Intro to Jira

Hi Marketing Team,

As many of you have heard by now we are transitioning to Jira in the coming weeks. Jira will replace fogbugz as our project management tool here in marketing. As we transition I will keep you all updated on which teams will be transition when so you can start diving in and utilizing Jira.

You will find login instructions below and here is a link to the user guide.

Please take the time to read the below information regarding the transition.

To give you a little more information and to answer a few questions that have come up in the last couple of weeks.

  1. Is Marketing the only department switching to Jira? We as a company are transitioning to using Jira. Eventually fogbugz will be replaced all together and we will no longer be using it.
  2. How will this effect working with other departments? As we have transitioned to more of a line of business model here at Faithlife there will be more opportunities to work on projects with other departments. Jira will be a great tool in which we can work on cross department projects with other teams.
  3. Are we required to use Jira? What if we like what we are doing? As much as possible we ask that each team and individual use Jira for all of their projects and tasks.
    1. Why, you might ask? A few great benefits of Jira:

i.     Everything for your project is in one place. You will no longer have to add everything to the wiki, asana, google docs. (This doesn’t mean that we won’t use these tools anymore, but the amount of duplication and where you need to add information will become less repetitive.)

ii.     Management will be able to pull reports from Jira, decreasing the number of reports you will need to turn in or fill out on a weekly basis, giving you more time to work on your projects.

iii.     Time Tracking will become a lot easier!! We will be switching to a monthly time tracking system with time tracking by project for LARGE projects.

iv.     Jira is more user friendly than fogbugz.

How does this affect you now?

  1. You will want to set aside sometime over the next few weeks to get familiar with Jira, go through the user manual and attend the training that you are scheduled for.
  2. Any projects you have in fogbugz will be migrated over to Jira in the next 6 weeks at which point you will be working solely out of Jira.
  3. You will need to work in both Fogbugz and Jira until all teams has been transitioned. As much as possible we ask that once a team is transitioned you enter any new requests in Jira rather than fogbugz.
  4. Any projects that are not in Jira will need to be put in manually by you.
  5. As teams transition over you will need to start submitting your request in Jira (even if your team is still working in fogbugz and hasn’t been transitioned over).

A few terms to familiarize yourself with:

  1. Issue: An issue is equivalent to a parent case in fogbugz
  2. Project: A project is equivalent to a project in fogbugz (For example our current projects in fogbugz are: Marketing Projects: Logos, Marketing Projects: Ecommerce, Marketing Technology Team, etc.)
  3. Task or Sub-Task: A task or sub-task are equivalent to a child case in fogbugz

 

How to Login:

You all currently should have access to Jira. If you are unable to login please let me know.

To login, follow these instructions:

Go here:  https://faithlife.atlassian.net/login (you may want to bookmark this)

  1. Your username is everything in front of the @ on your faithlife email address.
  2. If you don’t have a password, click unable to access your account, and you will be prompted to create a password.

As you start exploring the tool, know that we are still making changes and these changes will continue to take place over the next 6 weeks as we get everyone transitioned over. Please be patient and ask lots of questions. If you aren’t sure how to do something connect with your team lead first, if they don’t know the answer then feel free to reach out to me.

Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns.

Thanks!

 

Kirsten

Meetings: agenda example, pointers on leading, and more

Hi Marketing,

In an effort to maximize the time we spend in meetings this year. I wanted to follow up in regards to an email Krista sent at the beginning of the year regarding maximizing your time in meetings.  Here are a few pointers on how you can make the most of your meetings.

Also Phil recommended a great book to read and I highly recommend it.  Shay (Phil’s assistant) has a couple copies that are available to check out.

