New libr* blogs? A one-week limited-time request

NOTE: If this post is too long, please read this 169-word version.


I’m finishing up Phase 1 of The Liblog Landscape, 2007-2008: A Lateral View (possibly not the final title). Phase 1 has two parts: Identifying liblogs that should be part of the study/survey, and doing the blog-level metrics for those blogs.

Right now, the list consists of 587 blogs. You can see the list here (yes, it’s in alphabetical order, leaving out initial articles and symbols), or click on the last of the “Pages” in the right column (which gets you to the same list).

The Request and Deadline

If you know of a blog or blogs that meet the criteria below and aren’t currently on the list, let me know–either by commenting here or by sending me email at waltcrawford, domain gmail.com. (Note: If you comment and include more than a couple of blog names and links, it’s possible your comment will be trapped as spam. That’s OK: I check spam before deleting it.) Please include the URL, although if you only have the blog’s name, chances are I can locate it.

Deadline: Friday, September 12, 2008.

On Saturday, September 13, the first thing I’ll do online is turn comments off for this post and delete the page with the current list (or at least hide it).

Then I’ll take any candidates received, double-check their qualifications, and add them to the spreadsheet. Starting September 14, I’ll proceed with Phase 2–overall metrics and analysis.

Criteria

A new blog must meet all of the following criteria to be included in this study:

  • In English (or predominantly in English).
  • Somehow related to libraries or librarianship
  • Not a “library blog”–not an official blog of a library.
  • Started prior to January 2008: There must be at least one post from 2007 or before.
  • Active in March-May 2008: There must be at least one post dated March 2008, April 2008, or May 2008.
  • Open for reading: I must be able to reach the blog without passwords or special procedures.
  • At least vaguely visible–and this one’s the toughest to define. See below:

Visibility: I don’t want to include “close friends & family” liblogs on the assumption that such bloggers probably don’t want larger audiences–that they’d prefer to stay “under the radar.” Unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder to measure base visibility–particularly now that pop.urio.us seems to consistently return “0″ for Bloglines subscription count. (The measure I had been using was that my logarithmic “visibility” measure had to be at least 1.0–which meant, in practice, that the sum of Bloglines subscriptions and Technorati “authority” had to be at least 9.)

So for now, I’m going to use external visibility–the extent to which blogs are mentioned in other blogs–again with a very low cutoff. To wit, the Technorati authority needs to be seven or higher, or, for blogs that haven’t been “claimed” for Technorati, there must be at least seven different blogs in Technorati’s reaction results.

If you know of a liblog that meets all those criteria and isn’t already on the list, let me know!

Broadly representative, not universal

I know the study isn’t going to include “every visible English-language liblog meeting these criteria.” That’s just not plausible, and I won’t ever make the claim that it does.

I will claim that the list is already broadly representative, and I suspect it represents the overwhelming majority of what’s out there (with these criteria). I’ve already gone through the LISWiki blog list (twice), the Library Zen source list, Meredith Farkas’ wonderful “favorite blogs” results, and some other sources. I’ve done some second-level retrieval, going through blogrolls in blogs already on the list–but after going through 240 and finding only 14 usable new blogs (and none at all in the last 70 I checked), I can’t see taking the time to go through the other 340+. So I’ll certainly miss a few. Thus, this request.

What will and won’t be said about blogs in the survey

Note that I am not offering anyone the chance to “opt out” of this survey–and I think the following should allay any fears you might have.

The heart of the book will be overall metrics and analysis, and particularly lateral changes and any useful correlations I can find in those changes. I’ll also probably do some metrics and analysis for subsets of the blogs–e.g., by affiliation of blogger (e.g., academic, public, school, law…). I’ll almost certainly do some three-year analysis for the 220+ blogs that were in the 2006 survey, since I can track some (not all) of the objective metrics for the same quarter of 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Yes, each blog will have its own section (and those chapters might make up more than half the pages in the book), but the text on each blog will be entirely objective and will not include visibility in any way, shape or form. (I may do some visibility correlation and analysis for the first 573 blogs in the survey, but not at a blog-by-blog level.)

