I’m trying to avoid inside-baseball entries (that is, blogs about blogging–or, worse, blogs about blogs about blogging), but this is a tough one: Steven Cohen commented on my first post, and (as frequently happens at Library Stuff), I got an error when I submitted a comment–and now there’s a “1 comment” signal but I get nothing but empty box when I click on it. So I’ll respond here…and refer you to Perspective: The Dangling Conversation from the March Cites & Insights for lots more comments about the problems with “conversations” in weblogs.
In the credits in that first post, I included a thanks to “all the people who did not follow Steven Cohen’s suggestion that they push me to start a weblog,” noting that I don’t respond well to pushing. Here’s Steven’s comment on this:
Sure, I’ve been telling Walt to start a weblog for a few years and it is possible that I told people to nudge him a bit (although I can’t find any evidence of that – I didn’t look hard though), but I don’t understand why it matters. The irony is that Walt started a blog as a reaction to a negative essay in Library Journal and not a proactive push from me and probably a few fellow bloggers (I couldn’t have been the only one asking Walt to start a blog, although I was probably a bit more vocal about it). And whether he admits it or not, my pushing may have been a small factor in his decision to start a blog.
[He follows this with some very nice comments, which I thank him for, although I’m not sure that a fading library person who really didn’t do much of anything professionally until he was 39 years makes such a great mentor, and I’m certainly no role model!)
Well, here’s the thing, Steve: The last sentence of this post is: “So, help Walt out and Name That Blog (and push him to pursue the possibilities).” I interpreted that parenthetical clause as a suggestion that people push me to actually create the weblog. Maybe I misread it.
In any case, I didn’t intend a dig at Steven Cohen. He’s an advocate for weblogs, RSS, and other stuff–a pretty successful advocate, I’d say, given that his weblog is sponsored, he’s one of the few “A-list library bloggers,” and he’s speaking 16 (sixteen!) times this year, according to his blog. (That’s fifteen more than me, at least to date–and at least six more than I’d be willing to do under any circumstances.) He’s a mover and a shaker; just ask Library Journal. He’s also a nice guy; if he does regard me as a mentor, I’m honored.
The dig, if it was a dig, was at me–or, rather, at character elements that could be called “flaws.” One of them is that I’ve grown stubborn over time. I listen (or I try to), I look at what might work, and I’m reasonably flexible–but my response to continued prodding in one direction is somewhat mulish. Thus, I started doing HTML sections of Cites & Insights only after people had stopped bugging me to do a full version. I started using an aggregator when it didn’t require downloading or installing software and when I could use a single aggregator from home and work without difficulty. And I started a weblog after Cites & Insights left its formative, experimental stages and I concluded that I do have occasional things to say that just don’t fit there (either for time, topic, or approach reasons).
And I really do hope that this is the last blog about blogging that I do for a week or so…