Growing Apologist

Becoming a Defender of Truth

Media Review: LibriVox

From Microsoft OfficeI love to read. Or at least I used to, before I started my job, as it pretty well taps me out and I haven’t enjoyed reading a good book in a while. This does not mean however that I do not enjoy good books anymore. Enter: Librivox. Founded in 2005, LibriVox is an online library of free audio books. How is it possible? Volunteers read books that are in the public domain then submit the recordings back to LibriVox and LibriVox makes them available either through direct download on the website or through iTunes. Currently, LibriVox has 4560 books in its domain. Read the rest of this entry »

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Media Review: CHSS Ministry & eBible

Another Word for Heaven

I must confess—I am a resource junky.  My profession as an engineer has fed this addiction, as there is nothing better to an engineer than a great resource.  In fact, an engineer is only as useful as his (or her ) resources.  Being a believer in the unseen (three cheers for God and electrons!), I search for all the  books, web pages, audio files, PDF’s and blogs out there that accurately explains and describes the truth.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Weekly Media: CU Podcast

Have a media that you love to use? I would be glad to review it and provide a post on it with you and your website attributed to it. Just send me an email through the Feedback! Page or post in the comments.

CU Podcast Avatar

I listen to a lot of different podcasts while at work and one of my favorites is Catholic Underground (CU), “Your guide to the digital continent”. The CU podcast is a round table discussion on news, media and technology through the lens of Catholicism. The round table is made up of priests and lay people—it is quite entertaining.

I attribute my motivation and desire to learn more about faith to these men. As a new convert to the faith, I didn’t realize the depth and breadth of the Catholic faith and these men discussing hot topics in the news and how Catholics should be responding to such events helped me to realize that there is so much more to being a Catholic than attending mass once a week. Somehow they are able to take pressing news and work in a discussion on pro-life, natural family planning, the papacy, etc., and be lighthearted and entertaining at the same time.

I listen to CU through iTunes. Click here to download iTunes for free. Once it is downloaded, click on the iTunes store inside the program and search for Catholic Underground. For those of you who do not use iTunes, you can listen directly from their site here.

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Weekly Media: YouVersion

This is a new type of post that I will begin posting every week. The purpose of these posts are to give my readers an overview of a media that I have found useful in my walk with Christ. The media could be anything from websites, books, podcasts, apps and technology.

Have a media that you love to use? I would be glad to review it and provide a post on it with you and your website attributed to it. Just send me an email through the Feedback! Page.

This Weeks Media: YouVersion

Overview

YouVersion is an online bible community owned by LifeChurch.tv. The homepage of YouVersion is a bible reader on the left side of the screen while the right side is the Organizer (see screen shot below). Through the Organizer, bible verses can be bookmarked, relevant notes written by other users, a section for your own notes, accessibility to reading plans, and an audio bible app. A dropdown box allows the user to select a version of bible, search for particular verses, or browse to a book/verse in the bible. YouVersion can also be installed on other devices that use apps or have access to the web such as smart phones and tablets.


Likes

The interface for the online bible is one of the best that I have found to date. It has the look and feel of a scrolling eBook rather than hyperlinked websites. Around the bible reader, several tools and communities have been built. For example, the user can subscribe to a reading plan for reading the bible in a year, a particular book over a set timeline, or topic based such as verses or books relating to relationships, humility or Christmas. The notes allow the user to read other peoples thoughts on the bible verses or to share their own thoughts. As the user scrolls through the bible in the reader, relevant notes that other users created populate under the organizer. This allows people to build on each other’s knowledge and to share their thoughts. The user can also join a group that share the same religious backgrounds or values in order to create a community that encourages and share knowledge.

The community developed around the bible reader is an exciting idea. It brings a whole new perspective to the social media arena, but does not attempt to compete with the likes of Facebook. Instead, the developers at YouVersion are carving their own niche by creating a community centered on bible sharing.


Dislikes

My biggest complaint is the usability of the site and the availability of help resources. Some of the features do not have logical access. For example, I have created a group for Growing Apologist, but I have yet to figure out how to post any bible bookmarks to it or share notes on the group’s page. I thought to myself, no big deal, I will go to the support page and figure it out. There was no information on groups on the support page. That being said, YouVersion seems to be a newer community, and it takes time to develop usability and help resources.

Note:  I discovered that there is not a specific way to post to the group, but any activity recorded to my username will automatically be posted to any group I am part of.

Check it out!

Over all, the idea behind YouVersion is unique and beneficial. The site is still being developed as it is a newer social media. The downfalls far outweigh the benefits that a follower of Christ can gain from using this site. Join YouVersion to reap these benefits and while you are at it, check out the Growing Apologist group.

What do you think of YouVersion? Let us know in the comments section.

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