Included:

  • Name of blog (typically as expressed in web page title)
  • First portion of blog tagline/motto, unless it’s a quotation from someone else
  • Author (if evident) or “group blog” as appropriate, if not already in blog name or tagline
  • Affiliation of blogger (if evident) – type of library or, in a few cases, focus of library (law, medical, science)
  • Starting date for the blog, based on internal evidence–and once in a while noting name changes.
  • The three most frequently-used categories or tags or labels, in descending order, other than the equivalent of “general” or “uncategorized,” if it’s easy for me to figure that out.
  • A metrics table for 2007, 2008, and changes from one year to the next, for those blogs with any posts in March-May 2008. Metrics include number of posts during the quarter, total length of posts, length per post, total comments, comments per post, total figures, figures per post. Quite a few blogs will be missing some lines, either because they don’t allow comments (or there weren’t any) or they don’t use figures or, sigh, because the nature of the blog doesn’t allow me to calculate total length of posts without way too much effort. Metrics will include quintiles for 2008 and year-to-year changes, as appropriate.
  • A metrics paragraph, offering (as appropriate) a textual version of some of the quntiles and a textual version of the posting frequency and changes, based on a “per week” or “per day” measure. And, for blogs with no 2008 posts, either a note on the final post or the March-May 2007 figures, or both.

Not included (noting that most of these were actually in the draft chapters as I was doing metrics, but are all gone now for what I regard as good reasons, length certainly being one of them):

  • Visibility measures of any sort. Period. An earlier chapter will explain why, in some detail.
  • URL for the blog. I’ll probably mount a spreadsheet or web page with the names and URLs of all blogs in the survey–but in a print book or PDF, that’s mostly useless info, and blog URLs change.
  • Software and typography. I’ll have some summary notes on use of the major programs and typographic choice, but this is both changeable and not significant at a blog-by-blog level. (I reluctantly removed the notes on the handful of blogs that use color combinations that challenge the reader. With feeds, they don’t much matter anyway, and they’re apparently oh so hip. I won’t even have summary notes there.)
  • Descriptive or judgmental notes. At least not in the book. My snarkiness was turned off while preparing this in any case–I’d already adopted the grandmother rule (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything”), but found that I was “not saying anything” for quite a few blogs that I considerably admire, because there wasn’t anything concise and useful to say. So I ripped them all out.
  • Portions of posts: I had only included a few of those anyway–maybe 20 particularly intriguing items in the first 200 blogs–before I realized it just wasn’t practical. They’re all gone.

Summing up

Got blogs? Let me know–if they meet the criteria above.

Deadline: Friday, September 12, 2008.

23 Responses to “New libr* blogs? A one-week limited-time request”

  1. Emily Lloyd Says:

    Hi, Walt. I see that my blog Poesy Galore (poesygalore.blogspot.com) is currently on the list. It originated as a poetry-related blog in 2005, and isn’t updated as regularly as I would like.

    I’d love to see my blog-in-cartoon-form, Shelf Check (shelfcheck.blogspot.com) on the list instead. While it may look like a web comic [grin], I have set it up in blog format for very intentional reasons–I can respond through images/text to the library issues of the day, including links to related stories and other lib bloggers’ posts, etc. It lives as a blog and, I think, never will live as anything other: I’m not planning a book, as one of the main points of the cartoon (in addition to providing entertainment) is to be “in the moment” and current and NOT necessarily stand up to the test of time. While *Unshelved* prides itself on being funny to many non-library-staffers, and generally avoids time-stamped topics or cultural references (with a good number of exceptions, I realize), *Shelf Check * prides itself on being conversant in what’s going on in the librar* world right now, in pointing to other material, in referencing material that would probably *only* appeal to library workers, etc. It’s a blog more than a comic, I think, for sure. Please consider including it if you agree.

