Rating library weblogs: Not really, but…

In a comment on a posting at FRL, Lorcan Dempsey says:
“Yes, I think that it would be sad if somebody were to start ‘ranking’ blogs, however it is done, in our space.”

Well…it depends what you mean by ranking. As hinted at in an earlier post, I’ve carried out a casual investigation that could be considered doing exactly that.

Not with any intention of setting forth a “A-list library bloggers” list or anything like that, but as a look at the more wide-reaching portions of, sigh, the “biblioblogosphere.” (I dislike neologisms, but this one’s just too handy not to use.)

The resulting Perspective will appear in the forthcoming Cites & Insights 5:10, September 2005, which will be published later today (barring unexpected problems!). (Link-happy folks might actually find a live link there, but I define “published” as “PDF uploaded, index, contents, and old-issue pages modified, HTML portions uploaded, and issue announced on C&I Alerts, W.a.R., and the Topica mailing list.” None of that except the first has been done; I’m now in the habit of uploading the PDF a day early, when feasible, to be sure it downloads and prints properly from some other computer.) Actually, it’s half the issue–and that doesn’t include two spreadsheets.

This isn’t a study of the 60 “best” library-related weblogs. It isn’t even a study of the 60 most widely read library-related weblogs. It’s a study of 60 library-related weblogs, written by one to four people (not big group affairs) as personal effort (not *library* or *course* weblogs), listed in one of three major directories of library-related weblogs, that appear to have fairly broad reach.

As I say in the article, it’s “a top 50 library-people blogs, not the top 50″–and, of course, 60 isn’t necessarily identical to 50. I don’t attach integer numbers to the individual blog descriptions; there’s an obvious #1 library-person weblog in terms of overall reach (by any measure I can think of), but beyond that, I’m only willing to group in three general categories. None of which is by any means certain or foolproof: For example, I used Google’s “link:” results as one of several measures, and I’m now convinced that’s a bad idea.

You may find the article interesting. You may find it infuriating. I hope it points you to one or two interesting blogs you haven’t heard of. As always, comments and suggestions welcome, here or via email to waltcrawford at gmail or wcc at rlg.org, with the note that comments here may be deleted or “moderated to delete” if they’re inappropriate. Disagreeing with me is never inappropriate.

[Trivia: Today should see a rare triple posting...I almost never do three posts a day. I wonder whether admin access to WordPress weblogs will ever become reasonably fast?]

7 Responses to “Rating library weblogs: Not really, but…”

  1. Dorothea Salo Says:

    In Which We Learn That I Run Off At The Keyboard Too Much.

    Not that that’s news or anything. :)

    I probably should link out more, though. Duly noted.

    The closest I have to a “mission statement” is the snippet from La Celestina in the sidebar. It’s, um, more of a vision than a mission, I suppose.

    I would encourage you to repeat this study at intervals. I know the “sorry, not this time” blogs will grow readership — most of them are new, and several are far too good not to kick my sorry rear in future. I look forward to dropping in the “rankings.”

    As for admin access to WP, have you considered looking into a desktop blogging client? I’ve never used any, but I know people who swear by them. I hear good things about ecto (http://ecto.kung-foo.tv/).

  2. George Needham Says:

    Dorothea, I feel your pain. I think I’m the reason “It’s All Good” ranks so high in wordiness. And now we’re even helping Walt boost his own ranking in conversational intensity! (Insert smugly ironic emoticon here…)

    Walt, all kidding assign, this was a fascinagting article and exposed me to some other very interesting blogs. Thanks for all your good work!

  3. walt Says:

    Dorothea–I can’t see why you should link out more. Your blog is more about what you do and less about pointing people to other sources: That’s a choice, not a flaw. (One reason I’ve given up my preference for “weblog” and gone to “blog” is that some argue that “weblogs” should be just that–logs of web sites. I think that’s nonsense.)

    I can’t imagine adding more software just to make blogging faster; I can always read something while waiting the minute or so to get to the WP control panel. I’d have to add the software to two computers; a reluctance to load up extra software is one reason I held off on RSS until Bloglines came along.

    George: Heck, my showing up in the final group was a shock to me as well–but the conversational intensity has been the most satisfying part of doing W.a.R. And you’re welcome, of course.

  4. Dorothea Salo Says:

    A whole minute, Walt? That doesn’t sound right. (CavLec’s post screen comes up in 2-3 seconds.) Talk to Blake and have him check out your install and your DB. And a backup would be a good idea, just in case.

    George, I love your stuff — don’t change a thing.

  5. Laura Crossett Says:

    Goodness, what have you got against neologisms? Does such a bias keep you from liking Shakespeare? Milton? I grant you that most of their new words were a great deal lovelier than “proactive” or “waitron” or “bootylicious,” but surely a judicious neologism is to be welcomed, at least from time to time.

  6. walt Says:

    Laura,

    You’re right, of course. I dislike pointless neologisms (of which proactive is a particularly good example, since it is a pure synonym for “active” and really a back-formation from “reactive”), but maybe “blogosphere” is useful–and if it is, then the extension “biblioblogosphere” is as well.

    I’m no fan of a static language either.

    So, OK, I’ll stop apologizing for using biblioblogosphere. Thanks for the noodge.

  7. Filipino Librarian Says:

    60 Blogs in the Biblioblogosphere

    This blog just made it to “a study of 60 library-related weblogs, written by one to four people (not big group affairs) as personal effort (not *library* or *course* weblogs), listed in one of three major directories of library-related weblogs, that …


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