Sunday, September 07, 2003

What's your vision for the blog?

Bob Shacht writes to me at to ask:

I'm not much of a blogger myself, but I see that you first outlined clearly how *you* intend to use the NTGateway blog. Then you give us an e-mail address for us to use to participate, but you don't really offer your vision of what kinds of things you'd like to see from others that would be suitable for the NTGateway blog. Do you see it primarily as a venue for posting information about changes in weblinks, new weblinks, meetings, etc, whether posted by you or others, somewhat like a bulletin board? (Wow. Takes me back maybe 10 years to think about electronic bulletin boards!) Or do you see it as a venue for discussion, like an e-mail discussion group such as XTalk, or John_Lit? Or how do you see a blog-- or more particularly, the NTGateway Blog-- doing something different from these older media? I'm a bit behind the curve on exactly what a blog is, but so far from what I've heard it seems like an excuse for a website owner to vent his or her own opinions about anything, without having to footnote it. Anyway, bottom line: please clarify your vision of how you'd like people to use this email blog address.

The short answer to this is that weblogs, as I understand them, evolve identities over the course of time. I'd like this one to evolve naturally in response to its users' comments and as my own idea of what's worth posting develops. The bottom line is, frankly, that if there's something that I find interesting that's relevant to the NT Gateway's theme, I'll post it. The NT Gateway is for material relevant to the acadmic study of the New Testament. This weblog is a part of the NT Gateway and so I'll post stuff that I think is relevant or interesting to the NT Gateway's users.

No, I don't necessarily see it as a venue for discussion, interaction etc. ; the e-lists are the best place for that. Yes, I do see it as for posting web links and the like but not solely for that. Yes, I may well use it as a venue to post my opinions about things; I'm not sure that footnoting makes a lot of sense in this kind of forum, though the hyperlinking of odd details to provide links to external information on a given topic is analogous to the academic footnote. So please use the email address to tell me about matters of news & interest to academic New Testament studies. Thanks for your questions, Bob.

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