Saturday, June 24, 2006

Questions About Blogging

Mark Goodacre responds to Francis Ward's questions about blogging. Since Francis is apparently looking for many responses, I'll take a stab at them.

1. How long have you been blogging?

Since July 11, 2005.

2. What got you started?

Other bloggers inspired me, most notably Mark Goodacre (NT Gateway), Stephen Carlson (Hypotyposeis), and Michael Turton (The Sword; now dead). I thought blogging would be a good way to keep sharp in the biblical field (since I'm an amateur), and get across some ideas that have been coalescing for years now.

3. Do you have a history of diary/journal/log writing beforehand?

No. My previous writing energies went into fiction, reviewing, and list-serve activity.

4. How in your own mind do you negotiate the boundary between private and public? E.g. are there things that you would not put on your blog that you would put in a journal?

The focus of this blog is on Christian origins, with sub-topics including J.R.R. Tolkien and evolutionary theory. I do some film review too, and I have an abiding interest in the medieval crusades. Occasionally I relate personal things for a little variety (and humanity) but prefer not to do much of this. I expect most of my readers will be checking in for the regular blog topics.

5. How do you decide? What criteria do you use for inclusion/exclusion?

Anything related to the academic study of the bible, Tolkien, the medieval crusades, and evolutionary psychology are fair game.

6. How much time, on average, do you spend blogging each day or week?

As of today the blog has 297 posts to its name. So I've averaged 5-6 posts a week since I started.

7. How many other people do you actively engage with – e.g. are part of your blog community?

Too many to count these days. See my blogroll and Wason & West's

8. Who is your readership – literally; as far as you know?

Regular readers of this blog include professional scholars, independent scholars, amateur exegetes, and friends who don't study the bible much themselves but are interested in what academics have to say about it.

9. and metaphorically? Do you imagine someone to whom you write/with
whom you engage?

I want to accommodate all my readers (see 8. above). So I try not to pitch too high or too low, and also keep most of the posts brief and concise to engage everyone's interest.

10. What counts as successful blogging?

(1) When readers keep coming back. (2) When they resent you not blogging. (3) When others in your particular blog community value your insights, link to you, etc. (How successful I am by these yardsticks I'm not entirely sure.)

11. What does blogging offer as a method of theological reflection?

I don't normally do that kind of thing on this blog.

12. What potential do you see for blogging as a method of theological reflection?


13. Do you know of examples of theological education programmes where students are required to keep a learning journal and blog as a form of journal?


14. Blogging and gender: do you think gender makes any difference to
any of the above questions?


UPDATE: Rick Brannan, Michael Barber, Pete Phillips, Stephen Carlson, Sean Winter, and Chris Weimer provide answers.


Blogger Dr. David Ritsema said...

I noticed the questionnaire going around and I decided to answer it myself. I don't know if anyone cares, but you can see it at my new blog on New Testament Studies at

David Ritsema
New Testament, PhD(student)
B. H. Carroll Theological Institute


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