April 19, 2006

Blast from the Past: Blomberg on Blogs

Jim West and Christopher Heard started the ball rolling commenting on the current death-scare in the “biblioblogging” community. I read about eight different takes on it from bloggers (within a day) so ironically I think proved just how not-dead the community is --- of course, there has been a drop at some level that I can perceive with any number of reasons for that. Edward Cook, Chris Weimer, Eric Welch and others have pointed out differant reasons.

I think they covered the bases pretty well, so on a realated note --- I’d like to draw attention to a post from January on Out of Ur by Dr. Craig Blomberg. I happen to really like Blomberg but I can’t say I fully agree with his comments on blogs, but I’d like to highlight some of what he had to say as I think it might have some relevance to the current “biblioblogging” discussion.

With unprecedented ease of access comes the temptation to “shoot from the hip” and respond with little thought or care for how one comes across.

This I find to be true, including by yours truly --- given how fast you can respond --- and how fast the “buzz” dies down --- there is the temptation to post reactively. This can be overcome by self-control I suppose, but its bound to happen on any level --- the fact that a blog gets out there faster doesn’t mean the ideas wouldn’t have gotten out at some point. It was the same deal with the printing press, and the same arguments were made --- Martin Luther was pretty sharp-tongued himself.

... does the lack of a filter for all but the worst of responses almost inherently set up the readership for having to deal with extremists (in either tone or content) on both sides of a divisive issue?

I actually find dealing with extremists part of the fun, but if you read enough of both sides you can find a center. The “lack of a filter” argument has been used by the “Traditional Media” as well --- and all it really means the bias filters haven’t been applied. What I mean by that is views which don’t comport to the filter are blocked out, while views found expectable are strained through. This however isn’t always a good thing! There are many views the traditional filters stop (again in the case of Luther --- Protestantism) and these views deserve a hearing. It also evens the playing field a bit, ivory town folks and interact with the common layman if that layman can put up a decent argument.

... what messages are we sending when we allow bloggers or those who respond to them to post almost any linguistic utterance at will for all the world to read?

I don’t really know what he means by this, but I pretty much covered my response already. He ends with his classic dry sense of humor ...

But then, you might not be reading these words if it weren’t for a blog site. So am I overreacting?

Yes, I think he was --- however, I’d be interested in Dr. Blomberg’s current opinion, and I’d be very interested in his view on “biblioblogging.”


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