Warning: This is another in what’s likely to be a very long set of posts, over several months, related to the project I’m currently calling But Still They Post: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009. If you don’t give a damn about liblogs (blogs by library people) or blogging in general, you can stop reading now.
Yesterday, I did a “secondary metric” pass on the 521 liblogs in the study (I finished the primary metrics pass a little while back, and am slightly procrastinating on starting up the long, drawn-out analysis and commentary portion of the project).
The secondary pass involved accessing each blog and determining two things:
- Currency of the most recent post, rounded up to specific week limits (for ease of graphing, interpretation and, frankly, recording).
- Blogging software used for the blog, if obvious or readily knowable.
I’ll probably talk about the first in a later post. So far, I haven’t even looked at the overall results (but I have results for 519 of the 521–two of them now seem unavailable, although they were available when I was doing the detailed metrics earlier in September).
This post is about the second item.
On the first pass, I recorded only five one-letter values:
- b for Blogger–that is, any blogs with .blogspot.com as part of their address and any others with either the “B” favicon or the “I power Blogger” graphic–or, for that matter, the Blogger toolbar at the top of the blog.
- l for LiveJournal–and those are always obvious.
- t for TypePad and MovableType (that could be s for SixApart, but never mind…), either because .typepad.com is part of the address or because MovableType is mentioned somewhere.
- w for WordPress, which usually shows up either as a favicon or in a direct credit and/or link on the page (of course, blogs hosted at wordpress.com are also obvious).
- u for Unknown, which actually meant “everybody else.”
At the end of that pass, setting aside the two blogs that seem to have gone into hiding, I had 65 “u” cases. I decided to spend another hour (actually, less than an hour) investigating these a little further–by looking at the page source.
In a few cases, “u” literally stood for “other”–blogs that are explicitly, on the home page, based on some other software (square-space, blog-city, serendipity, etc.). In 54 cases, you really did need to go to the page-source view to see what was being used (and in 17 of those, I left the value as “u”).
Anyone care to raise a hand as to the most prominent software used that wasn’t identifiable on the home page?
That’s right, you in the second row: WordPress.
In fact, 29 of the 54–or 29 of 50, if you leave out four Library Journal/School Library Journal blogs–use WordPress software but don’t say so on the
blog home page itself. (I won’t ask the architect of the LJ/SLJ blog software to come forward…some things are better left anonymous, although if the goal is to maximize the number of clicks and page exposures for a given amount of actual blog reading, it’s brilliantly successful software.)
I wonder about that result. Seems to me you have to go to some modest effort to expunge all direct evidence of WordPress from most of the templates (although some of them might already do that for you).
WordPress is open source software. It’s damn good open source software (I am so happy to be back on WordPress after a few months using MovableType…). It’s good enough that it’s been used as the basis for a contemporary online catalog interface. It’s free…
Seems to me that, given all that, it’s reasonable to leave a credit line in the blog. I guess I don’t really know why people would go to the effort of removing credit. (Maybe commenters can explain.)
Not a big deal. Not to give away figures, but more than 85% of liblogs using WordPress software do include explicit credit lines or favicons or the like. But I do wonder…
(The actual breakdown? Later, certainly in the book–if there is one–and probably in a post and/or C&I article. Maybe soon.)
For anyone who pays attention to categories (I would say “both of you” but that may overestimate), I’m tagging some of the posts for the new project with Liblog Landscape, which recognizes that it is, to some extent, a sequel to the current book.
Update 10/2: When I say “I wonder…” I should clarify that this is mostly idle curiosity.
Idle enough that I didn’t save the list of 29–as soon as I’d gotten that count, I resorted the spreadsheet, and the only way I could restore that list of 29 would be to recheck several hundred blogs.
A couple of people gave me perfectly acceptable reasons that their blogs don’t credit WP on the home page (but do elsewhere). I don’t wish to pursue the matter with all 29 bloggers (and have no desire or ability to even name them!)–and I suspect any attempt to pursue the matter would feel like “blame” to at least some of those bloggers, a blame that would not be intended.
Comments I get here will satisfy the idle curiosity.