Two years ago, I got to go up to Seattle to present at the BibleTech conference put on by the great folks at Logos. I can’t attend this year, but I do have a small tool I’d like to share in honor of the conference starting today – here’s the live feed of the confernce hashtag.
bib.ly is a new Bible URL shortener and linker that attempts to solve a few tricky issues with Bible references on the web. Here’s what I set out for it to do:
- Easy to create Bible URLs – If you’re sharing a Bible verse on Facebook or Twitter, it’s hard to remember exactly how to create a link to a verse. There are several awesome existing services (http://ref.ly, http://esv.to, http://bible.us/), but bib.ly is probably the easiest to remember (only one character different from the well-known bit.ly).
To make a link just add any combination of book, chapter, and verse numbers (plus a version) after http://bib.ly/ like so
The site will also create links for you if you have trouble doing it yourself:
- Your friends choose their favorite Bible website (YouVersion, BibleGateway, etc.) – The other Bible reference shorteners out there all tie to a specific Bible reading website (bible.us => youversion.com, ref.ly = logos.com, etc.), but the bib.ly lets the person who clicks on the link decide where they want to go. If you post a link to Mark 5:36, when someone clicks it they’ll see a screen like this where they can choose their favorite site
I considered taking visitors to a default site with an ow.ly-style toolbar at the top of the page, but I personally don’t like those. I think the best solution will be to add a “remember my choice” checkbox that will automatically take you to your favorite site (see below).
- Automatically link verses on your site – Creating short links for Twitter or Facebook is great, but what about if you have a giant list of Bible verses (like DTS’s doctrinal statement which has long lists like Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2–3; 18:28; 26:22–23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)?
bib.ly also has plugins you can add to automatically link up all Bible references on your site and see the text of the verse just by running your mouse over the link. You can use the WordPress plugin to do it automatically, or if you’re more adventurous you can add the following code to your site:
<link href="http://code.bib.ly/bibly.min.css" rel="stylesheet" />
Matt Mullenweg (who created WordPress) writes, “if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.” I’m definitely embarrassed that I didn’t get to several features before launching, so if you’re interested here’s what’s coming down the pike:
- A checkbox for “remember my favorite site” so that if you love YouVersion.com bib.ly will always take you there or if you prefer Bible.Logos.com bib.ly links will take you there without stopping at bib.ly first.
The text of the current Bible reference will show on a little hovercard when you mouseover a link on your site.. I updated the tool this afternoon so that it does Bible popups. It’s KJV for now, though I hope to add additional versions soon.It supports ESV, NET, and KJV
- Non-English languages, more Bible translations, support for apocryphal books.
I have a few other fun ideas, but they’ll require a fair number of people to start using bib.ly, so please give it a try and send me any feedback you have.