WE NEED BLOG VOLUNTEERS!
You may know – but probably don’t! – that we have a dozen or so people who volunteer to do various things that have to be done for our blog to work (e.g., help with finances/taxes/etc; read audio posts for Gold members; run the Bart Ehrman Blog Podcast; run the Blog Forum; do social media; and more).
Now some new needs have arisen, and I need some more volunteers. Interested? Do you have a few hours a week (amount TBD) to pitch in to help us as we grow, develop, and (we hope) improve?
Here are the three tasks we need help with:
- Re-categorizing Posts
As you know, the blog has been going for over ten years now; I post five times a week (counting those by guest scholars) and have done so for our entire history. We currently have over 3000 posts, all of them available in our archives.
It is relatively easy to search the archives for posts, either by looking up each category and going through the list or by looking up a key word through the search function. BUT, because we have so *many* posts, searching is not as easy as it should be. One of the major problems is that when we started this affair, we had a fairly small number of categories in which to locate the posts.
We did expand the list a few years ago (with volunteers), but we’re finding that there are lots of posts that don’t fit well into the current list and, just as aggravating (to all concerned!), some of the posts have not been placed into all their relevant categories (by, uh, me).
We have developed a new list of categories that are meant to be more comprehensive. We need now to tag each of the archived posts accordingly. For that we need volunteers.
These worthy human beings will need to have good organizational skills, an ability to recognize the various foci of a blog post, a decent knowledge of the sorts of issues we address about the New Testament and early Christianity, and a few hours (TBD) a week to put in on the project.
- Identify Threads for Easier Searching
As regular readers of the blog know, I often make multiple posts on a given topic as a “thread.” See my recent threads on my book project after next (“And Then My NEXT Book Project: How Did We Get the Canon of the NT?”) and on https://ehrmanblog.org/did-christians-invent-charity/ . And therein lies the problem.
The links to those two posts are just to the FIRST post in each thread. The other posts DON’T come sequentially—there are numerous posts on other topics in between. So how is an interested reader to find all the posts in the thread on Christians & charity? As it stands, all they can do is keep clicking “Next post” until they land on the next one in the thread.
Ben Porter, our mighty web developer, is devising a way for folks to find threads of interest and catch all the posts in those threads. But for him to do that we need to identify what those threads/posts are—we don’t have a list! So, we need volunteers to click through all the posts from 2021 on (each volunteer would do only a year or two, not all ten!), and to identify threads & which posts belong in each one.
These worthy human beings will need the same skill set as those required for Need #1 above!
- Time Stamp Gold Audio Posts
Those of you who are Gold or Platinum members know, and the rest of you may like to know, that one of the perks of being at the Gold or Platinum level on the blog is that those members get a monthly Q&A, for them only. They (you) send in questions, I answer as many as I can in an hour or so, and we post them as an audio post for Golds & Platinums only.
We would like to make this perk more user-friendly by providing a written list of the questions that I answer, and a time-stamp for where, in the audio, that particular question is addressed.
That would involve a volunteer listening to each one and making the appropriate record of which questions/when they’re being answered. We would then simply publish that record alongside the audio.
Are you interested in any of these tasks? We can guarantee that all volunteers will receive many stars in their celestial crowns. To let us know, please send an email to our COO and Runner-of-the-Show Diane Pittman, at [email protected] and we can go from there.