People at Olive Tree
At Olive Tree there are a lot of people who combine their gifts, passion, and expertise to make The Bible Study App what it is and also vision what it will become. One of the really important teams is currently made up of a group of eight individuals that we call Content Craftsman, who are responsible for making sure all of our resources are formatted and work with The Bible Study App. I recently sat down with Kathy Watts who is the Content Craftsman team leader to learn a bit more about what they do.
Andrew: How long have you been with Olive Tree and what’s your background?
Kathy: I’ve been with Olive Tree for 3 years and my background is in Library and Information Science.
Andrew: What exactly is a Content Craftsman?
Kathy: Being a Content Craftsman is more than just converting text to work with our software. It’s making the information accessible, visually pleasing, and crafting the presentation of it in a way that makes it easy to understand. Because of how digital information is presented we now have the ability to visually communicate it in creative ways.
Andrew: What are some of the steps involved in the process?
Kathy: One of the great things about the Content Craftsman team is that we have people with varying backgrounds and strengths such as computer science, original languages like Greek and Hebrew, and web design. As a result they each have their own way of tackling a project and creating the navigation within the resource and making it to work within The Bible Study App.
The challenge is to think how people interact with the text, understand the resource itself, and then how to get it to work with our App.
Andrew: What does the future look like?
Kathy: With the accessibility of digital information most people experience information overload. How Bible software organizes that information is important and we want to help people find what they want quickly and easily so there’s no impediment to study. Historically a lot of deeper study material was really only accessible to scholars and pastors. There are fewer gate keepers to Biblical resources than there’s ever been and so the opportunity to equip everyone is really exciting!
The winners were:
Monica for Best Presentation (Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake),
Cherylyn for Best Taste (Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake)
and Dave for Most Creative (Cheesecake-Stuffed, Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries).
Congratulations to our winners!
We’ve got a great team that is always talking, working, and collaborating together but we also try not to take ourselves too seriously. Here’s a Dilbert comic strip that’s been hanging in our break room for the last week.
In other news, we’ve got a great sale this week on Seven Resources That Will Enhance Your Bible Study!
A couple of weeks ago we asked a question on our Facebook about what device people were using to run The Bible Study App and what country they were from. Hundreds of you were kind enough to answer (you can see the post here) and one of the things that stood out was how many people from around the world use the Bible Study App to read and study God’s word – over 3 million people from 6 continents (we’re still trying to find someone in Antarctica).
There are two reasons this is exciting to us at Olive Tree:
Matthew 24:14 says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” As many of you indicated the country you’re from it was a great reminder that God’s promises come to pass. The good news (gospel) has gone out as Jesus promised and no matter what country we’re from we are all a part of his Kingdom.
The other reason it was great to see your responses is because our work at Olive Tree is driven by our mission statement to, “inspire people to connect with God and study the Bible using technology.” As individual employees we are all continuing to grow in our faith and blessed to be a part of a company that seeks to provide the best tool possible to study, learn, and grow.
(The Olive Tree Offices)
Last week we asked for prayer requests through our social media channels and as a staff we gathered together on a Thursday morning to pray for those of you who had submitted requests. It was a great honor for us to be able to do that and something we want to continue to do in the days ahead. We also appreciate your prayers as we are praying and planning for the future and how to best equip and resource people who use The Bible Study App.
We value your feedback and our development teams are constantly working to bring new features to the various platforms. We also appreciate your ratings! If you haven’t yet rated our app on Google Play or the Apple Store please take a minute to do so.
Olive Tree employees had the opportunity to participate in a Spokane-area Christmas tradition this year called the Tree of Sharing. The non-profit organization aims to serve the “often-forgotten” members of the community by supplying 60 local agencies with Christmas presents and other aid throughout the year. My coworker and I picked out 30 tags before Thanksgiving on which 30 individuals of all ages had requested Christmas gifts. The gifts Olive Tree employees could buy were varied, to say the least, from hats and gloves to board games to monster trucks and John Deere tractors for kids. I particularly liked these guys:
For three weeks, Olive Tree employees brought their gifts in, some wrapped and some unwrapped, and piled them around the Christmas tree in the Olive Tree kitchen. By the end of the three weeks, we had quite the stack of presents!
This morning, two men from the Tree of Sharing organization came to pick up the gifts. Several of us helped them carry the gifts out into the gently falling snow to a car that would deliver the gifts to the families and individuals.
In this Christmas season, it has been such a blessing for me and the other Olive Tree employees to follow Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew: “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (25:40). Praise God that Christmas reminds us to give with bold generosity as we pattern our lives after the King of Kings who “though he was God, did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being” (Phil. 2:6-7) and “so the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only son” (John 1:14).
Praise be to Emmanuel, God With Us!
Question of the Day: Does your family or workplace have a giving tradition at Christmas? Tell us about it.