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Wil Wheaton Puts Heart of Bullying Under Microscope

Anyone whose ever been bullied knows the pain that comes from being made the butt of other’s jokes. As someone whose been on both sides, I understand the feelings of those who bully and those who get bullied.

Watch this beautifully stated response to a little girl’s question of actor and nerd/geek Wil Wheaton. She asked how he dealt with being made fun of for being one. His response is the heart of how we all should deal with being the recipient of bullying.

I love that response because it perfectly explains not only the way to act but the reason people bully one another.

I can point to three times in my life where I remember being the bully. I am ashamed of what I did in those instance, but in all cases it was an attempt to gain status among my peers at the expense of someone that I deemed weak. In truth, I was the weak personality in those situations.

There were many times in my life where I was the recipient of bullying. I hated it and sometimes even wanted to withdraw from my surroundings. I found solace in a number of things, but when I became an adult I found solace in relationships. First, I found it in the knowledge that no matter what my peers thought of me, God loved me. Second, a few Christians friends in my youth group at church and in my school helped me remember this by their friendship and love. Finally, I knew I could go home and find it in my family.

If anyone reading this is experiencing bullying, either as the recipient or the one dishing it out, please think of Wil Wheaton’s words and remember 1 John 4:11 as well.

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Logos March Madness Begins with Deals on Theological Books

The annual Logos March Madness deal begins today with hundreds of titles that will sell for up to 75% off when it’s all said and done. Following the theme of the NCAA Basketball tournament, where 64 teams vie for the national title in a single elimination tournament, Logos pits two books or titles against one another. Users vote and the winner moves on to the next round where the discounts get steeper.

logos march madness 2014

Voting will begin March 4 with each subsequent round starting a few days later. Here’s the list of dates.

  • March 4 – Campaign goes live and Voting begins for Round 1
  • March 10 – Round 1 voting ends and Round 2 begins
  • March 14 – Round 2 voting ends and Round 3 (Sweet 16) voting begins
  • March 18 – Round 3 (Sweet 16) ends and  4 (Elite 8) voting begins
  • March 21 – Round 4 (Elite 8) voting ends and Round 5 (Final 4) voting begins
  • March 25 – Round 5 (Final 4) voting ends and Championship voting begins
  • March 31 – Voting ends
  • April 1– All deals announced
  • April 14 – All deals over @ midnight.

In the past Logos discounted all the products after the “tournament” ended. If a user misses out on a deal in a particular round, they can get it at the end.

So what can users get with this entertaining sale? Here’s the list of modern and legacy authors available in March Madness.

  • John MacArthur
  • Charles Spurgeon
  • N. T. Wright
  • John Calvin
  • D. A. Carson
  • Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Warren Wiersbe
  • A. W. Tozer
  • John Piper
  • John Owen
  • J. I. Packer
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • R. C. Sproul
  • Dwight Moody
  • Gordon Fee
  • Charles Hodge
  • Douglas Moo
  • Cornelius Van Til
  • Norm Geisler
  • Bruce Metzger
  • William Mounce
  • Leon Morris
  • Daniel Wallace
  • Philip Schaff
  • Craig Keener
  • H. A. Ironside
  • G. K. Beale
  • Harold W. Hoehner
  • Michael Horton
  • Charles Wesley
  • Millard Erickson
  • Louis Berkhof
  • Walter Brueggemann
  • C. I. Scofield
  • Bruce Waltke
  • B. B. Warfield
  • Walter Kaiser
  • Thomas Torrance
  • Darrell L. Bock
  • Andrew Murray
  • James D. G. Dunn
  • Richad Sibbes
  • Bryan Chapell
  • Oswald Chambers
  • Jay E. Adams
  • John Newton
  • Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
  • Henry Alford
  • I. Howad Marshall
  • Heinrich Bullinger
  • Craig Blomberg
  • G. K. Chesterton
  • Thomas R. Schreiner
  • J. Greshem Machen
  • Alister McGrath
  • A. T. Robertson
  • Max Lucado
  • F. W. Farrar
  • Charles Stanley
  • William Barclay
  • David Jeremiah
  • Karl Barth
  • Craig Evans
  • Thomas Manton

