Bart’s Blog

Always Looking for MORE!!

11
Dear Devotees of the CIA :-) ,

      From where I sit, this blog is going very well.  On average about two new members join a day.  That may not seem like much, but at $24.95, a pop, over time, it adds up to some serious money for charities dealing with hunger and homelessness — which is what is driving my efforts in the first place.   But as I’ve indicated before, and will indicate yet again, time and time and time again, I want to do more and would like to see us be even more successful.  Far more successful!

      I would like your help.  I would like those of you who enjoy the blog to become shamelessly evangelistic for it, and try to get others to join.   Those who join will get a lot of bang for their buck, and all proceeds go to charity.  I have nothing else at stake in the whole affair: I certainly have other things I could be doing with my time (like, right now, watching the Olympics!) (OK, I’ve been watching some; and it’s been fun being in London just now) (even travel by train hasn’t been as bad as predicted) (but back to my point:) I do enjoy posting on the Blog, but I’m doing it, ultimately, for a bigger cause.  And I would like more people to participate.

     The reason I’m posting this here, and now: yesterday I got the following endorsement from someone who is a member, and I am very grateful for it.  I share it with you.  Feel free to share it or use it with others: or do something similar yourself!

     Also, please let me stress that any time anyone feels so moved, they are urged, encouraged, and even allowed to make an additional donation to the Bart Ehrman Foundation.  As with the Blog itself, I personally absorb all operating/administrative costs, so that every penny donated goes to worthy causes.

     Now, for the email I received yesterday, which this subscriber wrote up precisely so that it could be shared more broadly:

************************************************************************************************************************

 I remember how surprised I was when I first read that to be a member of Bart’s blog I needed to donate to his foundation that supports a number of charities. I never heard of such a thing. It took me about a week to convince myself to join, even as one who has thoroughly enjoyed Bart’s published works and debates. I almost did not join. Part of my hesitation involved the vast amount of free stuff available online related to Bart’s work (including dozens of lectures and debates on Youtube). My hesitation was not donating to charity, but stemmed from my question of “Would I get anything new on this site?” 

As one who eventually joined and has been a member since April I wanted to describe my thoughts so far for those who remain “on the fence” on whether to join. Since many have already commented on the positive value of the blog for effectively raising money to help those who are homeless and hungry due to the amount of people who have joined, I do not think there is a need for me to say anything about that. What I would like to do is make a few comments on the quality of the blog entries and the meaningful interaction between Bart and his blog members.

First, regarding the entries. When I first joined I was hoping for around 2-3 blog entries a week. However, since the blog started in April Bart has posted just over 100 blog entries. This is nearly one post a day. The nature of the posts includes Bart’s general thoughts and ideas, personal reflections, responses to his critics, discussions and previews of his current projects and books, and my favorite, responses to his readers and some of the questions from his blog members.  The content and quantity of his blog entries has surpassed my expectations.

Second, regarding the interaction between Bart and his blog members. Bart devotes a good amount of his blog entries to answering some of the questions of his blog members. This is what I enjoy most about the blog. Members are also able to make comments on his blog entries and he also briefly interacts, almost on a daily basis, with these comments. Comments made by members are also interesting, engaging, and thought provoking.

Given these two features of Bart’s blog, I thoroughly enjoy being a member. I am glad I decided to join.  If you have enjoyed Bart’s books you will certainly enjoy his blog.

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Discussion

  1. Phillipsna  August 2, 2012

    Amen to that!

  2. Mikail78  August 3, 2012

    Bart, I will do my best to evangelize for your blog! :-) By the way, I think your decision to charge a fee to join your blog with all the proceeds going to charity was an absolutely brilliant decision. I know you caught some heat for it at first, but I think it was a great thing to do. The money is going to a great cause, plus, I think it’s a good way to weed out trolls and other people who aren’t interested in rational and civil discussion.

