Friday, April 12, 2013

On New Media & Biblioblogging, Part One: A Definition

Note: Over the next few days, I will be posting a series of thoughts on biblioblogging and New Media. I have become more active as a blogger over the last year, and thought that some of my regular readers would like to know why I consider myself a biblioblogger, and what it means to operate a biblioblog.

The rapid growth of the Internet in recent decades has in turn brought about an explosion of the free and public dissemination of information online. Wikipedia, for instance, comprised roughly 100,000 articles (English) in 2003[1]; in 2013, however, the popular online encyclopedia crossed the threshold of 4.2 million articles (English), an average annual growth rate of more than 410%.[2] To keep up with the growing interest in social and professional networking that has accompanied this information boom, new forms of communication have arisen to meet the challenges offered by the demands of a largely digital society. Of all the so-called “New Media” birthed out of these demands—Facebook, Twitter, websites for 24-hour news outlets that feature video streaming—of particular interest to those in the field of biblical studies and theology is the rise in popularity of the weblog (or “blog” for short) as a quick and practical form of scholarly communication. In turn, academics who specialize in theology and the Bible have developed and refined the specific genre of weblog known as the biblioblog, which will be the focus of this blog series
What is a Biblioblog?
For the purpose of this blog series, I will operate under the following working definition of a biblioblog: A biblioblog is an online source of regularly updated information (i.e. a blog “feed”) with content generated by one or several scholars, students, and/or hobbyists whose primary academic emphasis and writing focus is the Bible—both the Hebrew scriptures and the Christian New Testament—as well as appropriately related texts. Those who blog primarily on theology might comprise a separate genre known as theobloggers; however, most bibliobloggers often post variously on issues of biblical studies as well as theology, so there is no need to make such a distinction for the purpose of this post and the posts to follow.

Up next: Advantages of Biblioblogging

[1] Wikipedia contributors, "History of Wikipedia," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed April 9, 2013).
[2] Wikipedia contributors, “Wikipedia: Size Comparisons.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed April 9, 2013).

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