Monday, January 12, 2004

How long . . . ?

On his Philo of Alexandria blog, Torrey Seland writes:
Etana turns out to be an excellent site for students of Philo and his social world too. But it makes me think about how long it is useful to keep up all these other collections of links like my own site, NTGateway, and others. I know from my own work that it eats my time, and I can't imagine how Mark Goodacre gets time to keep up his great site as a one-man work...
Have we reached the point where we should seriously consider coordinating more of this work, get some sponsors, and establish a team to work on a really megasite for Biblical studies? Viewpoints are welcome....
Torrey is asking a useful question here and I don't know that I have a good answer at this stage. Four initial thoughts, though, as well as to second Torrey's "viewpoints are welcome":

(1) When people ask me about the NT Gateway at conferences, usually to wonder out loud about how I get the time to do it all, I tend to find myself saying that I enjoy doing it and that's why I carry on doing it. As soon as I stop enjoying it, I will have to stop doing it. (It's also a fact that I work too hard, produce less research than I would otherwise do and don't get as much sleep as I should, but you don't want to hear about that).

(2) Where I was beginning to flag on keeping the NT Gateway up to date, this blog has helped enormously. For reasons I've stated before, it's much more enjoyable than just doing the NT Gateway.

(3) There is one area that I have failed to keep up to date on the NT Gateway and it is now causing me some concern: on-line articles. These are proliferating at a real rate and it is not straightforward to keep on top of them. This situation is hardly going to reverse itself and there may come a day when I have to admit defeat on this one.

(4) I've sometimes wondered out loud about the possibilities of greater collaboration and it may indeed be the way forward to begin thinking seriously about this. My hunch is that it would only work if one could involve a major organisation and the obvious one would be the SBL. But all this needs some more thought.

Let me make clear that I have absolutely no intention of stopping developing and maintaining the NT Gateway, but I do think that Torrey Seland is asking some useful questions for the long term about how we all look to the future for Biblical (and related) resources on the web.

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