Blogging the SBL Annual Meeting – Proposals & Prospects

The editor of the SBL Forum, Leonard Greenspoon, has asked for my input in how best to blog the coming annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, in November 2008. I have a number of ideas, though I thought it would be good to propose some ideas and then open up discussion from other bibliobloggers. Here are my ideas:

  • First, the goal shouldn’t be to blog the entire meeting. That, obviously, would be a bit too much. I would think that all of the major presentations should be covered (e.g., the presidential address) as well as some of the more controversial papers. In addition, some editorial pieces may be worthwhile, especially since this will be the first SBL without the AAR.
  • Second, in addition to the type of posts noted in the first point, the SBL Meeting Blog should also serve as an ongoing “carnival-like” repository of links to SBL-related discussions going on in the blogosphere. Thus, someone could keep and eye out and put together a daily round-up of links. Even better, bloggers could be asked to email a trackback url to the editor of the SBL Meeting Blog when a relevant post is uploaded.
  • Third, perhaps a regular podcast from the SBL meeting could be arranged and distributed via the SBL Meeting Blog. This could include interviews with some SBL bigwigs, discussion of controversial papers, or just general impressions of the meeting.

If these are the sort of things the SBL Meeting Blog would cover, then the blog would need to be a team blog with different disciplines represented and perhaps an overal editor/organizer. Then we could assign certain bloggers to cover certain papers and topics, etc. Of course there would have to be some technical details worked out; first and foremost the question of where the blog would be located and what blogging platform would be used (WordPress is my vote). Leonard wants this as part of the SBL Forum, though I am not sure if their server has blogging software capability (I assume it probably does, though I am not sure if it is a unix based server or not).

At any rate, those are some of my ideas. I now open up the comments for a discussion on how best to blog the SBL annual meeting. What say you?

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5 Responses to Blogging the SBL Annual Meeting – Proposals & Prospects

  1. Calvin says:

    The ideas sound good to me, especially the second.

    Any server should be able to use blogging software such as wordpress (which receives my vote as well), even Windows servers.

    What about the possibility of “live-blogging” a major presentation. That might be an interesting take. Live-blogs can be hard to do well, but when they are they can be quite interesting.

  2. Jim Getz says:

    My biggest question about blogging, especially live-blogging concerns free wi-fi. He who controls the wi-fi controls the universe! The wi-fi must flow!

    Other than that, I like a carnival idea or some kind of blog aggregate that would allow those of us who plan on blogging anyway to publish or push our posts both at our blogs and also on the SBL forum.

    I’ve been grading papers all day, so I hope I’m making sense…

  3. I’m just watching the NFL draft (in between defrosting sessions with a cranky refrigerator) and just came across a ‘live blog’ session using ‘coverit’ … perhaps you cutting edge bibliobloggers could make use of this (free) software:


  4. John Hobbins says:

    Thanks, Tyler, for pursuing this. I don’t have any bright ideas of my own, but I like yours.

  5. Asiabible says:

    Can I be a wet blanket? Should we step back and ask what the goal of the blog is? What benefits, and for whom, would the SBL Annual Meeting Blog offer? If it is wider discussion of the issues, then focusing on a few papers and having contributors prepped in advance would be good, if it is “building community” then I suspect the online blog might detract from the offline meeting over coffee…

    How about something for those who cannot be there physically? A podcast of selected papers, with a discussion forum (using WP as software) where some prepped respondents post reactions and listeners (virtual and/or real) can comment and argue…

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