I was expecting this round of reactions to the “biblioblogosphere” piece to happen first (before the positive reactions) and with more force–that’s why I came close to abandoning the essay. But it’s really hard to throw away 50 hours of work and 7,000 words, particularly when you find the results fascinating.
Now it’s happening, on two levels:
Critiques of methodology and limits, including my lack of non-English blogs (an editing error, explained in a previous post), claims that I should be requesting and analyzing server logs from every library weblog, and others.
What’s also happening, to my delight, is bloggers pointing out specific library weblogs worth looking at and providing their reasons for suggesting a look. Blogrolls don’t do that; blogrolls are just sets of links. (There’s an overlap between the hornet’s-nest posts and those recommending lesser-known blogs.)
I’m printing and collecting all of this stuff (sorry, but that just works better for me than trying to put it all together looking at words on dozens of different web pages). I really do plan to blog about other topics here (one other one today, if time permits). I’ll keep collecting feedback, direct and indirect, and almost certainly put some of it into a C&I essay.
I have no idea at this point how to come to a conclusion for further work. Do I take two long essays that consider the profiles to be harmful more seriously than, say, 20 short reactions that want to see me continue? Is it really true that in every online “community” those who aren’t included in a list will automatically feel bad about themselves and denigrate their own blog? (I find that hard to believe, particularly based on the reactions I’ve gotten from people not profiled…) Are library bloggers really that thin-skinned or that dependent on the roar of the crowd?
Damned if I know.