The discounts will be as follows:

% off Rounds Coupon Code
30% off Round 1 losers LMM14R1
35% off Round 2 losers LMM14R2
40% off Round 3 (Sweet 16) losers LMM14R3
45% off Round 4 (Elite 8) losers LMM14R4
50% off Round 5 (Final Four) losers LMM14R5
60% off Championship runner up LMM14RU
75% off Champion LMM14CH
15% off Base Packages LMM14BP
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Pocket Bible for Windows 8 Store is Best Bible App on 8

After looking at what’s available in the Windows 8 Store, Laridian’s Pocket Bible for Windows 8 Store might win the crown for best Bible app available in the store.

We don’t see a lot of quality among the Bible apps available on the Windows 8 Store. Of the bigger names YouVersion, Olive Tree and Logos all offer a presence in the store, but none of them will wow the serious Bible student.

Laridian offers Pocket Bible for Windows 8 Store as a free download from the store, which users who already own some Laridian content can use to work with up to 20 resources. To download more library resources the user will need the $6.99 update, which adds advanced tools and supports the app’s development. See it as a cheap vote in favor of further Windows 8 Store app development, since the older Pocket Bible for Windows (not for Windows 8 Store) will likely work just fine on Windows 8.

People who need the Store version will want further development. We believe that’s only a few users who likely won’t make it financially viable for Laridian. Here’s hoping enough people pay the cash to make this a decent profit center for Laridian to keep developing and improving the app.

Pocket Bible for Windows 8 Store warning

Once I paid for the advanced tools, I started downloading my entire library. I chose Select All from the lower left corner and it started to download my books. I run the app in a copy of Windows 8.1 installed in Parallels. When I clicked outside of the Parallels Window to use Chrome in Mac to surf the web while the app downloaded my books, it stopped downloading. This is a rare problem that only hurts those who run Windows 8 in Parallels will face and only while installing the app, so I can’t complain. too loudly However, I would like to see this fixed.

After setting the program to download all of my library, I stepped away to let it do its thing. The next morning the program had crashed. I opened it again and it continued downloading books. Let’s hope this isn’t the norm.

pocketbible bcv chooserOnce the books downloaded and installed, I opened the app to begin using it. The user interface looks simple and clean, like we’ve come to expect from Laridian products.  Some might say their apps looks too simple, like the company didn’t spend time with design. I’m not sure if that’s true, but the results mean we get an interface that’s not over powered by pretty glitz, but basic functionality.

Above notice the Book Chapter Verse chooser, which the user can use by right-clicking and choosing the Goto menu item at the bottom. Please understand when I say “right-click” I’m using a laptop to use Pocket Bible. For tablet users choose this with a two finger tap.

pocketbible search

Find the Search button on the top menu when right-clicking. Enter a search string and choose a range from the drop down box. All the basic boolean searches we’ve come to love from Pocket Bible work.

Notice the three pane view above. After right-clicking, choose the Panes button from the lower toolbar.  There are five predefined pane layouts. To create a new layout, click on the Layouts button and choose New. Give it a name and then select the Panes button to pick the desire number of open books. Populate those panes with the books you want and the layout will get saved.

We give Laridian a lot of credit for creating the best Windows 8 Store native Bible app that runs with most of their features intact. Both Logos and OliveTree offer apps in the store, but their apps run without most of the options and features of their Windows applications. The YouVersion Windows 8 Store app runs most of its functions, but it’s only a Bible reading and sharing app. They don’t offer any real Bible study tools. The Laridian app at least provides some basic Bible study features with complex searching, multiple panes and user markup. That’s why we call the Laridian Pocket Bible for Windows 8 Store the current winner of the Best Windows 8 Store Bible Study app!

 

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Pastor Appreciation Month at Bible Software Companies

Some of our favorite Bible software makers want to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month with discounts and sales on some or all of their resources. We’ve found a few, but would be happy to publicize others.

