Archive for December, 2009

Changes in frequency (But Still They Blog, 3)

Posted in C&I Books, Liblogs, Writing and blogging on December 6th, 2009

To nobody’s surprise, this post is about Chapter 3 of But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009, now available at the special introductory price of $29.50 paperback, $20 PDF.

This 319-page trade paperback provides a sweeping look at liblogs (blogs created by library people but, generally, not blogs that are official library publications), with trends, facts, figures, graphs, and profiles for each of 521 liblogs. It continues the most comprehensive detailed look at liblogs (or any category of blogs) that I know of, showing measurable characteristics and how they’re changing over the years.

Changes in Frequency

It’s clear from Chapter 2 that, on the whole, visible liblogs had considerably fewer posts in 2009 than in 2007, with fewer liblogs having any posts and fewer posts per blog.

But blogs don’t all change in the same way. This chapter considers changes in posting frequency on a blog-by-blog basis…

Quite a few libloggers did significantly more blogging in 2008 than in 2007—all of [the top 20%] and part of [the next 20%] The median blog in Quintile 1 [the top 20%] had 75% more posts. The next year, the median increase was only 50% and, while the entire first quintile included more posts, the change ranged down to barely noticeable (8%). Over the two-year period, the top quintile includes a number of blogs with slightly fewer posts in 2009 than in 2007. Still, as listed later in this chapter, there were dozens of blogs with more posts in each successive year.

The second quintile, representing blogs with somewhat better year-to-year records than average, almost exactly matches my “relatively unchanged” definition (+20% to -20%) for 2007-2008, but ranges from tiny increases to losing a quarter of posts for 2008-2009—and, for the two-year period, includes blogs dropping four out of ten posts over two years.

There is, of course, much more in the book itself, including a list of blogs with more posts in 2009 than in 2007 and other ways to view changes in frequency.

Growth Blog Profiles

These blogs–one with more posts in 2009 than in 2007 that hadn’t already been profiled–have profiles in Chapter 3.

Mostly harmless: End-of-year meme

Posted in Stuff on December 6th, 2009

This meme’s a little silly but entirely harmless–the first sentence of the first post of each month in 2009.

January: 14 shopping days for early birds.

February: This isn’t a proper post-conference summary.

March: What’s new and improved at the PALINET Leadership Network (PLN)?

April: [Seems to be missing at the moment...but it would have been a 4th-anniversary post.]

May: Million Dollar Kid, 1944, b&w.

June: What’s new at the Library Leadership Network?

July: I was reading the July 2009 Consumer Reports (as usual, I’m about a month behind on magazines) and reached a set of ratings for chain restaurants.

August: This one’s a little different.

September: What’s new at the Library Leadership Network (LLN)?

October: 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.

November: Another post of no known significance…

December: What do ResearchBuzz, The Handheld Librarian, LibraryPlanet.com, The Rabid Librarian’s Ravings in the Wind and wiredfu have in common?

This lineup once again confirms the validity of the third word in the name of this here blog…

Cites & Insights 2010: A Third Option?

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 6th, 2009

I’ve received four varied responses to my request for opinions on a typeface change for Cites & Insights.

Based on those responses and thinking about it a little more, I believe there’s a reasonable third alternative, thus this post.

So you don’t have to jump between two posts, I’ll repeat the cogent text from the previous post–but pay attention to the new “What Do You Think?” section:

For the last five years, Cites & Insights has used Berkeley Oldstyle Book as a text face (with Berkeley Bold for boldface, since Berkeley Book doesn’t have a bold version and “bolded” typefaces are inherently ugly). It’s one of the most readable serifs in the business; my alma mater knew what they were doing when they commissioned the typeface from Goudy nearly a century ago.

But it’s also very much a book typeface, a little light on the printed page.

I’ve become quite fond of Constantia, one of the typefaces introduced by Microsoft along with either Windows Vista or Office 2007. I love the traditional non-lining nature of its numbers (to me, they’re much easier to read than modern lining numerals). I like the overall flow of the typeface.

But it’s heavier than Berkeley Book–and sets just a little wider as well.

What Do You Think (revised)?

The third option changes the body typeface from Berkeley Oldstyle Book to Berkeley Oldstyle–the bold version of which is currently used for bolded text.

The basic difference is that Berkeley Oldstyle (or Berkeley) is a little heavier than Berkeley Oldstyle Book. Otherwise, the letterforms are nearly identical.

I can see that one reason people might prefer the Constantia option is that it’s easier to read if you’re reading the PDF on-screen: Berkeley Book is a little light for comfortable on-screen reading (which is inherently lower-resolution than print). Regular Berkeley is heavier than Berkeley Book and lighter than Constantia. (Testing a duplex print sample on 20lb. paper, I find that showthrough isn’t bad with Berkeley, while it’s pretty apparent with Constantia.) Of course, Berkeley has lining numerals, just like Berkeley Book.

So here’s the new deal:

They’re all PDFs. The HTML versions won’t be changing, and don’t use any of these typefaces.

(The Berkeley version’s also longer than the Berkeley Book version; I think nearly all of that difference is because I haven’t redone copyfitting.)

Once again, the deadline is Friday, December 18Wednesday, December 16, at which point I’ll start assembling and copyfitting the first 2010 issue…

And thanks to those who’ve already answered. In case it’s not obvious, this is a real request: I have in no way made up my mind on what to do!

Rivers, streams and rivulets (But Still They Blog 2)

Posted in C&I Books, Liblogs, Writing and blogging on December 5th, 2009

I’m not going to do the little pop quizzes I did last year (and started in “Looking at the landscape“). Instead, I’ll introduce this post by saying it’s about Chapter 2 of But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009, now available at the special introductory price of $29.50 paperback, $20 PDF.

