Last week, we brought our largest team ever to the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). While Accordance is based in Orlando, Florida, many key members of the Accordance team—including trainers, developers, marketing personnel, and associate scholars—are scattered across the United States and even throughout the world. These folks all telecommute really effectively, but we decided to use ETS/SBL as a pretext for getting many of them together in one place. For that reason, we actually brought more people to work the conferences than we really thought we would need.
I was a little worried that with so many hands on deck, we would have Accordance staff standing around our booth with nothing to do, but the Accordance booth was so consistently busy that boredom was never a problem. I did lots of demos to new Accordance customers, many of whom were Windows users excited about finally having access to Accordance without the need for an emulator. The demos I enjoy the most are the ones where a Ph.D. student comes with a specific research need, or a professor comes with a new class they're preparing to teach, and they want to see if Accordance can help them. When they see what Accordance is capable of, it is not uncommon for their jaws to drop, their eyes to light up, or even for them to laugh involuntarily.
One of my favorite things about working the Accordance booth is the way our team of demonstrators works together to meet people's needs. It is quite common for one of us to begin a demo and then get asked a very specialized question: "Can you show me the new Hebrew Masora Thesaurus?"; "Is there a way to do this search using the MT-LXX Parallel?"; "Can you teach me how to create my own custom maps with the Atlas?" If this question is one that could better be answered by someone else on our team, the demonstrator will not hesitate to ask for help. The scholar with the MT-LXX search had three of us working on his problem before we finally came up with a solution, and he left feeling very well taken care of. The thing I love about this dynamic is the complete lack of ego among our team members. No one is afraid to ask for help. No one is tempted to try to fake their way through a demo. Everyone's focus is on finding the solution the customer needs, and I think people leave our booth knowing we truly care about the work they do.
On the last night of SBL, our entire team enjoyed a wonderful company dinner at a restaurant in Baltimore's Little Italy. After dinner, we each said a few words about how we thought the conferences had gone. As I listened to each person's comments, I was struck by the degree to which each speaker was praising other members of the team—including team members who hadn't come to the conference. When someone mentioned that this year's brochure was really helpful, several people began praising the behind-the-scenes team members who had prepared it. When we discussed the excitement among some scholars over our new Masora Thesaurus, we were told about the remarkable scholar who had produced it, and the incredibly talented developer who had compiled the module. I never cease to be amazed at how quick my coworkers are to praise one another.
A few days later, I was back home with my family enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving. Among the things I'm most thankful for is the fact that I get to work with such amazing people who function more like a family than a mere company.
The 2012 annual meetings for the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature wrapped up last week and the Accordance team was glad to be a part of the action. These shows are always a great time to meet a wide variety of biblical scholars, and to show everyone the latest Accordance developments.
Many people were especially interested to see our working demo of Accordance 10 on Windows. It was my first time seeing the Windows version in action as well, and I was impressed by the progress I saw. All of the main searching functions were up and running, and Accordance's trademark speed was in full effect, which is encouraging news for Windows users. We still don't have a more specific release date than 2013, but progress seems to be coming along nicely.
We also had our latest beta of the Bible Study with Accordance app on display. The new 1.6 update should be released to the iOS App Store within the next few weeks. This update includes some more great design enhancements for you to look forward to. Below is a sneak peak of just one improvement—an enhanced night mode with the Slate theme applied throughout all views.
Last but not least, we released a number of new Accordance modules at ETS/SBL. These resources are sure to get scholars, students, and international users excited. Here is the full breakdown of the new releases.
We also announced the following modules as prepub specials. Pick them up now for discounted pricing!
This complete 8-volume set of The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew is the first dictionary of the classical Hebrew language to include the Bible, Ben SIra, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and all the other known Hebrew inscriptions and manuscripts.
Prepub Price: $299.99 (to be released late November 2012)
|Dictionary of Epigraphic Hebrew
A Dictionary of Epigraphic Hebrew by J.P. Kang is the only dedicated dictionary of the Hebrew inscriptions of the Iron Age (ca. 1000–586 B.C.E.). This work is currently on prepub special and is due to be released in January 2013.
Prepub Price: $39.99
For the first time ever, scholars can perform complex lexical, morphological and grammatical searches of the reconstructed text of Q with this fully tagged module. This work is currently on prepub special and was released today.
Prepub Price: $24.99
As you can tell, we've been pretty busy these days. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the Accordance booth at ETS or SBL. It is always such a great experience to meet with our users and hear about how everyone is using Accordance in their teaching, ministry, and personal study.
It's that time of year again! This week the Accordance team will be converging on the cities of Milwaukee and Chicago for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). While I'll be missing ETS for the first time in many years, I'll head to Chicago later this week to teach an Accordance training seminar and to help out at SBL.
If you'll be at those conferences or in those cities, there are several opportunities to meet Accordance staff and to learn from Accordance experts. Here's a rundown of where we'll be and what we'll be doing:
ETS Conference (Nov. 14-16): Look for us in Exhibit Hall B of the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee. We'll be in booth #238.
Free Training Seminar in Chicago (Nov. 16): On Friday, while the rest of the team is breaking down the ETS booth and driving down to Chicago, I'll be teaching a seminar at Moody Bible Institute. If you're in the Chicago area and would like to attend, we'll be in room 319 of the Sweeting Building from 9 am to 5 pm. As with all our seminars, you're welcome to come and go as your schedule permits. To register for the seminar, e-mail us at seminars(at)accordancebible(dot)com. I hope to see you there.
SBL Conference (Nov. 17-20): You'll find us in Exhibit Hall F2 of the McCormick Place Convention Center’s West Building. We'll be in booth #539. As always, our booth is sure to be both large and extremely active.
Accordance Reception (Nov. 18): Want to come socialize with us in a more relaxed setting? We'll be hosting a reception in Suite 1879 of the Chicago Hilton from 7:30 to 9:30 pm on Sunday, November 18. Eager young students are finding that this is a great opportunity to network with top scholars—and just think how impressed they'll be that you're already using Accordance!
So there you have it. We have a busy week ahead of us, but it's always fun to put faces to names and help people get the most out of Accordance. If you can join us at any of these events, we look forward to seeing you!