For some time now (maybe 9 months) I have noticed a serious decline in postings on a number of blogs, many which I used to regularly read. In fact, some bloggers who were the most widely read and most prolific, have just about disappeared…
What is happening?
Here are, I think, problems that have led some bibliobloggers to lose steam
2. Lack of time – but, since most of us are either full-time students or full-time professors, we can all complain about not having time, and yet we all still do it.
3. Writer’s block – I have experienced this before, but I think it is temporary. Inevitably we (as bloggers) are engaging in new discussions, facing new teaching and research problems, and reading new books.
4. Lack of interest on the part of readers – maybe some have felt that there are no readers out there, or just a few. But I believe, if you make it worthwhile, “they will come.” Also, small communities are fine.
Perhaps I can convince any one blogger to push forward, or I can excuse one or two for a serious period of absence for a good reason (like moving across country like I will be doing in a few weeks). But what can we do about the languishing world of the biblioblogs [I recognize that some pockets are thriving, but I must confess that it appears to be losing energy as a whole]?
I don’t mean to be overly critical – I WANT to see revitalization. Here are some of my recommendations.
1. FOCUS – We need bloggers to think about their niche more. General readers, I think, are not looking for everyone to comment generally, but to learn (at least once in a while) from the specialties of each blogger.
2. FRESH FACES [or PAGES] – We need some new blood. I think we have all appreciated the very exciting contributions of new biblioblogger, but well-recognized scholar, Prof. Larry Hurtado.
3. CONSISTENCY – Some good bloggers seem to be hit or miss on actually blogging about the New Testament. Sometimes we see humorous posts about the news or random thoughts. I think (and I know some will disagree with me) that biblioblogs need to be more consistent in content. That doesn’t mean it has to be all serious – blogs are fun precisely because we can be more casual and goofy. However, I get frustrated when I see a feed-reader for biblioblogs and none of the posts are about Biblical studies!
4. TRUE CONVERSATION – It seems that, though we read each others’ blogs and even sometime comment, we don’t always seem to be having meaningful conversations. Can we start to facilitate good interaction somehow and try to learn from one another as (ideally) happens in face-to-face conference-style interaction? Perhaps initiating more bloggers conferences might help, where a group comes together (digitally) at a certain period and commits to blogging on the same issue/problem/subject/text, all drawing from different strengths and with a willingness to respond thoughtfully to others for mutual benefit.
5. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS NEED TO STOP. Enough said.
6. DEEPER RATHER THAN BROADER – Perhaps we may see more productivity if bloggers commit to writing a series of posts on the same topic. This helps generate interest and also lends itself to the blogger reflecting more deeply on the subject.
Disclaimer – some folks are content with making random posts and not taking the blogging world too seriously. Fair enough. However, even though I come to this world for some kind of recreation, I still hope to learn and have meaningful academic discussions as this biblioblogdom continues to exist.