Blogging and RSS: A Librarian’s Guide (more of a review)

I discussed this book here, but had only started reading it, so didn’t offer a review.

Now I’ve read it. This isn’t a formal review, but I think it’s a good book, one that librarians thinking about blogging or feeds (and Michael Sauers demonstrates the extent to which feeds aren’t all from blogs) will find worthwhile.

“Comprehensive” isn’t quite right. “Extensive” is more like it. Sauers provides detailed instructions for setting up a Blogger blog and for using Bloglines as an aggregator. He couldn’t realistically go into that level of detail for other choices, and he does mention prominent choices in each case. I would have liked to see a little more on the reasons you might not want to use Blogger via Blogspot, or any other vendor-hosted blog (e.g., the difficulty of getting good log-based statistics, unless I’m missing something), but that might be too much detail for this text.

I found “The Library Blogosphere”–part 1, the blogs; part 2, the bloggers–fascinating, even though I’m certainly familiar with the stuff in part 1!

A good job. Despite my grump about the design (it really isn’t difficult for a template to suppress paragraph indentation immediately following headings and subheadings, and it sure does make the book look more professional), I’m impressed overall.

2 Responses to “Blogging and RSS: A Librarian’s Guide (more of a review)”

  1. Dorothea Says:

    I have yet to read a well-designed Info Today book — and I’ve read several. For a profession that professes to revere the book-as-artifact, we sure let our pet publishers get away with murder.

    It isn’t just indentation after headings, either. Not to pick on Rachel Singer Gordon, but her Next-Gen Librarian’s Survival Guide is set in sans-serif. SANS-SERIF. Hello? Is anybody home at Info Today?

    It doesn’t cost much to get a few decent house stylesheets designed and encoded for whatever typesetting system they use. It’s a travesty that Info Today doesn’t invest that piddling amount of cash to make their books look as professional as the writing usually is.

    Keep on ‘em, Walt.

  2. walt Says:

    Dorothea, You’re in a better position to nudge RSG than I am–you have the track record and you’re a little closer to being a “Next-gen” librarian. I wonder whether ITI’s ever really thought about it…

    Personally, I figure that if I can do it in Word, maybe taking two hours total to prepare the C&I .dot file, a publisher should sure be able to do it for Quark or whatever. (Yes, I do have it set so that when I’m working on an essay and create a heading/subheading, the next paragraph is automatically a “first”–no indent–rather than a “normal”–indented.)

    OK, so those two hours came after a somewhat longer time setting up Ventura Publisher templates for books and later C&I–but it was a whole lot easier and quicker in Word. And when/if I do PoD books (using Word), I figure an hour at most to develop the 6×9 single-column wider-margin maybe-bigger-type template based on the C&I template.


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