- We will never profit from selling your information.
- We will never intentionally give away your information for free.
- We will make a stout effort to ensure that your information is never stolen but we can't guarantee that. We use fairly standard tools for everything and have similar security to many websites. That said, we're not a bank and if an army of hackers attacks us, there's a chance your email address will be stolen by scoundrels.
We had always hoped to find time to write a monthly newsletter which would cover new developments on Memverse, scripture memorization tips, and encouragement to keep going when the world calls. As it turns out, adding new features to the website, fixing bugs, and keeping up with our own memorizing has meant that the last newsletter was almost a year ago. Fortunately, Phil Walker has kindly volunteered to write one for us. We might still send out an occasional newsletter (don't hold your breath) but we recommend that you subscribe to Phil's. I know many people have been blessed by his encouragement in the past.
It's easy to sign up. Just enter your email address into the box below and click 'subscribe'. There is also a subscription link on the Contact page.
Memverse experienced a significant outage starting shortly after midnight. This was the message from the Dreamhost data center in Los Angeles:
We’re very sorry about the inconvenience this is causing, but we are experiencing some network issues with some servers in our LAX data center. This is causing downtime for Private Servers and MySQL. Our network engineer is on site and we hope to have this issue resolved as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, it lasted much longer than anticipated. After spending some time with their support staff they let us know that they have also been having widespread problems with the stability of their servers. Some of you have occasionally reported errors cropping up and I suspect that those might be related.
Thanks to everyone who has reported bugs and problems with the website. It has been very helpful as some of the problems were not even showing up in the usual error log files. We continue to work on the stability of the website and hope to minimize these type of outages as much as possible.
The much discussed 'News' section has been moved off to another page. We should take this opportunity to clarify: the news feed is syndicated from 'Christianity Today' via a technology called 'RSS' (Really Simple Syndication). We don't read it before it arrives and exert no editorial control whatsoever. The current feed contains the most popular articles from Christianity Today's online site. Over the past year we have received many comments about the news section and I think many people were under the impression that Memverse was reporting the news. We wish we could be that productive! As it turns out, roughly 1/3 of the people who emailed us with feedback liked the news section, 1/3 found it too conservative and 1/3 found it too liberal. We have our own opinion but decided that it wasn't part of the core mission of Memverse and that it would be better to move it off the home page.
Over time, we do intend to add more sources of news but RSS is a relatively new technology and has been adopted only slowly by Christian news organizations. We have always had a vision of aggregating the best that has been thought and said from a Christian perspective across a broad spectrum; but that has been put on hold for another day.
If you would like to comment on this topic, we'd like to recommend both a re-reading of James 3 and also a period of reflection before posting.
There are a few common mistakes that we've noticed when people enter new memory verses:
- Quotation Marks - please do not omit quotation marks. It is understandably tempting to omit the single sided quotation marks but they should be included as they are part of the text
- 'LORD' vs 'Lord' - I don't remember the exact difference but in Old Testament verses we frequently see 'LORD' entered as 'Lord'. These two terms are different and it's important to enter them correctly. Fortunately, everything is case-insensitive when you're memorizing so you won't be tested on the difference!
- Periods and Full-stops - these are very frequently left out at the end of verses.
We are not being pedantic on this front. All the major translations' copyright restrictions require identical punctuation and spelling so we eventually correct every verse to match the given translation.
entering verses, punctuation
We are having endless problems with both the account activation emails and the reminder emails not getting delivered because they are often classified as junk email. To make sure that you get your reminder email, please add 'firstname.lastname@example.org' to your email address book. This should work for most email service providers but if you have a different method of white-listing email domains then you should follow that procedure as well.
Even if you are receiving your reminder emails it would be a big help if you could add our address to your address book as it will improve our email reputation.
You will notice a black rectangle on the right side of your web browser labeled 'Feedback'. That's a link to a new tool that we're using to allow people to submit ideas for new features, to ask questions about how to use the website, or to report problems. Since we now have thousands of registered users, it has become harder for us to answer everyone's questions and help new users get started. Our hope is that by creating a repository for new ideas and questions on the usage of the website, it will allow the community to help out (and will allow us to get back to the top of the leaderboard ... just kidding).
If any of you would like to volunteer to help answer the questions that people have, let us know and we can add you as an 'employee'. Either way, I think anyone can jump in and help out.
We'd also love people to propose new ideas for Memverse and to vote on the ideas that other people have submitted as that will help us prioritize what we work on. So just click on the 'Feedback' button on the right and try it out.
Alert users will have noticed the new avatars next to their blog comments. As you can see, we spent less on our default avatars than James Cameron did on his. You, however, face no such restrictions. If you don't like the avatar next to your name, feel free to change it at Gravatar.
Those of you who use an RSS reader can now subscribe to the Memverse blog as we have finally got the RSS feed up and running. That way you don't need to keep checking for new posts. Many of you have asked for a way to track recent comments (rather than clicking through every blog entry every day!) ... we're working on it.
Phew! The transition to the new server is complete and it looks as though everything is working. We'll be tweaking the configuration over the next few weeks so you might notice the occasional blip. This is a very exciting development as we now have capacity to expand throughout 2010 and beyond.
Some of you might have noticed that the number of error messages was growing quite quickly as the database expanded and more users joined. Hopefully, this transition will put those days behind us. In the past, we were sharing space on a single server with many other websites. This resulted in very unreliable performance. Even worse, though, was that our hosting company would frequently bump users off the server in mid-memory verse to free up capacity.
We now have our own dedicated space with room to expand and we're hoping that Memverse will be a lot more reliable. Thanks again to those of you who have generously supported this transition.
If you're very alert you will occasionally notice corrections to verses that you're memorizing. In the early days of Memverse, we allowed anyone to edit any verse. The hope was that, like Wikipedia, any inaccuracies would gradually be eliminated. This turned out to be a foolish hope as users often decided that a slight tweak to the work of the Bible translators would be preferable. Since we now have thousands of users memorizing some verses, it was important that one person not be allowed to tamper with a jot or tittle of the text.
If you look at your list of verses you will notice that the last column designates verses as either 'Locked' or 'Editable'. If a verse is still editable, it means that you are the only person currently memorizing that verse and we encourage you to edit it to be as accurate as possible. Cutting and pasting from Bible Gateway (please also remove any footnote information, verse numbering, and new line characters) is the best method to ensure accuracy. At some point that verse is likely to have a second user who will be memorizing the verse as you entered it.
Once a second user starts memorizing a verse, it is flagged for review by one of the moderators. The verse will typically be verified within a day or so and will then be locked to prevent further editing.
Despite the best efforts of our moderators, you will occasionally find a verse that is locked but that still has an error. Just drop us a line and we'll gladly correct it.
admin, entering verses
Welcome to the new Memverse blog. We'll be using this blog to answer many of the questions that we currently get via email. We're still more than happy to answer email questions, but we thought that sharing the answers on a blog would be helpful for others.
You will be able to comment on the blog without having to create another login so feel free to ask questions or comment. The comments are currently moderated but hopefully we'll be able to drop that soon.