    Best,
    em

  2. walt Says:

    Hi Emily,

    Not that it’s a tradeoff, but I can certainly add Shelf Check to the list of new blogs to be considered–and if you really don’t feel that Poesy Galore is related to librarianship, I can remove it.

    Thanks.

  3. effinglibrarian Says:

    does Tales from Helminthdale qualify? I can’t ever figure out what’s going on there, but I think it’s library related.
    http://helminthdale.blogspot.com/

    And Shelf Check is a great library blog (but don’t let my endorsement color your view).

  4. walt Says:

    effingl: Oddly enough, despite heavy posting for a long period, Helminthdale doesn’t seem to get linked to (the Technorati authority is 5). Otherwise, it certainly would. At this point, if I drop the Technorati cutoff, there are scores, maybe hundreds of other blogs to go over again…too many to cope with.

  5. Jenn Says:

    My blog fits the criteria , just sneaking in with a Technorati Authority of 8!
    Please Be Quiet: http://genneaux.wordpress.com/

  6. Emily Lloyd Says:

    Hi, Walt–thanks. I’m not sure how useful Poesy Galore is these days, and I’m pretty sure it’s mostly fellow poets (not fellow library staffers) that link to it. However, I certainly have no objection to it staying on [grin], and yes, do post about library-related topics from time to time. Your call.

  7. walt Says:

    Jenn, Emily: I responded to both of you via email–not noticing that these were blog comments.

    Jenn: Thanks. It does indeed, and I’ll add it to the study
    Emily: Also thanks. I’ll probably leave Poesy Galore in.

  8. adam Says:

    Walt, might be useful for others if you were to include links to the blogs… at least for some of us that haven’t encountered some of them before. Any chance you might consider it?

  9. walt Says:

    Adam: Please understand that this list is purely there so people can check to see if a blog is already in the list, before they submit a new one.

    It is not a standing list of liblogs. The list will go away on Saturday. It is not intended to be a resource tool.

    I will certainly mount something–either a spreadsheet or a “proper” web page–containing the names and URLs of all the blogs that are included in the final study. But I won’t do that for a while…certainly not before I assemble the final list.

    Meantime, LISWiki’s Weblogs page is a good place to start, even though it’s both incomplete and overcomplete.

  10. Guus van den Brekel Says:

    I think my blog does qualify ;-)

    It is called: DIGICMB
    http://digicmb.blogspot.com
    Good luck with the finishing up!
    regards,
    Guus van den Brekel
    Namro Orman (SL)

  11. Kevin Musgrove Says:

    Hi Walt,
    I write Tales From Helminthdale, and I don’t know what’s going on there most of the time. It is about a library service, though.

  12. walt Says:

    Guus, Yours does indeed–and is one of relatively few English blogs from European countries. Thanks.

    Kevin, I’m surprised you’ve stayed under the radar (essentially unlinked) all this time, particularly with so many posts and a clever writing style. Maybe “fictionalized” library tales tend to do that?

    In both cases, I’ll repeat the suggestion: Make sure your blogs are on the LISWiki weblogs page. (No, I don’t get a commission from LISWiki’s owner.)

  13. Petter Naess Says:

    I do the knowbodies.blogspot.com blog, and I believe my blog fits the criteria perfectly…hope to get listed, and see more readers at knowbodies (can’t figure out why so few people visit me…)
    cheers, Petter

  14. Stacy Alesi Says:

    Hey Walt,

    I have a website [http://www.bookbitch.com/] and a blog – http://bookbitch.blogspot.com/, which appears to be what you’re interested in.

    I work for a public library that censors me from telling you the exact name, but it is in Boca Raton, Florida. I’ve had the blog since 2002 and use it lately for mostly author interviews and author guest bloggers. I also post links to interesting articles about the book business, and write about book fairs and conventions that I attend. There are a couple of articles that I wrote for Library Journal about ThrillerFest that were expanded for the blog.

