So the latest biblical studies blog carnival is up, and in it Claude Mariottini laments:
I discovered that many people who write academic blogs have stopped writing or have posted very infrequently to their blogs. I have to confess that I could include myself in this last category of bloggers. Some bloggers who are prolific in posting to their blogs, post items that are only indirectly related to biblical studies. These bloggers may post items of interest to some people, but these posts do not provide an in-depth study of the biblical text.
Phillip Long made note of this and commented:
I agree: some of the best bloggers have either stopped writing altogether or they are only occasionally posting. But there are always new blogs and new grad students who post frequently.
Others have made similar comments before – I recall Nijay Gupta once commenting that bibiloblogging needed to change… and Jim West even declared biblioblogdom dead last year.
I am among those who had been quite prolific (around 2008-2009), but then slackened off for various reasons. At that time of being very active on the blog, it was a period when I and others were still PhD students – Chris Tilling, Nijay Gupta, and others were sparking ideas that had come from their studies, and I myself found it very fruitful to try out ideas that I was playing with in my research. It was also a time of great interaction. Then when I began lecturing full time in 2010, things changed somewhat, and I began to post a lot less frequently.
But (and this is the resurrection bit), this year I’ve suddenly become a lot more active with the blog. In part, this is because of a conviction that it really is a useful avenue. It enables the trying out of ideas in a way that is ‘published,’ and so allows interaction – but it’s not proper peer-reviewed ‘published’ – so it doesn’t need to be so rigorous or entirely thought out. So it means I can say things very tentatively, or I can say ideas that I soon change my mind on, or I can be entirely wrong, and it doesn’t really matter. My practice at this point is to simply blog stuff as it comes up – as I’m preparing a book review, I’ll blog about things that hit me along the way; as I’m preparing lectures, I’ll blog about points that excite me; as I’m doing research, I’ll blog about an idea I’ve got; as I’m listening to Plato, I’ll blog about a point that captures my attention. James McGrath said a little while ago – in a blogpost I can’t now find – that he advocates this sort of ‘blogging along the way’ – and I think it’s a good idea. It means that later on, when I’m writing up a lecture on 1 Corinthians, I’ll think, ‘Hey, what was that point about the word gnorizo? I’ll search my blog!’ – and I’ll come across what my thoughts were, and the kind interactions that others offered on the topic.
So don’t be put off by the death of the biblioblog – of all people, we should be expecting a remarkable resurrection!