Welcome to our new look!
I want to thank up front, Emeka Rajis (website) for the brilliant job he did redesigning the site. He did it free of charge so please give him a heartfelt thank you in the comments below.
Second, as with any change of this magnitude, there are going to be bugs that we couldn't catch. If you find one, please click on the 'Feedback' tab on the right of the screen to let us know about it. Please be sure to include your browser and version e.g. Firefox 3.6, Internet Explorer 8 etc. so that we can recreate it and get it fixed as quickly as possible.
When we started Memverse we had always hoped that the day would eventually come when you no longer had to type in the memory verse but could simply recite it. That day is gradually coming closer with this feature in the next version of Google Chrome:
One of the new features is added support for the HTML5 speech input API. This means that you’ll be able to talk to your computer and Chrome can interpret it. Those who have become accustomed to doing this on Android and other mobile devices will love this. More importantly, it’s an HTML5 spec that any developer will be able to take advantage of, not just Google.
If you’re running Chrome 11, you can try it out here. It works very well. You speak, and the browser is able to transcribe what you say. No Flash, no plug-in. Yep. Awesome.
I think we're still a few years away but it will be exciting. Reciting your bible verses out loud is a great way to entrench them in your memory.
speech recognition, reciting, Chrome
We've added a new page (under the 'Home' tab) which allows you to search for memory verses. It only searches bible verses that have already been entered in Memverse by another user so if you don't find a verse you're looking for it's probably because it hasn't yet been entered. If you would like to restrict the search results to a single translation, just add your bible translation. For instance, search for "In the beginning NIV" and the search will return only NIV versions of Genesis 1 (plus a whole host of other verses that include the word 'beginning').
This is also a quick way to add verses if you can already remember a fragment of the verse you're looking for.
We recently released a few new features on Memverse. We're doing our best to maintain a simple look and feel so you might not have noticed some of them.
Print or Display Selected Memory Verses
At the bottom of the "My Verses" page you now have the option to either print (by creating an Adobe PDF) or display memory verses that you have selected using the checkboxes in the first column. This is very useful if you have similar memory passages that you'd like to print for comparison. It's also helpful if you only need to print some of your newer verses.
Filter Your Memory Verses
I really like this new feature on the "My Verses" page. There is a small magnifying glass on the right of the browser window. Click on it and a box will open which allows you to filter your memory verses by any of the columns on the page. For instance, if you type in a tag name, it will show you all your memory verses with that tag. Type in a date and it will show you all the verses for that date. Type in 'Learning' and it will show you all the verses that are still classified as 'Learning'.
Search the Blog
You might have noticed the new "Blog Search" page. It's still in its early form but you can now search the blog. This is the first step in a broader effort to implement a global search option on Memverse. For those of you who are interested, we are now running our own Sphinx search server. Hopefully, in the future you will be able to search for verses by phrase. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments on your experience with the search tool. There are thousands of configuration options.
Finally, we are aware of some of the issues with the QuickMem page. Thanks to those of you who have helped with the debugging. We're hoping to get them resolved as soon as possible. The software that we released today will clear up some, but probably not all of the issues. If you haven't done so already, upgrade your browser to the latest version. Every update gives you better performance at no cost.
filtering, search, print, display, blog
The little social bar at the bottom of the screen seems to be either loved or hated. I'm pleased to announce that it is now optional. You can disable it on the profile page (Profile -> Profile ... I know, it's confusing)
The really, really cool aspect of this new feature is that it was implemented by our second volunteer developer, Alex Watt. Please feel free to start pestering him for new features :)
A week before the Bible Bee finals Alex contacted me and asked whether he can help contribute to Memverse. I said, 'Sure', and he started immediately. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him on the video winning the whole competition! As I've mentioned before, my vision is to have more people actively working on improving Memverse. All the source code is open-sourced on GitHub and now that I've dragged Alex through the process of getting set up and contributing it should be much easier for the next person!
One note on the toolbar: many people do use it to refer a friend to Memverse, share links to the leaderboards, popular verses, and the blog. That's the only reason it's there. We definitely are not storing any of your information.
Meebo, toolbar, volunteer
We are excited to finally announce the beta release of the new memorization page. You'll find it under Memorization -> QuickMem. There are probably still a few kinks to be worked out so don't start using it unless you're the kind of person that likes to live on the edge.
It is intended to eventually replace the old 'Memorize' page. So why did we need a new one?
