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Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
I really enjoyed this one. The last 20-30 minutes where you critique Hazony’s approach was right in your wheel house and showed the depth of thought and attention you have given to the issues at hand. I agree with Hazony that political organization should be “empirical,” but it still must be theorized. Any (or nearly any) position or institution can be supported by cherry-picked evidence, and due to the prevalence of filter bubbles, those doing the cherry-picking likely believe they are giving an unbiased assessment of the facts at hand.
Now, for some completely unasked for (and perhaps unwelcome) advice: I have really enjoyed your videos (or, rather, the audio versions) and I appreciate the effort you are putting into them and the fact that you are tackling a lot of thorny questions. However, putting out as many videos as you do makes it impossible for most people to keep up. I think it likely that you lose potential audience members by not scaling your content to the human frame. Also, many of the videos could use a bit more scripting and prep time (I’m thinking especially of the social justice statement video, which felt completely extemporaneous in a dishevelled way). Some of the short videos could bd combined to make the content more uniform, say two 45-minute to 1-hour 30-minute episodes per week. It is great content and I am very thankful for it, and I encourage everyone I know to listent to it, but I think it could be even better.
One final thing, you should try to get it on to all of the podcasting applications, stitcher, google play, etc.
Thanks for the comment and for the feedback, which I genuinely appreciate.
When deciding to do these videos/podcasts, I was not intending for people to ‘keep up’. My expectation was that every day I would release an answer to a question (later adding a weekly lengthy engagement with a worthwhile book) and people could pick and choose what subjects interested them. My assumption was that most of my followers would only be interested in a few of the subjects that I discussed and would happily skip the majority of my output. My hope was that, with daily videos, people would never be more than a week away from a topic that interested them. Also, as I receive a large number of questions, I wanted there to be a relatively high probability that people would have their questions answered.
This is a decision that I have been planning to re-evaluate, after giving people a chance to make up their minds. I might ask for people’s thoughts on the subject in the next day or so.
I think your assumption that the majority of your audience will only be interested in a small proportion of your output is likely mistaken. There may be an occassional topic that one might skip because of its familiarity or because of some discomfort, but I anticipate that most of your audience is broadly curious about hermeneutics, exegesis, natural law, cultural/governmental institutions, etc. I’m sure some people use these as reference material, but they may be the minority.
You also have to be attentive to the social dynamics when providing content (if one of your aims is to maximize your audience – which seems a worthy goal). If I have a friend who also listens, it is much more fun when we are up to date so we can discuss the content while fresh. Also, even absent meatspace friends it would be easier to foster discussion and debate (here or elsewhere) with more aeration. Last there is a psychological effect to being caught up or finishing something, people enjoy a feeling of satisfactiom when finishing a print edition of The Atlantic, or The NY Times, for instance, that they cannot get from the web version due to the indeterminate nature of those content formats.
Thanks for reading my thoughts. God Bless your ministry.
Perhaps my main concern has to do with providing answers to a large number of questions. rather than leaving the vast majority unanswered. But I will run it by people and see what they think.
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