I am thinking about starting a Podcast and would like your opinion.  This would be *different* from the Ehrman Blog podcast that we’ve had for years (and is now in hiatus as we redesign it) and, of course, from the audio versions of the blog already made available to gold and platinum members.  It would not be connected with the blog per se – though hopefully it would draw attention to and attract new members to the blog  It would instead be my own thing for the Bart Ehrman Professional Services, the site where I host my online courses, push my books, and offer consultation services (www.bartehrman.com)  But I mention it to you, my blog readers, because among the members of the human race, you are the ones who most follow my work, and I would welcome your advice.

For years people have urged me to do a Podcast, and I’ve always thought – Whoa!  Way too much work!   But now I’m thinkin’: Hey, why not join the 21st century?  If the goals of my existence is to spread scholarship about the New Testament and early Christianity to realms outside the academiy itself, the reality is that LOTS of people prefer podcasts to books and blogs (or love podcasts along with books and/or blogs) and this would be a way to reach into new spheres.  So, I think I’m inclined.

Let me tell you roughly what we (I and the people who would produce and market it) have in mind, and see what you think and what you’d suggest.

  • It would be a weekly podcast, normally recorded, say 45-60 minutes.
  • It would be both audio podcast and video for Youtube, etc.
  • The *typical* (but not only) format we would start with would involve a one-on-one interview of a Host-Interviewer (the same each week) and Yours Truly.
  • Each would be on a topic related to my fields of expertise. We’d go back and forth for most of the episode.
  • Possibly/probably, though, I would spend 15 minutes or so of the episode answering questions that have come in from listeners.
  • We would possibly have threads – several podcasts in a row on different aspects of a topic.
  • Occasionally (once every month? Six weeks?) I would invite a guest scholar whom I would myself interview – someone with different views from mine, e.g., or who works in related areas that I don’t have much expertise in, etc..
  • We would probably keep advertisements to a minimum, possibly just a minute’s worth or so in the middle of the podcast (30 seconds each, either together or spaced out)
  • We would plan to experiment with other formats – e.g. occasionally doing a live episode with call-in questions (that would have to be carefully organized and monitored).
  • We do not have a name for it yet.

One very important key would be having a Host-Interviewer who would her/himself be an attraction to the podcast, a draw for people, and with good chemistry with me.  Just in principle there are enormous ranges of options to consider (hard-core skeptic? committed evangelical?  seeker? non-specialist? high level professional academic? well-trained non-academic?).

Whoever the interviewer is, and whatever their slant, I would use the podcast to do what I like to do:  discuss what New Testament and Early Christianity scholars think about various interesting and important topics, and explain why they think so, in terms that lay-folk can understand (and to explain what I myself think, and why, when I have different views from others).

Anyway, this is enough background for what I’m thinking / pondering.   Do you have any opinions, ideas, and/or suggestions?