Oooo, Gots me an Endorsement…And On Officialization…

Bryan Bibb over on Hevel.org gave me a very kind plug.  Thanks Bryan!  And of course my readers should make a point of visiting Bryan’s blog as well.  And not just Bible nerds.  Bryan’s also a techie, and he’s got stuff about Macs and iPods and such as often as anything else, and I know I’ve got Mac nerds who lurk here.  So go check out Hevel, worth your time for sure.

He also makes a kind comment, saying that I’m a good member of the biblioblogging community.  I do try to make the rounds on the blogs I enjoy, and I comment when I feel like it.  I know how much I like to interact through comments with my readers (all three of you), and I’m also obscenely outspoken (in the sense of quantity, not content), so that bit is easy.  This does make me think again about the idea of defining the biblioblogosphere.  It’s a topic that’s been making the rounds partly due to the latest discussion of sexism that April kicked off, and partly due to Jim’s announcement that there will now be an official biblioblogging session at SBL and an official relationship between SBL and…well and what?  John Hobbins and Chris Heard have raised some concerns on this front already, Chris most vehemently.  I’m not so against the idea of a biblioblogger/SBL connection as Chris, but I agree with all of his points.  The reason I’m not against the relationship is because the biblioblogosphere is going to keep on being what it is, regardless of official connections.  It isn’t a definable entity, no matter what anybody says.  It’s made up of bloggers and commentators and lurkers, not just bloggers alone.  I also doubt very sincerely that it’s one definable community or blogosphere, but is instead probably a bunch of different communities that overlap here and there.  I know that I hardly ever read a ton of the blogs on the Top 50 list.  I don’t even have all of the top 10 on my blogroll.  It’s not because I have a problem with those blogs, it’s just because they don’t pique my interest.  I’m guessing that’s how most bibliobloggers work.  So what is it that is being officially affiliated with SBL?

I’m not really upset by this, and it’s entirely possible that it will be a very good development.  Mark Goodacre is certainly right that there’s no harm in trying it (and I’m very happy with Jim’s steering committee).  So I’m not vehemently opposed to the association like Chris appears to be.  And though I don’t think anybody should try to define the biblioblogosphere “officially”, I don’t care about the issue all that much because such attempts at definition are doomed to failure.  That just ain’t how the internet works.

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Updated blogroll…

I’ve added a bunch of new blogs to the blogroll today, mostly as a result of the recent discussion among a number of bibliobloggers regarding women and biblioblogging. Thanks to April and Pat for pointing several of them out. I’d already been visiting some (especially Boulders to Bits, which is a favorite that just never got added for some reason), but others were brand new to me and a couple of them even deal with Hebrew linguistics and discourse analysis, and so are particularly welcome. I freely admit that I cherry picked the blogs that talk about stuff I’m interested in, cause that’s how my blogroll rolls (hehe, get it? get it?).

An aside regarding the conversation about sexism in the biblioblogosphere. Though I think that the conversation has gotten a little nasty on both sides at times, Judy reminds us men that we just don’t have as much invested in this issue as women do. That may seem obscenely obvious, but it’s something that I know I often forget. That said it’s not too surprising that some of the women who blog about academic biblical studies are a little pissed. But why are some of the men?

As an aside to the aside. April writes, “I have to say that it is striking how immediately aggressive and sexualized some of the male reaction to my gender blogging has been, and how the humor used (including the cartoons and some of my colleagues reactions to those cartoons and circulation of them) turned women like me into either bitches, madams, or dominatrixes.” First of all, I agree that a lot of the vehement reaction from some bloggers was striking and aggressive (and not in a good way). Second, with regard to the cartoons, I assume she’s referring to these cartoons posted by Jim Linville. The reason I mention these specifically is because I linked to them and noted they were funny in my previous post and I wanted to clarify. I don’t think they are funny because they portray women as bitches or madams. I took them ironically, as attacks on men who think of women as “bitchy” when they behave in a way that would get a man the label “aggressive.” In other words I saw them as ironic feminist digs at a sexist culture.