First, this one should be a lot faster to load each verse, especially for those of you who are on slow internet connections. It downloads the next verse while you're working on the current one.
There is also another feature which we think will help people stay on top of their memorization schedule: when a verse is not strictly due for review, you will have the opportunity to skip it. A little 'fast forward' button will appear and you can click on that to skip to the next verse in a passage that is due. This obviously only applies to verses that are being presented as part of a passage. (I realize that the fast forward button color scheme doesn't match the rest of the website ... if anyone is good with Photoshop and wants to make one that does, that would be great).
For those of you who use the 'Chapter Review' page, verses that are due as you work through the chapter will now be updated. So feel free to use the chapter review page as the main way to review your complete chapters. We're working on a better way to alert you when chapters are due for review.
Finally, there is a new Memverse counter on the home page which will update as verses are memorized. We can look forward to the day when that hits 1 million!
QuickMem, chapter review, memory verses, Memverse counter
We've added a page which allows you to search the support forum for answers to your questions. It is located under the 'Contact' menu and is labeled 'Help & Support'. If you haven't signed up for the forum, this would be a great time to do so. Just click on the 'Feedback' tab on right edge of your browser window. There is a good chance that your question has already been asked by someone else.
Second, a very big thank you to everyone who is helping out on the forum. It's great to see such quick responses and it has been a tremendous help.
support, GetSatisfaction, forum
First, sorry for the very abrupt site crash this afternoon. We released a new version today and things didn't go smoothly!
There is now a new leaderboard (yes, I know, another one!) that tracks your referrals. You'll also notice that your referrals page now lists the people that were referred by people you referred. (I know, very complicated ... it's a pyramid scheme for a good cause!) Keep your eyes on this space because we'll shortly be announcing a competition on this front. It will be something along the lines of: whoever is on top of the referral leaderboard on Christmas day will get a $100 Amazon gift certificate.
We've also made it easier to click through your verses when you're tagging them. No more waiting for your "My Verses" page to reload so you can tag the next verse. Yay!
Finally, we're busy testing something that I've had in the back of my head for a long time now: the ability to upload sermons and attach them to verses. I know that many of the verses I've memorized were prompted by a great sermon on a bible passage. Unfortunately, in most cases, I've lost the sermon. I also think it will be cool to gradually build up a library of expository sermons on Memverse. I realize that there are tons of sermon libraries all over the web but I think we are gradually building up a community of people on Memverse who are exceedingly committed to understanding God's Word. My hope is that by focusing primarily on expository sermons (sermons that carefully and methodically explain a passage from the bible) we could create a unique library over time. If you have thoughts on this topic, please leave them in the comments below; I'd love to get your thoughts. Rest assured, we will definitely take great care to keep memorization as the primary focus of Memverse.
referralboard, sermons, tags
You'll notice a couple of tweaks to your list of memory verses. We've removed some of the columns that weren't very useful and have added a column showing your tags. It's now easier to find memory verses that you haven't yet tagged as you work your way through the solo progression quests ;)
Also, once you click through to a given verse, you'll notice a small [+] next to the tags that other users have used. To add one of those to your own list of tags, you can now just click on the [+] and it will be added to your tag list for that verse.
We're working on cleaning up some of the tags that have typos and spelling mistakes but if you haven't checked out the tag cloud for a while, it has grown in leaps and bounds.
tags, tagging, tag cloud
Today we introduced a first version of a new progression system on Memverse. It's intended to be a very complete Bible memorization program that will last a lifetime. At the moment, as evidenced by those of you who whizzed through the first six levels, it only lasts about a day! We can assure you that it will become more challenging. Our hope is that this will also help new users familiarize themselves with Memverse. It should also provide a sense of achievement for those who don't want to get too caught up in the leaderboards.
You'll notice that we've also revamped the old 'reports' section under the 'Account' tab -- the one that you never visited :) Our hope is that the new Account Dashboard page will be increasingly useful in the future.
A bit more about the Memverse Memorization Plan:
- It will encourage users to explore all aspects of Bible memorization and will require you to memorize longer passages and verses from all over the Bible. We've tried to not make it too restrictive but your feedback is welcome.
- We highly recommend completing at least the first ten levels as you'll get to explore all the major areas of the website. Many of the frequently asked questions will be answered in the reading in the first few levels.
