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Blog Preferences

To:  Members of the CIA.  And potential members of the CIA.  And anyone else who wants to be involved.

From: The Director of the CIA

Re: Overt operations

OK, so here’s the deal.  A couple of weeks ago I published a post indicating how we were doing now just over five months into this blog.   A number of you commented about the number of posts that I’m doing, many of you (not all) indicating that it seemed like a lot, and some (not all) suggesting that fewer might be better.   That got me thinking.  I wonder if some people are turned off by the blog because there is simply too much information on it, and it’s a drag feeling like one has to plow through it all.  That, obviously, would be counterproductive for what I want to achieve (which is maximum subscribers, to raise as much money for charity as I can).   And so it occurred to me: maybe I should simply ask you, the readers, what you would prefer. 

So this is a kind of CIA survey.  I would appreciate it if you would respond, by *commenting* on this post (NOT by sending me an email, or, well, any other mode of communication).  I will not approve the comments for the blog, but will simply tally up the results, report them, and then act accordingly.  Your response should take about 15 seconds.   I have three things I want to know:  how many posts per week would be optimal; what the size of those posts should optimally be; and whether in your opinion the answer to either question would affect how many people joint the blog.  Just give quick answers (e.g., by commenting:  2-3 week; 900-1000 words; no I don’t think it would matter – or whatever you think.

So the issues and choices

(1)    How many posts per week do you think would be optimal for the blog?  2-3? 4-5? 5-6?  (For point of reference, I now do about 6 on average.)

(2)    What in your opinion would be an optimal size: 300 words?  500 words?   750 words?  1000 words?  1250 words?  (For reference: most of them now are 700-1100, I would guess)

(3)    Do you think much more or less from what you’re suggesting would affect membership in a negative way? 

     Many thanks!

     And please remember – donations to the Bart Ehrman Foundation (in addition to your subscription fees) are ALWAYS WELCOME.  All the money goes to the charities fighting hunger and homelessness that I have discussed elsewhere on the blog.

The Sense of an Ending
On the Blog Itself



  1. Avatar
    mjardeen  October 5, 2012

    4-5 or more, length is fine as is — just do what you need to convey the idea.

    I just joined a few weeks ago and set about reading every post to date. My only irritation was having to go to the end of a month, then find the start of the month and read from bottom to top, such is the reality of reading a blog. An archive that only list member post from start to finish would be nice for new members so they can catch up.

    Reading it in this manner also drives home my general impressions of you both as a scholar, a teacher, and as a human being. My exposure to you started with your trade books, having read three of them so far. God’s Problem prompted an email exchange as it sums up why I am agnostic. I do not see a plan in the random suffering of people. I find the randomness of existence more comforting as there is no blame, no plan, no need to apply artificial constructs to make sense of it all.

    I think you strive to be honest, true to the task you have set for your life, and very considerate of the distinction between scholarship and faith. This is admirable and a defiant position in a region and nation where all too much mingling of private spiritual belief and public practice occurs on a daily basis. We saw this the other night during the debate when Romney stated “We should focus on religious tolerance and freedom… we’re all children of the same god.” It is exactly this kind of presumptive attitude that agnostics, atheist, and non Judeo Christians struggle against.

    I will leave you with a quote from the TV series Babylon 5: “You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.”
    –Marcus Cole

  2. cheriq
    cheriq  October 8, 2012

    As the earlier reply, I’m new to the forum and catching up. Having read two of your books, it is nice to read your remarks that either enlarge on your book presentations or go beyond. I grew up similarly to you – in Lawrence, in a fundamentalist/evangelical church. But, unlike you, could only handle one year of a religious college! I have not become an atheist or agnostic; but, after finally admitting I could not believe what is required to be considered a “Christian” am a deist – probably best described as panendeist.

    So, basically, your input here seems good to me – thus far!


  3. John4
    John4  July 7, 2015

    1) the most that you are comfortable posing.

    2) the longest that you are comfortable posting.

    3) The more the better, I would think, as long as you are enjoying it and not burning out. 🙂

    Many thanks! 🙂

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