And… we’re back!

Thanks to a summer intern who is living with us in Peru, we pushed the first upgrade to ROA today in over 3 years. You can now edit prayer requests by double-clicking on an item when you’re in the Home section. 

We have rewritten the app to latest versions of underlying libraries and upgraded to redundant databases (Google App Engine HRD). Please comment if you notice any negative (or positive) changes. We now have an excellent foundation in place to begin rapidly adding new features, and I’m starting to work on the Android app.

Stay tuned!

New email options

ROA’s summer intern is working hard to roll out many new features and enhancements. The first to see daylight is the new HTML email option. If you’re tired of plain text, sign in and go to Settings, where you can now choose HTML or text email. You can also uncheck the “Send daily emails” box to stop receiving daily emails altogether.

Next we’re working on the long-requested edit feature, and, coming soon… mobile apps!

Bible tools for Firefox users

Have you ever started to quote Scripture in an email and wished for a Web site where you could quickly search for the verse in mind and cut and paste into your email?

You need the Toolbar for Firefox! It’s like Google for the Bible, simple and fast.

Another userful Firefox add-on is the Bible Refalizer, which automatically searches for Bible references within web pages and adds hyperlinks from those references to the Logos online Bible and others.

There is also a snazzy Web 2.0 Bible tool called Jot66 in the works from the folks at DeoWorks (I’ve seen a private beta). As a Christian technologist, I’m excited to see what like-minded and like-talented folks are dreaming up online!

Business model, what business model?

I’m long overdue to write about the proposed business model for In a nutshell, it is my desire that the service remain free for individuals and that IT resources be paid for via a subscription plan for churches and other Christian groups (missionary organizations, Bible studies, houses of prayer, etc.).

What do you think of the following model?

  • Free (individual) accounts will allow you to join as many groups as you like and create up to two private groups of your own with no more than, say, 13 members each. This way, everyone can share prayer requests with a group of close friends and family members for free.
  • A small group account designed for Bible studies would allow you to create a public group (listed in searches) with, say, up to 40 members for something like $25/yr.
  • A church account would give your church a public listing and info page and would allow the church to create an all-church group with up to 400 users and an unlimited number of sub-groups for something like $250/yr
  • Finally, there would be a mega-church or large organization account with still larger numbers of users and dollars attached…

An alternate model would limit the number of groups an individual could join with a free account. In this model, the small group and church rates would be reduced and offset by the sale of individual pro accounts for people who connect to a large number of groups. This perhaps more equitably distributes the operational expenses between individuals and groups.

What are your thoughts? Please post a reply below.