Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Why post the RBL newsletter?

Ken Ristau asks:
So why do so many bibliobloggers post the RBL Reviews Newsletter, or even portions of it, when we all get the same email? Are there many people who are interested in those reviews who don't subscribe to the newsletter?
It's a question that comes up from time to time, so I will repeat what I have written before (June 28 2005):
In the Macintosh Biblioblog Joe Weaks comments "If you frequent Mark Goodacre's blog, you've observed his personal obsession with posting the review notices in web form". "Personal obsession" might be a little strong, but I do like to post the RBL links relevant to the NT here and for a couple of reasons: (1) RBL themselves still only have an email updates service and not a web updated service, so -- unless I am wrong -- you cannot go to the Review of Biblical Literature website and see what has been posted recently. In that respect it is unlike a standard print journal. You can't browse, unless of course you go to the Search the Post link and write in to "Date Review Published". (2) Quite some time ago, I suggested dropping the regular updates here, as others like Jim Davila did at the same time, but when I suggested this, several got in touch to ask me to continue to do it. (3) I like to build up the available data for searching on the NT Gateway, and to be comprehensive on the NT titles in RBL ensures that I am not leaving out potential gems that may be of interest to others.
Under (3), I'd like to try to nuance the point a little further. Let us say that you wanted to search on the NT Gateway under "J. D. G. Dunn", it would bring up lots of material on the site including blog entries in which there are links to reviews of his work mentioned under the RBL entries. I'd add a fourth point too, that I find myself far more likely to click on a link in a blog or a web page than in an email.


Christopher Heard said...

Similarly, I usually post the OT RBL reviews while I'm doing iTanakh updates.

Matthew said...

Keep doing it, Dr. Goodacre. I am a pastor and when I teach New Testament classes I have a class blog on blogspot that my members can go to for class information and helpful resources. I always like the NT Gateway. The folks I teach don't get the RBL E-mail like I do so finding your posts helps people who wouldn't normally read the RBL site especially there is a review of a book that interests them.

Tommy said...

I am very grateful for the newsletter. For some reason you did not post the newsletter of 17 June. Perhaps you were travelling at the time.

Anonymous said...

I also ask that you keep doing it. I wholeheartedly agree with all of your criteria, especially finding myself far more likely to click on a link in a blog or a web page than in an email. If you stopped posting RBL I would read about 10% of what I read now. Thanks for your blog and for posting stuff like this.

Stephen C. Carlson said...

I don't post the RBL newletter because you do.