Here we are at the end of the year. What a year. We thought we would see the end of the pandemic and the good times would roll. Well, not exactly. They sure seemed about to roll but, nope, just when we thought the thing was ending … hello Omicron! I hope you have come through it OK so far, and that you can keep safe as we move forward.
Not for all, but for some there have been bright spots through the darkness, and we should certainly celebrate them. It’s been a very good year for the blog – the best ever – and so that part’s good. We started this blog venture in April of 2012, so this is the conclusion of the ninth calendar year. We now head into year 10! Who woulda thought? Certainly not me….
As you know, I have had two goals for the blog from Day 1, and have never wavered on them.
I’d say we’ve done unusually well this year in achieving our goals for the blog, raising money for charity and disseminating scholarly knowledge of the New Testament and early Christianity. Here are some of the gratifying numbers:
- The charity side of the blog has done exceedingly well, much better than ever. This year we distributed $360,000 to our charities. That’s some serious change. And it’s worth thinking about in comparative terms. In our first full year, 2013, we raised $54,000. Things then progressed nicely. Two years ago, 2019, we had grown it to 144,000; that jumped last year, 2020, to $246,000. So each of the past two years in we have raised our proceeds by over $100,000. May it continue!!
We have plans for making it do so, and I’m sanguine. The plans won’t affect any of the quality experiences you’ve been having (though hopefully if there are things below quality we will fix them: let us know!). They will mainly work to bring more people onboard, to increase membership, so more can benefit from what we do, and we can therefore raise more funds.
In addition to our own plans, you too can help – and be the chief engine of growth. Do you know anyone who might be interested in what we do? Tell them about the blog! Encourage them to take a look. Offer them a bribe.
- Disseminating scholarship for general readers (or, as I say, for normal people, as opposed to abnormal scholars).
- This past year I continued to post 5-6 times a week – as I have done every week of every year since we started. It’s a lot of posts – and all of them are available to you no matter which membership tier you are on (Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. This year we came in at over 330 posts, including some fantastic guest posts. For the life of the blog, now, we have 2800 posts. All of them available on our archives. Line your shelves with them.
- As you know, blog members at the Silver tier or higher are allowed to make comments on the blog. This past year we have had 16,000 comments; over the life of the blog we have had 120,000; 40,000 of those are mine in response to questions. To my knowledge, I have answered every question I have received. Except the ones I couldn’t answer. Keep the zingers comin’!
I would like to conclude by thanking the other people who work for the blog and have massively contributed to its success. We have developed the administrative structure enough that I can write the posts, reply to comments, and oversee the operation. We now have two employees who do a ton of work that I can’t do.
Ben Porter: Chief Technology Officer. Ben runs the entire technical end of the blog, virtually everything that involves the site, its upkeep, its bugs, its improvements; produces and publishes the audio posts (for Gold and Platinum members) and on and on and on. We’d be sunk in 20 minutes without him.
Diane Pittman: Chief Operations Officer. Diane is my personal assistant who does everything Ben and I don’t do: runs membership services, proofreads my posts; organizes webinars and fund raising events; keeps my calendar; keeps trying to make me observe my calendar; brainstorms with me on everything connected with the blog; and most everything else. She’s saved my skin on a regular basis throughout the year.
I’ve decided that given their titles, I should be Chief Heresy Officer, so the three of us can be the Chief HOT Officers.
A good deal of our recent success is also due to the Volunteers who do various tasks for the blog. We have had over a dozen Volunteers working for us over the past year, and we deeply appreciate what they do.
John Mueller: My first volunteer, who imagined and faithfully runs the Bart Ehrman Blog.
Dave Bohn: Our devoted Business Manager
John Paul Middlesworth: Our long-standing reader of audio posts
C. W. Weeks: Reader of Audio Posts
Sam Devis: Reader of Audio Posts
Petra Ortiz: Reader of Audio Posts
Chris Huntley: Provider of Social Marketing strategies
Robert Gilbert: Director of the Blog Forum (do you know the Forum? Check it out!)
Vanessa Porter: Runs the Social Media
Lance Boyer: Coordinator of the Blog Book Club
Glenn Siepert: Graphic designer for social media
Doug Wadeson: Working on Structural organization of the site.
In short, it has been a very good year for the blog. We’re looking forward to 2022 being an even better one. If there’s anything we can do to improve your experience, let me know. And if you like what you find here, please spread the word!