Sunday, October 16, 2005

What would Jesus blog?

Religion News Blog has this story from the Associated Press on What would Jesus blog?. You might say that the bibliobloggers would be in the perfect position to answer the question, knowing what they know (or perhaps more accurately what they don't know) about the historical Jesus alongside their blogging experience. But it's not biblioblogging that is the topic of the article but a "God blog" conference in California. Since we have a session coming up soon on biblioblogging, at the SBL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, and we need to start thinking about this soon (cf. Ed Cook on Ralph), here's a question. What is the relationship between biblioblogging and God- (or god-) blogging? My blog is not really a theological blog, and my own academic interests are more historical than theological. Many other bibliobloggers have the same bent, Paleojudaica, Hypotyposeis and Philo of Alexandria, to take three obvious examples. But there are others who are much more interested in blogging on theological issues. Is Ben Witherington or Jesus Creed a biblioblog? Should we all do what AKMA's Random Thoughts or Dave Black online do and blog on anything of interest to us? More questions and thoughts later.


Zeth said...

As a humble but somewhat extreme reader of blogs, I would offer my 2p (or 2c now I suppose).

While AKMA's blog works because he happens to have discerning taste, I would not recommend this approach for everyone. Indeed quite the opposite.

Only attempt this if you are confident that you are personally interesting enough to do better than all the other people doing the exact same thing, or if you do not mind having no readers outside your immediate friends.

Posting on a theme and becoming the dependable source of good information on that topic is the direction that good blogs are going in.

Also team blogs (or cross-syndicated groups of similar blogs) will increasingly help to solve quality vs quantity problems.

Posting on something only one or two steps removed from the topic is not too risky, and eye-witness accounts of national events etc are fine too.

However if I go to a blog on, say, Pauline theology, I am not too interested whether your cat has the flu or the current resale price of your gas-guzzling SUV. A post on another area of the New Testament or life as an academic or whatever would probably be okay.

I did a random thoughts blog for four years and had picked up about four readers - one per year!

I blogged for a week on the abolition of the monarchy and then stopped, yet this blog consistently received a hundred-times more traffic than my more personal blog.

crystal said...

Yours is the only scholarly historical Jesus/NT blog I visit ... the rest are theology/religion and I belong to a communal one of those. I do like your off-subject posts on the differences between the US and UK.

Ken said...

My definition of a biblioblogger is "a professional or graduate student in the field of biblical studies who authors a blog." Content is irrelevant to me because a blog is not a recognized academic forum with peer review. So, while some bibliobloggers may opt to restrict themselves to professional matters, it is still fundamentally a private, non-academic enterprise. If a biblioblog were to be institutionally supported and subject to peer review, then we might talk about a professional biblioblogger. But, as it stands, contra Jim West, I think we're all amateur bloggers, albeit with professional degrees, offering informal news, comments, and observations of interest to us or our audience.

Derek the ├ćnglican said...

It's a difficult question. I don't consider myself a biblioblogger; I am in the "technical" sense, though. My blog tends to deal either with communion-specific theology/polity issues or the medievalist side of my work. Nevertheless, I'm an NT person and read plenty of "full-on" biblioblogs. Given the nature of the technology the lines will never be as firm as they would be in a print medium.