- It will enable you to proceed at whatever pace you desire. No more frantically adding verses to keep up with the power memorizers on the the leaderboards ;)
- You will have to encourage friends of yours to join you in Memorizing the Bible. Those of you who have already reached level 6 will notice that you need to refer one person to Memverse. We'll soon add a page where people can designate you as the person who referred you. We also have plans for a fun new leaderboard where you'll get to add all the verses of the people you recruit and even the ones they recruit. See Ponzi for details.
- We will continually add levels to make sure that you never run out of things to do. It takes quite a while to add all the goals but we'll hopefully add a few new ones each week. Expect them to get quite a lot tougher as time goes by.
- We promise you that at some point in the future there will be games incorporating the verses you've memorized. If you have some great ideas, or would like to volunteer to write one, we'd be thrilled to hear from you.
- If you want to get a headstart: make sure you tag about 20% of your verses and keep telling others in your churches to join. And keep working on that accuracy test :)
Remember that participation is optional. If you'd prefer to stick with your own memorization plan, you won't lose out at all.
There are two new settings on the profile page: you can now specify your gender so that we no longer have to refer to you with the genderless pronoun "their". Instead of seeing "Mary has memorized their 100th verse" you will now see "Mary has memorized her 100th verse".
Second, you can now pick your preferred translation. Currently, the only effect this will have is that the tag cloud (now looking a little more cloudy) will show verses in your preferred translation (if they are available in the system). In other words, if someone using the King James Version has tagged Genesis 1:1 with the "Creation" tag, you will see the verse in the NIV version (if that is your preferred translation) even if no one has tagged the NIV version of the verse. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is, but it should make the tag cloud a lot more useful when searching for verses based on a theme. So keep on tagging verses because it's a great way to give back to the community and remember to recycle tags when you can.
profile, tag cloud
By popular demand we have released a beta version of tagging functionality. This means that you can now start to tag and categorize your memory verses to your heart's content.
How Tagging Works on Memverse
Everyone is able to tag their own memory verses with whatever tags they would like. Our hope is that popular tags will eventually be reflected across Memverse and will be useful for everyone, including those who couldn't be bothered to tag their own verses. Additionally, there will be Memverse tags which will be controlled by us and will eventually feed into the solo progression goals which we are working on. There is a good chance that we will be guided in our selection of those tags by what emerges from the group consensus.
To tag a verse, click on the reference in the 'My Verses' list of verses. This is currently the only way to access the tagging function but over time we will propogate it to other areas of the website. Feel free to use whatever tags you want but please try to put some thought into it and stick with broad thematic tags e.g. Redemption, Salvation, Fruit of the Spirit, etc. as those tend to be the most useful.
tags, tagging, new feature
If you're like me, there's a good chance you don't frequently delve into the minor prophets. And you might not know that the most popular memory verse in Zephaniah is 3:17
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
As it turns out, and not doubt this is a sign of the tough economic times in which the world finds itself, the most popular memory verse in Habakkuk is also 3:17
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Perhaps we are all learning a collective lesson about where our focus should be. For as Haggai said in 1:5 to Zerubbabel:
Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
We will shortly be linking to a new page where you can search for the most popular memory verse by book of the bible. Just type in a book name and Memverse will retrieve the ten most popular verses. It still needs some work but you can preview it for now. We're hoping that this will inspire people to memorize some of the lesser known passages of Scripture.
We have finally released one of the most requested features: the ability to add entire chapters. Whenever you enter a verse, Memverse will now check whether the entire chapter is in the database and will give you the option to add it all at once.
We definitely recommend using this with caution. It can be very useful when you're adding chapters that you've already memorized. But if you're starting from scratch on a lengthy chapter, you will probably have more success if you take it a verse or two at a time and only add new verses as you memorize the prior ones.
We've made some changes to the reference recall section. Similar to the accuracy test, you will now have a running score for the reference recall. Every set of ten questions will give you a score out of 100. Each question is worth ten points and currently you get ten points if you remember the reference perfectly, and 5 points if you get the book and the chapter but can't remember the exact verse.
In the past we've recommended that you run through the reference recall section once or twice a day. I confess that I'm often quite lazy on doing my reference recalls and it always catches up to me because I can't pair the reference and the text. My goal is to keep my reference recall score around 80% or so because I know that will help me with the main memorization section.
For those of you who like math and care about such minutiae, the running score will be calculated as 25% of the most recent test and 75% of all the previous tests.
As always, questions and comments welcome.