How to lead an awesome meeting:

  1. Come prepared
  2. Provide all information upfront before the meeting occurs. (Everyone should know why they were invited to the meeting.)
  3. Know which decision makers need to be in the meeting and when

A great meeting invite agenda includes:

  1. A brief summary of the purpose of the meeting
  2. An agenda for the meeting
  3. Any documentation/information that needs to be communicated or discussed in the meeting
  4. Your action items/plan
  5. Your goals for the meeting
  6. Decisions that will need to be made in this meeting

Pointers on managing meetings:

    1. Opening – Open your meeting with a brief summary of the purpose of this meeting, your agenda, and goals.
    2. Facilitating
      1. Come prepared to lead
      2. When facilitating a meeting it is your responsibility to make sure that the meeting stays on track
      3. Follow the agenda you set for your meeting.
      4. Does everyone need to be there for the entire meeting? If not, make sure to communicate the time duration with each individual on when they will be needed for that meeting.
    3. Closing –Close your meeting with a brief recap of the meeting, action items to take away from the meeting, who is responsible for what action steps to move the project/idea forward, decisions that were made.
    4. Following up –Send a follow up email to everyone who was included in the meeting invite (even if they didn’t come) with a recap, action items, and timeline for completion.

How to be a great participate in a meeting:

      1. Come prepared
        1. Know what the purpose of the meeting is about
        2. Read through the agenda and materials required for the meeting ahead of time
        3. Come to participate
          1. Bring your thoughts and ideas to the meeting.
          2. If you do not think you have anything to contribute to the meeting, determine if it is really necessary for you to participate in the meeting.

I hope that these pointers can help you as you plan meetings this year and throughout your career.

Have any questions, concerns or comments? Connect with your manager (Phil, Nick, Glenn, Franklin, Josh or Krista).

Thanks! I love that I get to work with such an awesome team!

Kirsten

Kirsten Radke | Marketing Operations Specialist

No meeting Tuesdays plus….

On Jan 14, 2014, at 11:33 AM, Krista Veteto <krista.veteto@logos.com>

wrote:

Hi Marketing Department,

We spend a lot of time in meetings. Sometimes in meetings I think about how many hours the company is investing in a discussion. For example: this morning I was in a meeting with 13 people for 30 minutes. That one meeting represents 6.5 hours of company time!

For 2014 we want to optimize  meetings. Here are the first 3 steps we’re taking in that direction:

1.       We’re going to continue no meeting Tuesdays

2.       We’re going to start have 1 week per quarter with no meetings. This no meeting week will be the last full week of the quarter whenever possible.

o   Q1: no meeting week will be 3/24-3/28.

o   Q2: no meeting week will be 6/23-6/27.

o   Q3: no meeting week will be 9/22-9/26.

o   Q4: no meeting week will be 12/15-12/21.

3.       Meeting requests need to include an agenda.

If you’re invited to a meeting without an agenda or during our “no meeting” times you are allowed (and even encouraged) to decline the request. We want to build a culture of investing our time in the most effective way possible.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have meetings.

Sometimes meetings are the most effective way to get a group of people on the same page. Some things that are worth a bigger investment in 2014:

  • Getting all project stakeholders in the room at the same time to hash through a decision or get approval on art.
  • Having a project rollout with everyone involved in the project including the project stakeholders (so any objections/concerns can be addressed before we start executing).
  • Getting everyone in the same room when there is confusion or disagreement over the next step on a project.

Next Step

I’ll be following up with an email (and/or an in person training) with an example of a great meeting invite agenda and pointers on opening, managing/controlling, closing and following up on meetings.

Have any questions, concerns or comments? Connect with your manager (Phil, Nick, Josh or myself).

Krista Veteto

Marketing Operations Manager

360-398-5162, krista.veteto@logos.com

 

Two Changes You Need To Be Aware Of

Hello Marketing Department,

Your in-house technology team would like to take a minute to let the department know about two changes that will help you perform your jobs more efficiently.

1)       Please do not uncheck the “Use SSL” option in any of the Wistia video embed methods.  You can change the other settings to suit your video needs, but unchecking this one option will prevent your video from playing on logos.com.  Logos.com now uses the https protocol which allows only secure content to be displayed.  Unchecking this option will cause your video to be blocked from being retrieved to your web page by our servers—see screen shot below.

Why does this image need a description?

2)       In an effort to make sure that we continue to provide you with the best service and write the best code possible, we’re now going to need two weeks notice when putting anything up on logos.com.  This change doesn’t affect things like copy edits or modifications to any existing page—it only affects brand new content.