Of the three companies offering them, Olive Tree gives buyers the most comprehensive deal, but look at the deals from WORDsearch and Logos if you’re looking for a specific book.

As always, Digital Bible Students must stick with their chosen program. If your software publisher doesn’t offer a Pastor’s Appreciation Deal, look at their site anyway. They might offer a nice sale even if they don’t label it for Pastors.

Olive Tree Gives 10% Off Everything

olive tree pastor appreciation monthWe like Olive Tree’s deal because it gives customers ten percent off anything they buy from the software maker. Just fill a cart with all the goodies you want and enter otpastor in the “Discount Coupon” box when ordering. The box doesn’t show up till the last page just before selecting a payment method.

I picked up the New American Commentary on the Old Testament, which they’re also selling for $229.99, $120 off the regular price. That’s right; I pay for Bible software resources.

Logos Offers Discounts on Different Products Each Day

While not as useful as the Olive Tree discount which covers nearly everything they sell, including already discounted products, the Logos deal looks nice.

logos daily pastor appreciation deals

 

Logos discounts a new item each day. The most recent deal offered the Welwyn Commentary Series for $349.97. It normally sells for $700, so buyers get it half off.

In addition to the daily deal, customers can go back and get the previous deals, including the free John PIper book Brothers, We are Not Professionals. Be sure to click on the “Add to Cart” link below the book on the page linked above. Or enter PAM2013 in the coupon code box on the page where users hit buy.

As you can see from the screen shot above, new deals will show up on the upcoming days.

Finally, if users want to upgrade or buy Logos package deals, they get 15% off all month.

WORDsearch Offers Discounts on 22 Products

Go to the WORDsearch Pastors Appreciation Month deal page and it lists 22 deals including the New American Commentary for both OT and NT for only $279.95. That’s the best price I think I’ve seen for it.

Other deals include Practical Word Studies in the NT, a few illustration books, Holiness: 106 Bible Outline Studies and the AMG Ultimate Word Study Bundle. Most of their deals are specifically useful to preachers.

 

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Logos Bible app for Android Gets Nice Beta Update

Logos released a new beta of their Logos Bible app for Android with some awesome features including a great new interface and more. We love the new app and wanted to show it off to users.

Get more information about the beta version at Logos Forums where they list all the new features and improvements. Users will have to sign up to get access to the beta, so be sure to check out the link for info on how to do that. The older version is still showing in the Google Play Store.

logos bible android app in google play store

Check Logos Bible app in Google Play Store

 

Users will notice a significant user-interface change.  Instead of a little menu button on the top left, the new version offers a decent sized button. Tap it and it slides out from the left as an overlay. The drawer gets separated into sections including Bible, Guides and Tools.

sidebar menu

 

In the Bible section we get the things we expect – Home, Library, Search, Read and Documents. The new Homepage gets a much-needed redesign and looks so much better. Find readings, reading plans and news links.

logos bible home

Yes I know I’m behind on my readings. I don’t use Logos as much for Bible reading and I’ve not changed this.

These features will now open in the main screen instead of on the side as before.  It makes it easier to work with the Library, search pages and documents.

logos bible tools menu

This tools menu pops up and looks great.

The app isn’t perfect. We could get back to the main window after opening the store or the presentations windows.

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A new book chooser helps navigation.

We’re just hitting the highlights. Sign up for the beta and download it yourself to see all the great new features.

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STEP Backwards: A Counterpoint to The Next Step

Yesterday we posted a guest post by John Fidel, a CPA who also uses Bible software and used to run a STEP website. His Bible software bono fides prove that his opinions should get consideration from the Bible software world and I hope they will take his idea to heart.

He responded to my September 2010 post about an idea for a new STEP standard. I like his approach and find that its similar to what I wrote so long ago. Either will work better than what we have today.

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One Minor Point of Disagreement

I want to take issue with one minor point. He said…

Digital publishing complicated things a bit due to the many different platforms, software and devices that customers use.

