In the previous post of this series, I summarized the main points of a thought provoking article regarding media trends. The article did a bit of forecasting, but I would like to consider how recent trends in media (especially social media) might impact biblioblogging. In a later post, I will deal with media trends and biblical scholarship in general.
Benefits for Biblioblogs
I previously concluded that “if the content we publish is sound and profitable, influence is precious.” Assuming that we are writing quality content, social media can potentially expand our sphere of influence. This can be valuable for all involved. Further, this sort of media often has a reciprocal relationship unlike that of traditional platforms. Because social media (including any blog which allows comments) is a two-way street, as one person’s sphere enlarges, so the sphere of another enlarges. Ideally, intersecting spheres serve to edify both parties.
More specifically, social sites can also be used to share links, share media, ask others for critique, quickly set up meetings, connect with other people studying within your discipline, and find an audience who is interested in your subject matter.
Blogging in particular has kept Content on its royal throne. Even in a world of SEO crazed bloggers, greedy commenters, and link-crazed users, it is quality content that will bring users back for more. This is good.
Barriers for Biblioblogs
Social media can become an all-you-can-eat buffet for the ego! More followers, more friends, more links, etc. All of this takes time. Time has economical value. There is always opportunity cost involved. At the end of the day, I would rather better understand the syntax in 1 Peter 4:1-6 than know whether or not Shaq enjoyed his dinner.
Google (and others) will soon be offering services which summarize content for us. “Context anyone?” (Yes, I’ll probably use it…a problem to be discussed another time).
The blogosphere is often canis canem edit. Many race to be among the first to mention significant news. Many only comment for the sake of traffic. Self-promotion supersedes the promotion of profitable discussion. Might a biblioblog become an egoblog in disguise?
Some will jump on every media platform that comes across the table. Others will stick to blogging. In any case, I will make a few suggestions:
- Examine the purpose of your online publishing. Peer-review? Networking? Discussion?
- Strive for quality content (without writing a book-long post), relevant information, and profitable discussion.
- Prioritize your time: Study, Writing, Networking, Site Design, etc.
- Other suggestions?