Baker Academic

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How Jesusy is the Jesus Blog? - Le Donne

I'm not the sort to obsess over blog traffic, but I check my stats from time to time.  I hadn't checked for a while and then I found something peculiar... something that I've puzzled over numerous times since we launched this blog.  From midnight to 2 AM (yes, this is exactly the sort of thing that I do at 2 AM), the google searches that directed folks to this blog were:

cedarville university controversy
cedarville university
historical jesus nerds blog
cedarville university admistration resignation
cedarville university controversy 2013
cedarville university dr brown
historical jesus blog
jesus blog
jesus piece
the jesus blog

Now, the internets are a mysterious and magical place(s).  One cannot be sure what they're thinking or when they will take over and turn against humanity creating the need for Arnold Schwarzenegger to travel back in time to become the governor of California.  Even though four searches associated Chris and I with "historical Jesus nerds blog", I am happy to say that we are not nerdy enough to know how all of these zeros and ones work.  But, and this is the peculiar part, are we Jesusy enough?

I'd like to think that we are. Chris posts once a week and almost always relates his posts to Jesus research in some way.  I post ten or more times a week and (I would guess) relate over 70% of my posts to Jesus research, Jesus cultural, Jesus portraits, Jesus people etc.  Yet the Dr. Brown / Cedarville University debacle continues to drive traffic to this site.  I think I might have posted on the firing twice in the four months since this blog launched.  I have to tell you that I support Michael Pahl and will do whatever I can to help his transition (limited resources that I have at my disposal), but I've tried my best to make this project about something other than the latest heresy trial.

Can somebody please tell me what to make of this information? Is the Cedarville University controversy more interesting than the Jesus' Wife Gospel, or the LCU thing, or the Emmanuel thing?  I know that controversy sells, but why do I consistently find my google searches dominated by this particular controversy?



  1. You provoked me to look it up. On my little blog, I have a lot of searches related to the one piece I wrote on the fiscus judaicus, including my all time favorite, "tax dodging Romans".

  2. I read the Ex Libris post you linked to a while back, "The Sociology of Biblioblogging," which got me thinking. Most of my search-engine directed page views have in fact come from "controversial" posts about things like Bart Ehrman's Newsweek article, and the Tufts Christian controversy. Seems like there is truth to the idea that people only really use Google to find blogs when they are wrapped up in popular controversy. I would imagine that most of your page views come from external links from other blogs and sites, and through word of mouth.

    Jesus research isn't exactly what most people are thinking about while they're cruising cyberspace at 2am...

  3. Come for the controversy, stay for the company.

    If it makes you feel better, I came here on the recommendation of another blog I read. Also, I went to school with Chris Keith and like to keep myself humble by my continuous exposure to his academic accomplishments.