the office to report that the person sitting next to him on the plane was actually using our software during the flight. (Scott, of course, showed him what he could do with more books and sold him an upgrade.)

We are flying all the time and we love to meet our users. So when you are on the road, keep an eye out for the Logos logo on shirts and luggage tags and say hello!

Space Walk at Logos

Our guest blogger today is Dale Pritchett, co-founder of Logos Bible Software. And my father. But not in that order.

When I got back from the SBL meeting in Philadelphia I had this sense that Logos Bible Software had changed in some substantial but indefinable way. The demonstrations and conversations were of a different nature than the past. We have always demonstrated new titles and new features at conferences but yet somehow this year felt very different. As more and more people asked about my experience at the conference I began to sense why this conference was different. We at Logos had taken our first “space walk”.

Logos Bible Software has changed a lot over the years but it has always followed a simple formula of better and better computer enhancement of familiar manual tasks. You work with a paper library, you work with a digital library; familiar tasks refined and enhanced through innovative software. And now there is Logos Bible Software 3.0 and suddenly it is like “Star Trek” going where no man has gone before. It is like the first time man walked in space. There was no earthbound walking experience with which it could be compared. Space walking is a whole new experience with its own rules, equipment, challenges and rewards. This is the analogy I was looking for. Logos Bible Software 3.0 is like your first space walk.

For the first time, the software is not mimicking a manual process. There is no print-based equivalent to our new syntactical databases. There is no published printed edition of a Greek, Hebrew or English text with every clause identified and tagged. There are no preachers, teachers or Bible students searching for “functional” relationships as opposed to “form or morphological” tags. We have never had the ability to look up in a book, or for that matter, a Bible software program, the answer to the question, “Who or what is the object of God’s love?” Not only is such a functional search now possible, the results, though derived in the original languages, may be displayed in English as well as Greek and Hebrew. The amazing thing to me is that the most complex linguistic functionality that has ever been featured in Bible software will have immediate practical value to the English Bible student through the use of reverse interlinear Bibles which allow Greek and Hebrew search results to be accurately displayed in English, Spanish or any Bible for which we have a reverse interlinear edition.

This is a space walk.

The challenge ahead will be to describe the new features in Logos Bible Software 3.0 without the comforting analogies to manual systems. In trying to explain syntactical data bases to a user the other day I suggested that viewing syntax was like seeing the Bible in sentence diagrams with exposed subjects, verbs, objects, indirect objects, etc. Searching syntax would be like having the ability to circle a section of the diagram and look for other matching structures with or without the words attached to the diagram. That’s my best attempt so far in describing the concept. I will keep looking for analogies that help. This is the problem of space walking.

Syntax Papers from 2005 ETS Conference

As mentioned earlier on this blog, Eli and I presented papers at the meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) describing how Logos is moving beyond the word level into syntax of the original languages.

Eli’s paper (approx. 350 KB PDF) discusses our approach to issues of syntax in general, using examples from the Andersen-Forbes database to illustrate major points of implementation.

Rick’s paper (approx. 1.4 MB PDF) provides information on both Greek syntax datasets that are being worked on and short examples (and screen captures) of how this information can be used.

Where Do You Live?

Our blog stats show that we get visitors from all over the world. Just for November, I see visits from Hungary, Israel, Singapore, Bahamas, Denmark, New Zealand, Brazil, Spain, and Japan, to name just a few.

Rick Brannan recently pointed me to a cool new site called Frappr (“Friend Mapper”) that’s a Google mash-up: it combines Google Maps with group labeling features.

I created a map for Logos Blog readers so we could meet one another. To add yourself, go to the Logos Bible Software Blog map and click “Add Yourself” in the right-hand column. You can add a photo and short message, if desired.

If you get a moment this weekend, stop by and say hello!

ETS/SBL Booth Signage

The ETS and SBL meetings wrapped up yesterday and the Logos team is heading home (perhaps some will make it back in time for our big Thanksgiving lunch at noon today). It sounds like the meetings were very fruitful, with a great deal of buzz around our current and future products.
For those who weren’t able to attend, I thought it would be fun to show off the signage that adorned our booth at both events. Click any of the thumbnails below to pop up a larger version.



National Bible Week Essay Contest

In honor of National Bible Week, which is this week, we’re sponsoring an essay contest on Logos.com.

You are invited to write and submit a brief essay on Bible study. If we display the essay on the site, you’ll receive a $30 book unlock credit. The sign-up form is here.

We’ve posted 30 essays to date, with a nice variety of themes and perspectives represented. The essays give a flavor of all the different kinds of ministry going on among Logos users. I find this to be a real encouragement amidst the day to day grind; I’ll highlight below a couple of my favorite selections (you can read them all in their entirety on the Essays page)…

[Read more...]

Novel Use of Sentence Diagrammer

So, the other day, I had printed out a sentence diagram of Mark 1.16-20 and was evaluating it while making coffee (triple americano, no milk or sugar messing it up) at the Logos espresso machine.

Heidie from accounting walks by. “What’s that?” she says. I reply, “Sentence diagrams.” “Oh” Heidie says, “it looks sort of like playoff brackets.”

I hadn’t ever thought of that. But you could use the sentence diagrammer to make playoff brackets for whatever. I hear the NFL season ends in a month or so; now you’ll be ready to chart your team’s path to the Super Bowl!

(If you have the Sentence Diagramming Addin you can download the file for editing! Just unzip it to “\My Documents\Libronix DLS\SentenceDiagrams”.)

Overflow Crowd

Yesterday at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Logos bloggers and Information Architects Rick Brannan and Eli Evans presented our new syntactic databases. (Their presentation was part of a larger session which also included a presentation on how Logos Bible Software is used in the classroom at Moody Graduate School.)

This photo was taken while Eli presented the Andersen-Forbes syntactic database. We were flattered by all the interest and only wish the session had been in a larger room.

If you are with us here in Philadelphia, be sure to check out other Logos-related sessions at AAR/SBL.

Logos for the Mac: New Ship Date & Screenshots

Yesterday we announced a new release date for Logos Bible Software for the Mac: Spring 2006. We’re confident that the product will be shipping by the time June 21 rolls around, and we know it will be worth the wait.

Work is progressing steadily with no major obstacles, and the application looks great in the current build. Our artist-in-residence (who is a Mac devotee himself) turned out some very nice visuals for the interface so that Logos Bible Software would feel right at home on the Mac.

We get a lot of questions about how to participate in beta testing the Mac product. We’ll announce all public beta testing from the Logos for the Mac email list so sign up and stay tuned…

Disclaimer: Screenshots are from the prototype; the interface is subject to small or massive changes before we ship.