Book Review: Platform by Michael Hyatt

I have read a lot of material on how to promote a product on the Web, but Michael Hyatt’s book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World [Thomas Nelson, 2012. Hbk. ISBN-13: 978-1595555038. pp.224] stands out from the crowd. Having bought the audio book I was so impressed that I bought a hard copy in order to access the web addresses in the footnotes. I found it particularly helpful for the following reasons:

* Although its content is not explicitly Christian in focus, having been written by the head of a major Christian  Publisher I have confidence that his advice will work in a Christian context on-line.

* I was encouraged by the number of things he recommended that I was already doing or just needed minor tweeking for optimal performance. This showed me that his advice was in line with that I had already received, but added something more to what they had said.

* Hyatt recommends a selection of third party apps (some free, some not) which I was not aware of. Given the plethora of apps available it is extremely helpful to hear from someone who has tested and evaluated them in the course of his work.

So, if you are at all interested in making your voice heard on-line for whatever reason, I can heartily recommend this title.

What do you think? Are there other books or on-line resources that you have found helpful in promoting your product or service?

Theology on the Web Year End Round-Up 2011

2011 has been a busy year that has seen a number of milestone developments in the websites.

For many years I have worked on The Evangelical Quarterly in a piecemeal manner, adding a few articles at a time as originals became available to scan. This year I decided to make concerted effort to digitise at least the last 60 years and to contact the authors for permission to place them on-line. There are still a few gaps as a small number of authors declined permission and some did not respond but nevertheless a substantial proportion of the back-issues are now freely available. An unexpected bonus from the process of contacting authors was an introduction to a new journal – Scottish Reformation Society Historical Journal. I contacted the editor and now have a number of its articles on-line.

The digitisation of the Indian Journal of Theology is now complete as far as I can take it, the remaining issues being unavailable for scanning at this point in time. If anyone can help to fill the gaps, please let me know.

One project which proved extremely popular was the digitisation of the works of the late H.L. Ellison, thanks to the kind permission of The Paternoster Press. Ellison wrote a number of studies on OT history and prophecy, such as From Babylon to Bethlehem. The People of God from the Exile to the Messiah which have all received a significant number of downloads.

I became a Christian at university and so owe a debt of gratitude to the work of the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF). UCCF began in the UK as Inter-Varsity Fellowship and published a vast number of magazines for students from the 1920s (if not earlier) onwards. Its work, particularly among theology students through its specialist organisation Religious and Theological Students’ Fellowship (RTSF),  had a significant influence on the development and spread of evangelicalism in the UK. Many of the key Christian leaders of the 20th Century were impacted  by it, including John R.W. Stott, Jim Packer, Michael Green, David C.K. Watson and Roger Foster. The early publications such as, Inter-Varsity Magazine and  Christian Graduate later gave way to Themelios and the Tyndale Bulletin, which are still in production today. Although RTSF passed away a few years ago, its archive contains much significant material which is in the process of being sorted and catalogued. I have already begun to make some of it on-line, including some of the RTSF Monographs and TSF Bulletin, but hope to do more in this next year.

Perhaps the highlight of the year came about through the digitisation of the Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society / The Baptist Quarterly. The opportunity to do this arose from my ongoing work in partnership with the Keston Institute placing Religion in Communist Lands and Religion, State and Society on-line and resulted in an article in The Baptist Times on the 5th August. Since completing the journal I have been asked to take on the digitisation of a similar journal published by another denomination – more details on this early next year.

All in all the tenth year of the “Theology on the Web” project has been extremely productive and I look forward to seeing what 2012 will bring. A big thank you to all of you for your ongoing support, prayer and encouragement.

Free Theological Resources for Students in the Majority World

I recently received the following question from a site visitor:

Could you also tell me about your site and others that you know of. I am helping start a Ph.D program at a large university in India that does not yet have many resources in theology. What online networks are you familiar with that could/would provide free resources to these students? … These students are exactly the persons you are targeting. They will be extremely grateful not only for your site, but also for others you can recommend.

Ironically because so much of my time is spent placing resources on-line I am not as aware as I should be of other sites out there that are doing the same thing, but I think my starting point when searching for online resources would always be Tyndale House Library’s periodical listing. Not only does this catalogue a vast number of theological journals but it also indicates those which are available online for free access. The listing also shows which journals are available through paid subscription via commercial on-line databases. This is usually, but not always, an indication that these journals cannot now be made freely available on the Web and that they are instead available only to students studying at subscribing educational institutions. The Tyndale House website also hosts the Tyndale Bulletin, digitised by Dr Ted Hildebrandt of Gordon College. Ted has also digitised the Bulletin for Biblical Research, whilst his own website is home to a huge collection of articles from a wide range of Evangelical journals.
Before I leave Tyndale House I must mention perhaps their most significant offering as far as scholarship in the developing is concerned, the STEP Project. In this video Dr David Instone-Brewer introduces and explains the aims of the Project:

I should also say that besides, my other sites under the banner are worth exploring:

That covers the free resources for on-line peer-reviewed theological journals I am aware of. Can anyone else add to the list or suggest other types of resources for Ph.D students? Please feel free to post links and descriptions in the comments.