By making this change we’re ensuring that any new code we write is getting in with the development team’s revision process. That way, what we’re doing doesn’t conflict with what they’re doing and vice versa.  I know this change may make life a little difficult at first, but in the long run it will help all of us plan better and it will reduce the possibility of creating bugs on logos.com.

If you have any questions about either of these changes please feel free to submit an inquiry via Fogbugz to the Marketing Technology team.

Dennis Terrell
Marketing Technologies

Can you answer these tough questions about Logos?

From: Nathan Smoyer

To: Marketing Dept

We recently had a blogger ask a few tough questions before deciding to review Logos. Phil took the time to answer his questions.

Below you’ll see the questions and answers. Please read these. I believe the answers will help you describe, understand, and speak about Logos books.

  1. When it comes right down to it, do I own the books I purchase through Logos? Or is it more accurate to say that I license them? It is most accurate to say that you own a license to the content you’ve acquired. The EULA might prove helpful in articulating some of these distinctions (e.g., “Ownership of the Content remains with Copyright holders.”). There are two different kinds of licenses: perpetual (i.e., ownership) and temporary (i.e., rental). Rental is new, so very few products [currently one, but probably multiple in a week or two] are available this way currently, but you’ll probably see us experiment more with rental in the future.
  2.  I have theological works, commentaries, and reference books my father owned before me because he helped establish my theological library by thinning his own. It was encouraging and very helpful when he did this. If at some point I determine to do the same for my son, and if I have built my collection in Logos, will I be able to transfer ownership of certain titles to him? Yes. See here, here, and here. The key principle is that you can transfer anything you purchased as long as you transfer it in its entirety. You cannot transfer part of a product. For example, if you purchased WBC as a collection, you’d need to transfer it as a collection. You couldn’t transfer a subset of it.
  3.  It is one thing to give away books while I love. It is something else entirely to have my entire collection simply cease to be when I die. When I die, will I be able to give my book collection to my son? If not my collection, can I pass my account to him or to anyone else? Yes. See #2 above.
  4.  As time goes on, we are seeing more and more classic works that are no longer under copyright released very cheaply on Kindle and in other ebook formats. For example, I can find The Reformed Pastor for $0.99 on Kindle while the same volume is $15.95 for Logos. Why the discrepancy? Do you ever expect that this gap will close? If all you want to do is read a PD work, it might be difficult for some to justify the increased price for Logos books compared to Kindle books [I’d be happy to do so if you want] (but it might also be hard for some to justify any cost when Google and others make scans available for free). If you want to research, it becomes easy to justify the cost [which I’d also be happy to do]. You’re paying for the robust markup and the interconnected digital library, not just the content. Our markup accompanied by our powerful tools makes our content superior to Kindle and other ebook formats. However, I do see us continually trying to be more competitive with PD content. We’ve tended to focus on selling collections and have priced individual titles to incentivize the collection sale, but that’s changing a bit with the growth of mobile users. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our Community Pricing program, where it’s often possible to get books for ~$1 each. Customers set the price, maximizing their discount rather than our profit.
  5.  We are seeing classic works fall in price, but we are also seeing publishers regularly discount current works to $1.99 or $2.99. Can we find similar deals for Logos? If not, do you expect that such a time will come? Vyrso books are more analogous to Kindle books (although superior in some smaller ways). Vyrso distributes publishers’ content just like Amazon does. Most sales publishers do are multi-channel. We participate in as many of them as we can. [I can explain more about the differences between Logos and Vyrso if you’d like.]
  6.  Are Logos books a proprietary format or can anyone create and distribute books that can be added to my library (or anyone else’s library)? Logos books are in a proprietary format, and in many ways this is what sets us apart. Our markup is the secret sauce that allows the software to do really cool things with the content, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what we plan to do. However, our free desktop apps come with a Personal Books tool, which allows users to create and distribute their own content. Very soon, they’ll be able to distribute this content in our store and even sell it (think Apple App Store).
  7.  If the history of computing has taught us anything, it’s that things changed quickly. Most of the hardware, software and files we used only ten years ago are now completely lost and inaccessible. What assurance do I have that 5 years from now, and 20 years from now, and 100 years from now, Logos will still exist and still be usable?  I’m not going to pretend that we can provide any sort of guarantee, but I do think we have a track record that instills confidence. (1) We’ve been in business for 22 years, and we’ve never been stronger. We’re not going anywhere, if God wills. (2) A license to content from 22 years ago is every bit as good as a license to the same content you’d purchase today. File formats have changed, software versions have changed, delivery methods have changed, but the license hasn’t. We provide free updates to the all content you have a license to. Read more on this point. See also here.