I get the point, but that’s only true because book publishers complicated them since they’re tied to the old model of compensation. If things got more complicated, it’s their fault. Christian Book Publishers seem more interested in higher profits than building the kingdom of God.

Digital Bible Study should simplify things.

I’m not involved in publishing digital books. I publish online and posting this post takes a little more effort than it does to write a newspaper article about the  same topic. I add links, tags and do some SEO (search engine optimization).

Digital resources created by Christian book publishers probably don’t cost much at all to create, once they’ve made the physical book.

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Digital Publishing of Books Costs Almost Nothing

Let’s see why. Book publishers create digital books for next to nothing. Their only costs are disk storage and staff to upload a file somewhere. That’s because the publisher already made the resource for the physical world. Zondervan makes books to sell at LifeWay Christian Resources, Family Book Stores, Amazon or Christian Book Distributors to name a few dead tree book resellers.

For argument’s sake, lets say I published Kevin’s Commentary on the Bible hiring the highest priced talent to write, edit, format and print the book. My high-class premium series would cost about $100 million dollars publish and publicize. It would sell millions of copies because people would stand in line on opening day like they do for iPhones.

Now, after all my success I decide to tap Awesome Bible Software as my exclusive Bible software distributor so long as they agreed to do two things.

  1. Quickly distribute a Lite version with only the basic Bible links generated by a link creation engine similar to the software some companies make that lets users notes include Bible reference links automatically.
  2. Later they will create a Pro version with lots of tags, links to other commentaries and more – all the stuff great Bible software offers in their “value added” content.

The first Lite version wouldn’t cost much. Someone would have to run the link engine and then upload the file to the company’s servers to sell it. They’d pay their web guy to make a nice page. Marketers would get the word out that the awesome KCB is ready for download.

The cost of this Lite version would be pennies on the dollar compared to the high-quality printed version that uses gold laid leather binding and thick paper that feels good. The digital Lite version would work great for people who don’t need all the “value added” at a greatly reduced cost.

Olive Tree would start work on the Pro version which would add a lot to the cost of the book. Buyers of the Lite could get an upgrade at the cost of the Pro version minus what they paid for the Lite. Logos already does this with Vyrso books that don’t come with as much tagging. They give buyers a free upgrade when it becomes available.

Since we know this commentary will be under great demand due to how many copies it sold in print, we know that we’re likely to sell at least 100,000 copies. The cost of the extensive markup to Awesome Bible Software actually goes down per copy sold. The first digital Pro version might cost a lot, but each subsequent copy costs almost nothing, literally pennies. Bits cost almost nothing to store and distribute. Awesome Bible Software only needs to store one copy plus a few backups placed in different spots.

If it costs Awesome Bible Software $500,000 to make the Pro version and they sold it to 100,000 people for a minimum of $5, they would recoup all of their costs. If they only sell it to 500 people, it costs them $1,000 per copy to recoup their costs.

I’m not asking software companies to sell my commentary for pennies on the dollar. If LifeWay sells my commentary set for $10,000 in print, then I don’t have a problem with Awesome Bible Software selling it for a little less in digital format. Selling it for the same price feels like cheating, but at a nice little 10% discount? Great!

How this Relates to Buying from Many Bible Software Companies

Here’s where I get frustrated. Since the digital copies made, after copy one, cost nothing. I have a problem with the second Bible software company selling customers a commentary that they already bought for $9,000 from Awesome Bible Software for the same price. If the customer can prove that they own the book, the publisher should wave the royalty fee and the Christians at the second company should sell the book in their software format at a reduced rate to cover costs of the sale and a little extra. It’s in their best interests to do this because the customer will become a return customer if they can use their favorite books in the second software maker’s program. If they can’t they won’t buy more in the future.

Join the discussion. What do you think?

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The Next Step

The following is a guest post from John Fidel, partner with Fidel Perner & Michnovicz, LLC Certified Public Accountants in Albuquerque, NM. He started reviewing and writing about Bible Software in the 1990s with a website called The Unofficial STEP Newsletter, followed by several other websites and blogs. John takes part in several ministries as financial advisor, small group teacher, board member and elder. We thank John for his contribution and think you’ll appreciate it.

