A lot of people often ask how OYBO was started. First let me just say for those that don’t know, OYBO is short for oneyearbibleonline.com.
I guess it was around the year 2000, I picked up a copy of The One Year Bible from Tyndale Publishing to read through the bible that year. As is often the case many folks fall behind for one reason or another. I thought if there was an online resource I could access from the office I could catch up while eating lunch at my desk.
I searched all over and kept coming up empty. So I figured that I was the one that was supposed to build it, I began construction of a site that linked to each days readings based upon the same reading plan as the book. I couldn’t be the only one who would like to have that resource available, and if anyone happened upon the site then they could utilize it as well. After a short time I saw that there were indeed people that had located the site and were frequenting it regularly, it was a good impetus for me to continue. I tried to stay at least a few weeks ahead of the scheduled reading during the construction of the site so that any followers could stay on track with me. I think that first year there may have been around 50 people that had discovered the site.
When the next January rolled around I remember being quite surprised at the traffic bump. I would receive thank you emails from visitors as well as corrections that were needed. I noticed that come around March though traffic would begin to level off. Even with the online resource people would still fall behind in their scheduled reading. Now let me just say that if you are reading The One Year Bible and fall behind, don’t beat yourself up for falling behind, just jump back in at the current date. It’s more important to be in God’s word than it is to be on schedule.
Each subsequent year I’ve witnessed the surge in traffic, even with other companion sites that have been created by others for the same purpose. I’ve even discovered numerous sites that have literally just lifted my code for their own purposes… shame on you people.
Over time I’ve heard from visitors suggesting additional features to add to the site. One in particular I really liked was to be able to define the day of the year you started. That person wanted to be able to take his school class through the bible, but beginning in September. It was at first a bit tricky to code for that and had to rethink how the back end would work. Leap years also come into play too! Though I’m not convinced I have that part down the way I’d like to see it work, but since it only comes around once every four years I’m not going to worry too much about it. Oh, and for you folks who email me asking what they should read on February 29th, just go ahead and read some of your favorite passages or use the day to catch up or read ahead.
Other features that have been added are RSS feeds, a daily/weekly e-mail newsletter and a Google gadget that anyone can use to add the readings to their own website. The gadget displays the current days readings as well as 3 days prior and the next 3 days of readings. There is a version for mobile devices, a Facebook version of the site as well as a Twitter feed. After several years I also decided to add the reading links to The One Year Chronological Bible.