Daily Gleanings: A Programming Note

For a good while now, I’ve posted at least a couple times a day to different social media channels with helpful links and commentary I’ve found. This is changing (at least for now). Read on to find out how.

Neon sign spelling "change"Image via Unsplash

What’s Staying the Same

Each week, you can still expect an essay-type blog post on Monday morning.

On social media, different ones of you like to interact on different channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). It’s great to hear from you, and I look forward to continuing to interact with you in each of these channels. If you prefer to receive new content on these channels, you’ll still be able to do so without any additional action on your part.

What’s Changing

Instead of dripping out these useful nuggets in individual social media posts alone, I’m going to try grouping them together in a series of “daily gleanings” blog posts.

I’m envisioning these to come out once each weekday, include everything that would otherwise have gotten dripped out via social media for that day, and still be reasonably brief.

I’ve been contemplating a change like this for a while and have decided to go ahead with it mostly for four reasons:

  1. On the more philosophical side of things, there’s a difference between “social media” and the “social internet,” as Cal Newport has observed. Both provide ways of posting things online for wider or narrower public consumption. In “social media” this posting happens under the auspices and care taking of companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. By contrast, “the social internet is just the idea that you can use the internet to connect with people, express yourself, and discover interesting information.” And this can happen in independently owned and maintained spaces like blogs just like it can in the “walled garden” of social media. The main difference is the independence of the social internet sites outside of social media. In practice, this might or might not count for much. But, of course, social media can shut down irrespective of whether its users want it to or not, as Google Plus poignantly illustrates. The information I’ve been curating via social media can, I think, be helpful and valuable for some of us. For that reason, I’d like to not see it be unavailable just because one of the social media giants decides to change directions, make it unavailable, or—as I’ve had happen before too—not allow it to be posted. If you want to follow along with what’s happening here via social media, that’s wonderful. You’ll still get daily gleanings post information there. Those posts will just primarily refer you back to a blog post here to read the gleanings. Of course, if you want to comment on the daily gleanings or another blog post on social media, I’ll be happy to interact and respond there.
  2. One of the nagging issues I’ve found with the social media posts I’ve been making is how comparatively difficult it is to find one again after it’s been posted. I’ve often found myself wanting to refer back to something I’ve posted and then not able to find it. I suspect you might have had the same experience. On the other hand, search works quite well on the blog. And with everything all in one place, there’s only one place to search to find something. In short, I’m hopeful this change should yield a better, more useful, and more accessible archive of prior content.
  3. The blog post framework allows more space for content and commentary. Sometimes, even just one or two good academic sentences are difficult to squeeze and elide down into 280 characters without leaving out something essential. In addition, while still intending to keep the daily gleanings brief, the blog post framework will easily allow for further commentary on whatever particular gleaning that might not fit as well in the context of a social media post.
  4. This approach should help streamline the overhead work that’s been required to feed posts into the different social media channels. I’ll still look forward to conversing with you all on social media if that’s where it’s best for you to comment. This change will just help me be able to focus on providing content rather than fussing with setting up content on multiple platforms.


These “daily gleanings” plans may themselves need to change. But since this was a comparatively more substantive alteration of how I’ve been posting content, I wanted to give a bit of explanation and context for the change.

You can anticipate this new content structure to roll out the week of 8 April. As always, I’ll look forward to continuing the discussion and interacting with your comments!

What thoughts do you have about the relationship between the “social internet” and “social media”?

How do you approach content you find and want to save for later reference by yourself or others?

Google Reader RIP

Though it has apparently been on the chopping block for some time, Google Reader was a very useful tool. Even so, it has apparently come to the end of the road:

Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013. If you’d like to download a copy of all your Reader data before then, you can do so through Google Takeout. You’ll receive your subscription data in an XML file, and the following information will be downloaded as JSON files:

  • List of people that you follow
  • List of people that follow you
  • Items you have starred
  • Items you have liked
  • Items you have shared
  • Items shared by people you follow
  • Notes you have created
  • Items with comments

via How Can I Download My Reader Data? See also Powering Down Google Reader.

The Biblioblog Reference Library

Unfortunate news from the Biblioblog Reference Library:

Our webhost, GoDaddy, decided to change the rules on us and has deleted the entire Biblioblog Reference Library database.

Beforehand we had enough space to keep the database working and pruned down to a size that was feasible, but in the course of the last few months, they decided to halve the allowable database size which made it impossible to house all of the data and indices. What’s worse is that after requests for a full backup of the database were made, they refused to provide anything but a corrupted partial backup. We tried very hard to make the chunked backups necessary to put the entire database into a format that we could move, but in the midst of it (moving millions of records only tens of thousands at a time) they pulled the plug.

So what does this mean?

It means that we need to re-imagine the library and figure out where to go from here. The most requested feature was the blog hit counter, which we are going to work and restore as quickly as possible. The actual archive (which grew to a grand total of 15 gigabytes of archived posts, index, and blog reading trend data) cannot be resurrected.

So, stay tuned. We’ll be back.

via The Biblioblog Reference Library. Besides the unrecoverable data, hopefully the balance of the restoration will proceed smoothly.

On the Web (February 8, 2013)

On the web:

On the Web (February 7, 2013)

On the web:

  • Larry Hurtado comments on Alan Mugridge’s PhD thesis, “Stages of Development in Scribal Professionalism in Early Christian Circles,” which is currently under revision for publication.
  • Nathan Eubank enters the biblioblogosphere (HT: Stephen Carlson).
  • Baker is now releasing the “Teach the Text” commentary series. Currently available is Marvin Pate’s volume on Romans, and Robert Chisholm’s volume on Samuel is available for preorder (HT: M. Miller).