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In August 2010 we posted an article entitled Tired of Buying the Same Books Over and Over Again. In that post, Kevin Purcell proposed an idea that would allow for bible software customers to buy a digital resource once and then make it available via other Bible software at no additional cost. From a ministry perspective the plan was a good idea. Here we are three years later and the situation remains the same. We still must buy multiple copies of books to use in various programs.

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Things have changed since Kevin’s wrote that post in 2010:

  • Digital resources are mostly available for purchased and downloaded online (no more DVD or CDs);
  • Companies authenticate digitally mostly online (no more entering long pass codes);
  • Bible software companies are making past purchases easily available for re-download on another device;
  • Contracts with publishers now include multi-platform and multi-device licensing;
  • Most of the major Bible software companies have much of the same content available, especially the major commentaries, dictionaries and lexicons.

These changes call for us to reevaluate Kevin’s original proposal.

John’s Background

First a bit on my background. I am a certified public accountant, practicing as since 1978. As such, I approach this subject from a business perspective more so than a ministry perspective. I’ve been involved in ministry for many years, but I’m not a pastor or biblical scholar. I understand the financial issues related to ministry.

Long ago I had a website called The Unofficial STEP Newsletter  dedicated to discussing and supporting the STEP. I understand the customer’s perspective and the benefits of a STEP standard.

Changes in Book Publishing in Digital World

Kevin’s original proposal did not sufficiently reward the Bible software companies for their work. What I outline below is essentially Kevin’s plan, updated for technology and market changes that occurred since 2010 and provides compensation for Bible Software companies.

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A bit of an overview of the publishing business models first. In the old days customers went to a bookstore and purchased a book. The price of that book provided for compensation to the store, the publisher and the author. Digital publishing complicated things a bit due to the many different platforms, software and devices that customers use. Still the business model allows for compensation to the software company, publisher and author. One difference however between a bookstore and a Bible software company is the “value added” to the digital book. For the most part the books are no longer “generic” as a paper book would be, but enhanced by the software company to allow each specific program to search, research, analyze and incorporate those books into a digital library. Providing this “value added” is a sometimes significant cost to the software company.

A New Digital Publishing Business Model

Publishers license a purchased Bible or resource is for use with one or multiple software programs. They receive their royalty on this sale the same way they do with physical book purchases. However, this is the only royalty they will receive from this customer on this resource. The resource purchase compensates the software company for development of the “value added” element upon this sale similar to the current model.

Editor’s Note: The value added elements include things like links from one book to another in a software library, like a commentary referring to a passage or another commentary. These take time and personnel, which costs money.

The customer can buy a software license for resources previously purchased from a different Bible software company, if they are available. This software company sets the price to recoup the costs of the “value added” to the resources. Since the customer already paid for the resources which supplied the software maker with the royalty costs, they second company can lower the price significantly and will only need to recoup their work to add value.

The current technology and online delivery methods make authentication and authorization of these licenses efficient and effective. The publisher license will be standardized, while the software licenses would stay proprietary.

Check out John’s video on Logos workflow ideas below:

Issues to Address

Complex contracting with publishers providing for multi-platform, multi-device and multi-software

These issues are currently being addressed, only by each and every software company. If this process could be more standardized it would make the process from publisher to customer more efficient and more cost-effective.

Determining if there is a enough market of multi-software users to make the plan practical

Many readers already own multiple Bible software programs. However, many users use one program and are more than content. Perhaps we shouldn’t try to fix what’s broken for only a minority of the market.

Publisher profitability

Most customers will not buy major resources more than once. If that is the case, then what sales and royalties are they losing? In addition, more customers may be willing to buy major resources digitally if they know they can use those resources in another program for a reasonable cost. The risk of loss of resources due to a software company’s failure is reduced significantly.

Software licenses will still be too high

An argument could be made that providing previously purchased resources from another company at a reasonable price would allow for expansion of their current market share. Additionally, the resources most multi-software customers will want are going to be bibles, commentaries, lexicons and dictionaries. Expanding market share allows for users to buy more resources from participating software companies.

