Fred Sanders addresses the topic of Why Professors Blog at The Scriptorium daily. In this post he highlights scholars such as Scot McKnight and NT Scholar Andreas Köstenberger. It still amazes me how they keep up with blogging.
It’s easy enough to find horror stories of professors “fired for blogging” (just google the phrase), or job applicants who suspect their strong online opinions have rendered them less than hireable. But what I wanted was evidence that somebody had been hired for blogging, or promoted for it, or that professors were using new media activity to make progress on their professorial goals. Instead of just brainstorming about my own reasons, I interviewed a handful of my favorite academic bloggers in my own field, Bible and theology. Here are some of the most helpful remarks from Michael Bird, Scot McKnight, Andreas Köstenberger, and Peter Leithart. Some of these quotes you’ll find in the book, some didn’t make it through the final edit and are appearing for the first and only time in this post.
New Testament scholar Michael Bird, who blogs at euangelion and also at evangelical textual criticism, had some good remarks about how he thinks of his online work as counting toward his overall academic goals, and enthusiastic testimony about the opportunities it has afforded him:
I’ve included on my CV my contribution to the “Evangelical Textual Criticism” website because it is part of my academic activity in that it contributes to scholarship and is read by many leading scholars, authors, and post-grad students. I consider it a legitimate and noteworthy activity in terms of academic practice, but I am cognizant of (a) not everyone knows what a blog is yet (still), and (b) some have a distaste for them too. Also, I do not include my own blog “Euangelion” on my CV because it is a mixture of journaling, biblical studies experimentation, networking, and shameless self-promotion.
My blog has put me on the radar of several publishers and editors who have noticed my blog, liked what they read, and asked to meet with me and discuss possible projects that cohere with their publishing goals (which is currently bearing great fruit!). More obliquely, through blogging I’ve established several friendships and partnerships with other junior scholars like myself whom I have successfully roped in to various publication projects that I am undertaking. In this sense, starting a blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.
In terms of marketing for seminaries and colleges is a brilliant tool. A fair few people who have either applied or inquired about post-graduate study at my college have done so on the basis that they want to do a Ph.D with me given what they have seen me do on my blog. So blogging I think is a great way of attracting research students if you can establish a niche of some kind that draws in people to the kind of stuff that you’re interested in.