This 319-page trade paperback provides a sweeping look at liblogs (blogs created by library people but, generally, not blogs that are official library publications), with trends, facts, figures, graphs, and profiles for each of 521 liblogs. It continues the most comprehensive detailed look at liblogs (or any category of blogs) that I know of, showing measurable characteristics and how they’re changing over the years.

Chapter 2: Rivers, Streams and Rivulets: Posting Frequency

Some blogs are rivers of posts—and if you subscribe to several, you may come to think of them as firehoses. Others, including most liblogs, are streams or rivulets: Writers and groups of writers letting you know when they have something to say that works best as a blog post.

How often do posts appear on a blog?

Until feeds and aggregators became common, that was an important question. If you didn’t provide a reasonably steady stream of posts, people wouldn’t have reason to come back to your blog or bookmark it. Few posts, few readers. Some people advised trying to do at least one post a day. Others offered less strenuous advice.

These days, when most readers see posts indirectly, a steady stream of posts is only important for certain kinds of blogs. Indeed, too many posts can work against readership, particularly if posts appear to be for the sake of posting.

This chapter considers frequency of posts among the 521 liblogs for 2007, 2008 and 2009—and changes in the overall picture. The next chapter considers changes on a blog-by-blog basis, a somewhat different consideration.

In all, 449 blogs had countable posts in March-May 2007, ranging from one post to 1,161, with a median of 25 posts (roughly two per week). 486 blogs had countable posts in March-May 2008, ranging from one post to 919, with a median of 20 posts. 434 blogs had countable posts in March-May 2009, ranging from one post to 909–with a median of 13, exactly one per week.

There’s lots more in the chapter, of course.

Liblogs profiled in Chapter 2

These are prolific blogs (for 2009) that weren’t already profiled.

Cites & Insights: Opinions Desired

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 4th, 2009

It’s the interregnum between volumes of Cites & Insights, and also the end of current sponsorship. That’s a natural time to play with the layout of the publication (postponing, for now, more substantive issues such as the future of the publication).

So I’m interrupting the series of introductory posts on But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009 (thanks to the multitudes who’ve already purchased it, and I hope he or she will enjoy it…) to invite reader opinions on a possible change to C&I.


Third option added: Please see “Cites & Isights 2010: A Third Option?”


Berkeley Book or Constantia?

For the last five years, Cites & Insights has used Berkeley Oldstyle Book as a text face (with Berkeley Bold for boldface, since Berkeley Book doesn’t have a bold version and “bolded” typefaces are inherently ugly). It’s one of the most readable serifs in the business; my alma mater knew what they were doing when they commissioned the typeface from Goudy nearly a century ago.

But it’s also very much a book typeface, a little light on the printed page.

I’ve become quite fond of Constantia, one of the typefaces introduced by Microsoft along with either Windows Vista or Office 2007. I love the traditional non-lining nature of its numbers (to me, they’re much easier to read than modern lining numerals). I like the overall flow of the typeface.

But it’s heavier than Berkeley Book–and sets just a little wider as well.

What Do You Think?

I plan to make a decision before I produce the January 2010 issue (most of which is already written). I’ll need to decide by Friday, December 18,Wednesday, December 16 since I plan to produce Volume 10 Issue 1 around December 21.

So here’s the deal:

  • Take a look at the Constantia version of Volume 9, Issue 13.
  • Compare it to the published Berkeley Book version.
  • Yes, they’re both PDFs; there’s no other way I could show you Berkeley Book, since that’s a licensed typeface (paid for, not transferable to other machines).
  • Tell me which you like better, either by email or as a comment.

Third option added: Please see “Cites & Isights 2010: A Third Option?”


One important note: The Constantia version is three pages longer…but part of that is because I wanted to generate a quick test, which meant not going through the issue to do copyfitting (e.g., tightening the text in some paragraphs to eliminate a one-word last line). I’m nearly certain that copyfitting would bring that down to 34 pages and possibly to 33 pages–it will require a little more space, but not as much as you see here.

So: Opinions?

Oh, and if you know of a possible sponsor…that would be even more appreciated.

Looking at the landscape (But Still They Blog 1)

Posted in Liblogs on December 4th, 2009

What do ResearchBuzz, The Handheld Librarian, LibraryPlanet.com, The Rabid Librarian’s Ravings in the Wind and wiredfu have in common?

But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009

You’ll find this and more in But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009, now available at the special introductory price of $29.50 paperback, $20 PDF.

This 319-page trade paperback provides a sweeping look at liblogs (blogs created by library people but, generally, not blogs that are official library publications), with trends, facts, figures, graphs, and profiles for each of 521 liblogs. It continues the most comprehensive detailed look at liblogs (or any category of blogs) that I know of, showing measurable characteristics and how they’re changing over the years.

Chapter 1: But Still They Blog

The first chapter considers what might be happening with liblogs, changes in methodology and inclusion since The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008 (which is still available), changes in metrics this time around, and a few general comments on the 521 liblogs included this time around:

  • Their age
  • Blogging platform used
  • Currency as of September 30, 2009–that is, the most recent post as of that date.

Hint: You’ll find the answer starting on page 13.

Profiles: The Pioneers

In this book, individual blog profiles generally appear in the chapter where the blog is first mentioned. For Chapter 1, I profile the blogs that have been around for more than five years (that is, blogs beginning in 2003 or before), plus the blog you’re reading now–used as an example of what’s in the profiles. (And this year, most–but not all–liblog profiles include brief subjective comments.)

Profiles for these blogs appear in Chapter 1:


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