 

Nathan Smoyer

Social Media Coordinator, Marketing

 

Hashtags are becoming even more important.

If you craft content for social media channels, check out this brief analysis on the increased importance of hashtags in light of Twitter’s recent API changes. (Note, also, that Facebook has finally implemented some form of hashtag conversation aggregation as well.)

BundlePost » Hashtags Become Even MORE Important On Twitter

In short, because Twitter is tightening the restrictions against bulk-following and enforcing strict follower-ratios, you cannot rely on auto-follows, bulk-follows, or online follower-management tools to gain attention and grow your follower-count. Create quality content and make it more easily discoverable by using relevant hashtags.

Bottom line: I believe Twitter made a good move: quality content and conversational engagement build a better audience than automated following.

Rich

How to Attract Wild Animals with your Copy

This article from Unbounce.com offers some great tips for copy writing, specifically applicable to our product and POS pages. It will be most useful for my fellow interns, all of you who have been here for a while can correct me where I am wrong and add any additional thoughts.

I really like the analogy and the end of the article that describes customers as “wild animals foraging for food.” In this case their “food” is information and their “foraging grounds” are on the web. It is important to concisely communicate the benefits of our various products to customers, while acknowledging that each customer base has different needs. This article provides a quick checklist for writing compelling copy; I summarized the most important points below and how I connected each to the Voice of Logos.

stinky copy

  1. Know your reader. Your target audience should heavily impact your voice depending on your target denomination, and purpose for using our product (preaching, scholarly study, self-help/study, etc.).
  2. Use appropriate language. Recognize the ideal time to address your reader directly, such as in sales pitches: Logos saves you time…. You save this much money when you buy now (these are the sweet desserts that lock down the sale) and when the reader expects dense, focused information (the main course of your copy).
  3. Don’t talk about yourself. Customers want to hear what we can do for them. Instead bragging about “lightning fast search results” talk about how quick and comprehensive searches save users time in their studies.
  4.  Be Concise. Enough said.
  5. Write each page like a book. We run thousands of promotions throughout the year. At any point a promotion could link to the page you are designing/writing and all kinds of Logos users (veterans, regulars, and newbs) will be seeing your page. Ask yourself, will they know where to go from here? We all know what to do after reading the first page of a book, you turn the page!
  6. Separate sales pitches from product information. When reading about a product the customer doesn’t want to be bombarded by requests to purchase. Give them the product information they are looking for upfront, and wrap up with compelling reasons to buy now.
  7. Avoid sentence bloat. No reason to fluff up the facts, just give them the facts.
  8. Web copy is not a science. What works for one customer base will not necessarily work for another.
  9. We are the best…. According to who? We all know we provide the best customer experience from purchase to everyday use, but no one likes to hear people brag. Use endorsements and examples to show how others appreciate our products.
  10.   Have a clear CTA. Your reader should never be wondering “what to do next” after reading your copy.

Lets feed those hungry animals!

 

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Google Designers Talk Copy [Video]

Skip to the 20-minute mark here for insights into how Android designers write UI copy. The takeaways: “Keep It Brief,” “It’s Not My Fault,” and “Sprinkle Encouragement.”

That’s all UI-specific, of course, but the copy examples are worth a look.

Infographic: Exclamation Points Get More Retweets, Fewer Clicks

Social marketing scientist Dan Zarrella just released a study on punctuation in tweets. His findings: while exclamation points tend to get more retweets, tweets without them tend to get more clicks.

Note: that bottom y axis should read “clicks-per-follower.”

 

Keep this in mind if you’re promoting material—or just trying to hack Klout.