YouVersion: Behind the Scenes

Guest Post by Chase Livingston

I’ve been working with the YouVersion team for a little over a year now, and have learned quite a bit over that time.

The amount of work that gets done compared to the number of people actually doing the work is astounding. I’d like to give you a little taste of what goes on behind the scenes, and show you the tools and things that help the team do what they do.



Great communication is important with a team as spread out as YouVersion’s. We are scattered all across the country, so we don’t have the advantage of working together in an office everyday and being able to exchange information face to face. That’s where the tools we have at our disposal really come into play.

Email is one of the big ones, as you can probably imagine, but we don’t always use just plain email. We also rely heavily on 37signal’s Basecamp app, which integrates email with a threaded, forum-like conversation. Skype is also huge for us.
It allows us to have free calls with multiple people, no matter where we are.


Volunteers are a huge part of what we accomplish, and with so many of them, we have to be able to effectively manage our communication with them, and also be able to find out what they’re working on quickly. To do this, we use another 37signals product, Highrise.

It is a great tool for managing a huge number of contacts, and tracking your interactions with them easily.

For general communication amongst the team, as well as our daily stand-ups, we use Google Wave. Stand-ups are basically a place for everyone to post what they’re working on that particular day so that we all have an idea of what to expect from each other, and also have a place to easily ask if we need something.

When I first started using Wave back when it was released, I couldn’t really find a good use for it, and it didn’t really fit in with any other communication I was already using. Using it for daily stand-ups, however, has proven to be very useful.

It is great for jumping into a conversation at any point and being able to catch up within a matter of minutes. It is also easy to reference past information, as well as embedding images, links, etc…

I hope that if you were curious about how YouVersion operates, this has given you a little taste of how we help millions engage with Scripture through the web and mobile apps. I’d be glad to try and answer any questions you may have, just leave them in the comments.


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John Saddington is a full time blogger (, loves leading his creative team building web apps, and is a passionate enthusiast of WordPress. Follow him on Twittter @TentBlogger.