Summary

In summary, this proposal provides a win-win for the publisher, software developer and customer. Writers, publishers and developers will continue to receive incentives for “value added” features and for selling bible texts and resources to customers. It also allows for the customer to affordably have these resources available for use in multiple programs if they wish. It allows for software companies to continue to innovate and compete for market share.

We welcome comments, challenges and suggestions. Each participant in the proposed business model has to buy in for it to work. In the end, the market determines direction. Customers will need to let their opinions and needs be known. The publishers have to be the starting point for this to work.

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Thanks for reading John’s post. Look for a follow up counterpoint from me coming soon.

People interested in helping out by posting Bible software and church technology related posts here can contact me.

Accordance 10.3 Release Celebrated with Surface Pro 2 Givaway

Accordance released a new version of their program and wants to get the word out by creating a contest. They’re giving away a new Surface Pro 2 tablet. Surface Pro 2 is the Microsoft designed and made tablet that runs the full version of Windows 8.1. This means it will also run full versions of Windows software, including the new Accordance version for Windows.

surface pro 2

Accordance is giving away a Surface Pro 2 tablet

Accordance decided to update their awesome Mac Bible software to Accordance 10.3 by releasing not just a great Mac update, but also a Windows release. They did the release right by writing it from the ground up as a Windows program, instead of just porting the code using something like WINE or another emulator. We like the new version a lot.

Accordance Bible Software

People who want to enter this giveaway should head over to the site promoting the contest. You’ll be asked to share it a few different ways to further promote the giveaway. Tweet it, share it of Facebook, watch a YouTube video and more.

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Accordance Bible Software Hits Windows Looks Same as Mac

Accordance Bible Software announced awhile back that they’d publish their great Bible software application, Accordance 10, on the Windows platform. They published a beta and now the final version hit their site and we’re quite impressed with the results.

Accordance did a better job moving from Mac to Windows than two other software companies did when moving from Windows to Mac. Both Bibleworks and WORDsearch recently released Mac versions of their software. Like Olive Tree, Accordance chose to make a version that runs natively on both platforms instead of creating a version that runs in an emulator like Bibleworks and WORDsearch. Laridian will soon launch a Mac version after their Kickstarter campaign successfully got funded. We look forward to seeing them do it the right way as well.

Mac and Windows with Same Interface

accordance 10 mac

Accordance for Mac and Windows mirror one another in all of the important ways. We get a typical Windows style menu instead of the Mac style, but that’s the main difference. See the Mac version above and the Windows version below running on Windows 7.

accordance 10 windows

We’ve already published a review of Accordance for Christian Computing Magazine back in September 2011, so we won’t regurgitate all of that content.

Stability of First Windows Version

Accordance for Windows is a powerful, elegant and stable Bible study tool! Usually, when a new application comes out we can expect a lot of bugs and crashes. Accordance for Windows breaks that trend with a version that never crashed and performed as expected.  I’m sure a few bugs will surface and the program might crash on occasion. We can’t guarantee it won’t, but in our experience the last beta and preview release, which we tested for this review, worked great. The final gold release will work like the Mac version, which means it will be stable and mostly error free.

Features of Accordance for Windows

Accordance doesn’t offer as big a library as WORDsearch or Logos, but it offers a great library. We get access to some world-class original language books and tools. They offer incredible commentaries, including a sale on NICOT and NICNT. Users can get one of the best commentary series for a big discount on the regular price. I only wish I would’ve bought it at this price.

We really like the multimedia features like maps in their Atlas and the timeline feature. They recently added interlinear support. We get all the tools one expects from Bible software including …

  • powerful and simple search
  • translation comparison
  • book reader for many kinds of resources
  • custom layouts and saving those layouts for future use
  • custom modules made by users
  • the powerful Amplify feature (see image below) that shows info with a triple click that opens the default dictionary/lexicon
  • hover over words to show details about a word that’s tagged with links to such content

accordance amplify feature

This is just a sample of what users get with Accordance 10. All of it works as expected in the Windows version.