  3. dallaswolf  August 3, 2012

    Besides “sharing” this post on Facebook, in the name of shameless evangelism, I also posted the following “status” and link on my facebook page. I submit as a template for others to edit and post:

    If you are at all interested in Christianity in Antiquity or New Testament Textual Criticism, I highly recommend Bart Ehrman’s Blog. Bart is a leading New Testament scholar, currently a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a best selling author with titles such as the highly readable “Misquoting Jesus”. Bart uses the Blog to fund Charities relieving hunger and poverty. He takes nothing for himself… nothing. http://ehrmanblog.org/

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  August 3, 2012

      Many thanks!!

    • trudehell  August 6, 2012

      Thanks Dallaswolf, I shamelessly copied your text. (Hopefully CTRL+C works better than antique transcripts in regard to accuracy! ;o)

  4. donmax  August 3, 2012

    By my calculations, assuming you average 2 sign-ups a day, you might have about 250 current paid-up bloggers. That’s only $6250. Better than nothing, of course, but not much when you factor in the time involved, plus operating expenses, etc. The challenge is how to grow. How to increase the number of participants and the amount they’re willing to kick into the kitty. In other words, you need INCENTIVES. Reasons for members to go the second mile.

    Most people already have favorite charities. (I happen to like Boys Republic, Hospice and Biblical Tamar Park.) Few of them will be inclined to step out on a limb, financially speaking, for unnamed beneficiaries, be they homeless or hungry. So you might consider highlighting specific people, telling their stories with a personal touch. Then, if and when someone steps up to the plate to help out, acknowledge that, too. Use photographs and captions like a yearbook with quotes and thank yous. Show and tell what CIA money is doing! What a difference their membership and donations are making

    DCS
    p.s. Since you are the draw, the person everyone wants to interact with, perhaps you could include a year-end get together for fun and relaxation. Maybe offer discounted copies of some of your books or video lectures.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  August 5, 2012

      Thanks for the suggestions.

      Actually we’re over $10,000. Maybe thta doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a lot more than $0. And yes, everyone has there own charities; but few give these kinds of benefits for such a small fee!

  5. RonaldTaska  August 3, 2012

    I can add another “amen”!!

    Once one shifts from a devotional to a historical focus, the journey can be quite isolating and lonely. No one in churches that I have attended and in communities where I have lived has any interest whatsoever in such a historical quest. Indeed, they sort of smugly sneer at the idea and accuse you of lacking faith. So, finding Bart’s books and Internet debates and Teaching Company courses and now his blog have meant the world to me and that is no joke.

    • brandyrose  August 10, 2012

      I have felt the same RonaldTaska, and appreciate so much seeing other’s comments. While I am still a practicing Christian, my evangelical friends are either opposed to anything that questions the Bible’s inerrancy or are indifferent to a non-devotional approach. It’s wonderful to read all of Bart’s thoughts, and all of everyone’s comments. I’ll definitely share the Blog with others :)

  6. donmax  August 5, 2012

    Here’s some more thoughts that came to mind upon further reflection. I sympathize with what you are trying to do with your blog. It’s a noble effort in what appears to be a good cause. That said, I have three suggestions to increase participation and the flow of funds.

    1. The best way to achieve financial results is to earn as much money as you can (by that I mean writing best selling books or whatever else gives you the best chance of monetary success) and double your level of contributions. This isn’t as bad as it seems, since it gives you a 25% return on donations. Warren Buffet and his son actually give away much more than that, as do some others you could emulate if so desire.

    2. Write a book and designate 100% of the profits for the charity of your choice. Let it be known far and wide that with this particular effort you intend to forward whatever is earned (after taxes, of course) to x, y and z charities.

    3.Tell your members that those who contribute beyond the cost of membership are eligible to post a 300 word essay of their choosing in CIA’s CONTRIBUTOR’S CORNER, a spotlighted message open to comments and replies from CIA members at large. This will get you off the hook as the only draw and encourage more public involvement. You might even make it a contest with voting for best entries.

    Good luck,

    DCS

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  August 5, 2012

      Interesting ideas. I’m not worried about my own personal contributions to charity, but am completely comfortable with how I manage that. But your point 3 is worth some thought. Thanks!

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