    If you’re also interested in wikis, I started the Florida Authors Wiki [http://floridaauthors.wetpaint.com] about a month or so ago with the Readers’ Advisory committee I founded at my library. It’s brand new and still very much a work in progress, but it does deserve some recognition regardless.

    Best of luck with your project.

    Cheers,
    Stacy
    I am the BookBitch

  15. walt Says:

    Petter,

    Unfortunately, your blog still flies “under the radar.” Are you on the LISWiki weblogs page? You should be…and, otherwise, there are various techniques for improving readership (and getting the three more blogs linking to you that you need.)

    Stacy,

    Hmm. I thought yours was on the list. The weekly archive is a nuisance, but you’re right, you absolutely qualify. I’ll add you.

    Everybody,

    Remember: This study probably won’t get you lots of readers–the results will be in a book, and will be primarily analysis of the whole population, with just a few lines of facts (not opinion) about your blog, certainly not enough to entice people. Being on the LISWiki weblogs page does you more good, as does commenting usefully on other people’s blogs and linking to them when you have something to add to what they’re saying.

    A full directory with commentary would be interesting, but I don’t know who could take the time and energy to do that.

  16. Petter Says:

    Thanks, good tip…I wasn’t at LISWiki, but now I am, perhaps that will help…and I’ll see if I can do some other things to boost readership. Shucks, hate for people to miss such good stuff….

  17. Jennie Says:

    Hi, can I suggest my blog?
    I’m a law librarian, and blog on libraries, technical things that interest me…and anything else I feel like at the time :-)

  18. walt Says:

    Hi Jennie,

    You’re added (not to the list, but to the spreadsheet for the survey). Hmm. First blawg from Scotland in the survey.

  19. walt Says:

    Update: After noting the UK library blog wiki linked to from Jennie’s blog, and having saved a post that refers to librariesinteract’s list of Aussie liblogs…

    I’ve gone through both lists and added three UK blogs (Silversprite, Singing Librarian Talks…, 101 Tips for School Librarians) and four Australian blogs (Angels have the phone box, HeyJude, Metalogger, reeling and writhing).

    And I’ll continue to take suggestions through Friday at midnight.

  20. Badan Barman Says:

    Hi, Walt.
    I am wonder as because none of my blog that I hope is influencing the LIS fields in India are not included in your list, so hereby I would like to submit them all. All blogs are exclusively related to LIS domain and meets all the criteria sets by you. The blogs are
    1. LIS Links: Jobs in LIS: http://lisjob.blogspot.com/
    2. LIS Links: Upcoming Seminars, Conferences, Workshops & Refresher Courses in LIS: http://lisseminar.blogspot.com/
    3. LIS Links: Latest Happenings & Contemporary Issues in LIS: http://lislatest.blogspot.com/
    4. LIS Links: Awards, Prizes, Scholarships or Fellowships in LIS: http://lisscholarship.blogspot.com/
    5. LIS Links: Admission Notice for Courses in LIS: http://liscourse.blogspot.com/

  21. walt Says:

    Badan: I’ll check them…but note that the list goes away on Saturday, and the book certainly won’t be a directory. You should be in the LISWiki weblogs pages for that.


    NOTE added 9/11: I did check them. None of them meet the Technorati criteria, and at least two of the blogs began in 2008. I’m fascinated by the future-date trick–that is, “October 2008″ as a posting date when it’s actually the deadline for something. In any case, sorry: None of these meets the criteria I stated.

  22. Lindsey Dunn Says:

    I would love for my blog to be included. Zee Says. It covers three things: movie reviews, book reviews, and library services to teens. It is zeesays.blogspot.com. Can I be included please?

  23. walt Says:

    Hi Lindsey,

    Just doing today’s checking–and yes, Zee Says certainly qualifies on all criteria. Added. Thanks.


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