As part of the “Press Publish” series on academic blogging, I am conducting short interviews with prominent academic bloggers in biblical studies from around the world. (The ‘hub’ for the discussion is the initial post on Starting an Academic Blog where the discussion and links to interviews are kept up-to-date). I anticipate a between 10 and 15 interviews will be posted total.
Today we hear from Dr. Michael Bird, Lecturer in Theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry. He is the author of several books including Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission (2006), The Saving Righteousness of God (2007), A Bird’s-Eye View of Paul (2008), Colossians and Philemon (2009), Crossing Over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period (2009), and Are You the One Who is to Come? The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question (2009). He co-blogs with Dr. Joel Willitts at Euangelion.
1. When and why did you start blogging?
I started back in 2005, largely impressed with what guys like Mark Goodacre, Scot McKnight, and Michael Pahl were doing. It seemed like a good way to share ideas, join conversations, and try to promote the type of things I’m interested in.
2. What are a few of the benefits you see in blogging?
Several things: It gives your scholarship real time avenues for disseminating ideas, almost instantaneous feedback. It creates a network of friends, dialogue partners, and critics. It provides a means of marketing ideas and recruiting collaborators.
3. Should more academics be blogging?
Well, it depends; it is not for everyone, and can be time intensive. I think we need people blogging if they can commit to doing it regularly and think about interesting things to blog about.
4. What advice would you give an academic who is thinking about starting?
Think before you blog. Blogs are very poor places for polemics. I know because I’ve uttered several critical remarks in haste myself and once it is out you cannot take it back. Otherwise, blog regularly, keep the momentum up, try to link up with like-minded people. Try to get people interested in the things you are interested in.
Thanks once again to Dr. Michael Bird for contributing to the discussion!
Update: A few of the academics I’ve interviewed suggest teaming up with a few others to get started blogging. I’ve also had others express to me their worry about the technical aspects of starting a website. So I am considering the possibility of a multi-blog website that will allow a number of academics to participate without having to worry about technical website operation. If you’re interested in participating, will you give me your name and email below so I can determine the interest level and let you know if it’s a go?
You’ll get a quick email to confirm.