Frustration of Multiple Bible Software Tools

Owning more than one Bible software tool can frustrate Bible students because they find that they own different books or features in different programs. How do we remember them. Some try to fix this by working with other software, like Bibleworks’ connections to outside tools like WORDsearch books. This helps, but doesn’t solve the problem.

Because I own such a large library in a couple of other Bible software tools, I don’t find myself going to Accordance that often, even though I love the program. This isn’t the fault of Accordance, but a result of the Bible software publishing industry in the post-STEP era.

accordance windows library

Accordance offers one service that helps. Call their customer service number and prove that you own some resources and they will give buyers a discount. Sadly, the customer still must repurchase the books, but at least they can get them at a discount. We did this with a few books and may do it again soon to gain access to books we use in other programs. Accordance might be worth the cost for people who own lesser programs.

If you own Logos, WORDsearch or Bibleworks, I don’t think Accordance offers enough to pay the price of switching, unless you don’t own many books yet. Owners of other apps may want to consider the new Windows version. Take a look and see if it meets your needs.

Sources of Learning

I attended a free live training session a couple of years ago and learned a lot. Visit the support page which includes links to the training sessions page as well as other support links like the user forums where people can get help from other users and staff. Also, viewing their blog and videos helps a lot. Here’s one about getting a “quick start” using Accordance.

For people interested in buying Accordance, the best way to get started is to buy a collection from their store.

accordance 10 collection comparison chart

Check out Accordance for Windows and see if it meets your needs. We think it will help serious Bible students enjoy learning more about God’s word on Windows.

Logos Home Page

Logos Communicates Updates Well This Week

When I see  a company communicating with its customers well, I want to brag on the company. That’s what happened recently when Logos planned to push a large, up to 2GB update, to their customers. Instead of just dumping it on users, they took to their forums and announced the update. For their customers, many of whom live in countries that use a capped bandwidth style of ISP services, this kind of communication will save them money.

Thanks for the Open Communication

Things didn’t go as planned, so Logos employee Rick Brannon, the actual developer working on the updates, again took to the company’s customer support forums and told users about it. All along the way Logos informed and prepared users who wanted the information.

Logos Updates

I say “who wanted the information” because users had to do something to get the it by visiting the company’s user forums to get this update. In the very same forums one person complained about the repeated updates, not knowing what was going on. So users need to look for this kind of thing in the forums.

In the past Logos struggled at times with good customer communication. They do a better job than most, but on occasion they kind of muffed things. That’s why I’m so glad they handled this one well.

One customer, in the above linked forum thread, suggested that Logos should use their Home Page to communicate with customers and I agree. I hope they will use the Home Page for more than reposting blog posts and advertising new resources. Few Bible software applications offer this kind of excellent customer communication tool. Logos should use it regularly.

Logos Home Page

When Companies Should Communicate with Customers

All companies that serve their customers should communicate in an open and transparent fashion. Here’s a few of the times when companies should share openly.

  • Big updates that can clog my bandwidth like the above situation
  • Updates coming soon – offer to sell the current version with a free upgrade for everyone who buys in the month prior to the new release instead of hiding the update to keep customers buying software that will become obsolete in a few weeks
  • When resources will go on sale soon they should let users know a week or two ahead of time that their customers can save some money by buying later
  • When resources on sale will leave sale date so that a user can plan their purchases and know how long the steap discout will last

The more you tell us the more we will feel like we’re not just customers but part of the community. Logos does a great job of fostering this kind of attitude and the other companies can help.

WORDsearch Shut Down In-software Forums

As an example of the opposite approach, WORDsearch recently updated their software removing a key feature that I’ve touted as a reason to buy WORDsearch over other programs. I’m talking about their user forums that they included inside the program. That’s now gone and makes WORDsearch less useful. Bring it back Lifeway!! It put your customers in a position to …

  • Help each other so you didn’t always have to
  • Build a community around your software (see paragraph above the previous)
  • Feel like the company cares about them enough to make them loyal customers