Don’t let the fancy title throw you. This isn’t a fancy post. I just have two small things to note and felt that, between them, they justified a post.
Descent into chaos
As some of you know, I was not among those crying to the heavens when a certain pseudonymous (not anonymous, and I continue to be astonished by the number of supposedly educated librarians who either don’t know or won’t admit the difference) blogger moved to the World’s Worst Blogging Platform, sponsored by a certain Reed Elsevier publication. I thought the whole affair was revelatory of some other bloggers’ self-importance and generally generated heat without light. (We also learned a lot about one publisher’s relative view of peer review and “scholarly” publishing as compared to publicity. Since I don’t do much of any scholarly publishing, it didn’t feel comment-worthy.)
Since then, I’ll admit, the quality of posts on said pseudonymous blog has been–well, “phoning it in” is one way to put it–except, maybe, for the last few days. But descent into irrelevance isn’t the reason for this post.
The descent into chaos is in the comments section–which was always more vicious and mean-spirited than the blog itself, but has gone from bad to, well, pretty much untenable. The most recent stream seems to have brought out the bigots and haters within the library field (assuming these specimens actually are within the library field), and I’d think both the blogger and the publisher would be deeply embarassed about the state of affairs.
Time to shut it down? Not my decision.
Stability and change
John Miedema has a post entitled “I Delete Blog Posts: The Web is Not Print.” Since I’ve had the experience of printing off the first page of a long post at Slow Reading, planning to go back later to excerpt material for C&I or PLN, only to find it gone when I returned, it’s a useful explanation of Miedema’s attitude.
I’m rethinking my own practices and would be interested in a little feedback.
- I regard Cites & Insights as a print publication distributed on the web. Once an issue is uploaded, it’s frozen unless there are actionable errors: If significant errors are pointed out, I’ll correct them in a later edition but won’t change the published issue. (I just this week discovered that the Whole Number count has been off for years–one too low–and I’m not planning to change that. I don’t believe I’ve ever produced a typo-free issue, and I don’t correct the typos either.)
- I’ve been treating this blog as pseudo-print, using the strikeout/replacement convention for some changes and the Update: convention for additions. To date, the only posts I’ve deleted were a series of placeholder posts (with no content) that turned out to be useless.
- My personal site consists of two kinds of pages: Old essays, which so far have stuck around unchanged since they were posted, and “publicity” pages, which are changed as conditions warrant and as I remember. (C&I’s pages are also changing as conditions warrant, but not the issues and essays pointed to.)
I don’t see much reason to change the first or third. But maybe the second is a little more “permanent” than it should be. Maybe I should go back and delete posts that are either redundant (e.g., the copy of each PLN Highlights post), outdated (e.g., C&I announcements more than a few months old) or no longer relevant–and there, the issue is whether something’s just tired or is a form of casual history.
On one hand, maybe it’s not worth the trouble. WordPress will as happily accommodate 5,000 posts as 500 (I’m nearing 1,000 after almost four years, so this isn’t a big issue), and I don’t think many people go reading through the archives (and if they do, maybe complete archives make more sense). Certainly, if some unnamed figure were to go analyzing archives for whatever reasons, deleted posts throw off the analysis (Hi John!), for what that’s worth.
On the other, someone reading posts within a category might benefit from some cleanup work. Oh, and I suppose I could get rid of posts that are too naive or represent views I no longer hold, but since that stuff’s equally likely to be in C&I, that’s not much of an issue.
What do you think? Treat the blog as more printlike or more wikilike?
And what do you do in your blog?