Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The End of Biblioblogdom?

I note that Jim West has announced the "dis-integration" of the biblioblogging community. He may well be correct, or not; I don't know. I do want to put in my two cents about my own decreased activity in the blogosphere, which Jim cites in two places, including the remark that I (among others) have been "strangely silent."

As I noted a while back,* I started a new, non-academic, job in November that keeps me busy 40 hours a week. When I'm not "at" work, I continue to do other work at home, fulfilling commitments to Oaktree Software and others, and trying to honor various writing contracts. I also have family and church activities that I would not like to neglect. There's just not much time for writing blog posts or even reading them.

If, as Jim asserts, the other "classic" bibliobloggers are blogging and communicating less, this may be a function of the expansion of Biblioblogdom. When I started blogging in November 2004, there were approximately 4.5 million blogs (according to Technorati); now there are 35.8 million. This exponential growth has been felt among biblioblogs as well. The community that started out small has grown too large to keep up with even in a passive read-only way, to say nothing of engaging in daily back-and-forth debates.

So ... life happens. It's okay. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

* I said in November 2005: "This meeting [SBL] caught me in the middle of a career reinvention, as I begin to renounce the threefold academic vow (poverty, bibliography, and jargon) and transition from full-time independent scholar to full-time cubicle dweller with philology as a hobby. This will also affect "Ralph"; as the demands on my time increase, blogging will become harder to fit in. But I won't quit. Watch this space."


Anonymous said...

"I also have family and church activities that I would not like to neglect."

A statement that THRILLS your parish priest!!


slaveofone said...

Hmm, this troubles me... I currently have that 40 hour a week desk job and are considering pursuing a career in the academic field. I would like to teach Biblical or theological studies some day in the future. Have you been faithful to the vow of poverty due to your independant scholarship or should I expect a backward transition if I move in this direction--to more training, education, and work and consequently less money and less time?

I'd appreciate the wisdom of those who are currently in the shoes I'd like to stand in...

EMC said...

Well, "slave", every situation is different. If you plan to teach those subjects, then get an advanced degree if you don't have already have one. How much money you need to do this depends on where you go and how much money you start with and how much they give you. In the short term being a grad student will mean you will have to live on less money, I'm afraid, than you might be used to. But in the long term, if you want a professorial job, you have to get the degree. If you already have a doctorate, I wouldn't recommend being a full-time independent scholar unless you have very secure financial backing.