The new project: Update 1

I thought I’d update this post, now that I’ve spent a few hours days on the scan of 868 possible candidate blogs.

Then

I started out with 606 liblogs (English, visible–that is, reachable on the web, not official, somehow related to libraries or librarians) and 71 “rejects” (blogs that had been on my radar at some point but were either non-English-language, had wholly disappeared from the web, or were actually official blogs)–and 868 candidates, combined and filtered from 2,911 listings in six directories.

I guesstimated that I’d find 200 to 400 more liblogs from among those 868, but had no idea what the number would actually be. I also had no idea whether the process would be so grueling that I’d give up partway through–after all, there’s no economic incentive to complete this, just curiosity.

Now

I’m now almost through the “I”s in that crude-alphabetic list of 868 (“crude-alphabetic”: there were several “A something” blogs and there will be a LOT of “The something” blogs).

  • There are 551 candidates left to check, so I’ve apparently done 317. In other words, I’m a little more than a third of the way done.
  • It’s clearly feasible to do this. It’s not fast–I haven’t been doing any other writing this week–but it’s not so grueling as to be hopeless. I’ll certainly finish this scan, although not necessarily this month.
  • It’s essentially impossible to estimate the time required, particularly since I’m backfilling data for newly-discovered blogs that go back more than one year. I might be able to check 30 blogs in one hour (if half of them are non-English, official, or disappeared and most of the rest were only there briefly); I might require more than half an hour just to handle one blog (say a 5-year-old Kidlit or YA lit blog with an enthusiastic audience). I’m guessing it averages about 20/hour overall, but that’s a very crude guess.
  • At this point, there are 749 blogs on the broad-survey list and 229 excluded candidates. That’s an increase of 143 blogs and 158 exclusions. If the same ratio runs through the rest of the candidates, I’ll wind up adding just about 400 total (plus another almost-300 exclusions). That would mean roughly a thousand liblogs in the broad survey.

Future

Since I’ll start working on C&I again soon, and I hope to begin another (more lucrative) project in a week or so, this might go on the back burner–but I’m also interested in seeing how it goes (e.g., what percentage of those 1,000-or-so liblogs will turn out to be currently active?).

Assuming I come back to this, it now seems likely that I’ll make up a new list from the various national liblog directories in LibWorld (assuming some of them are still around and updated) and check that list. It’s less certain that I’ll try blogrolls, but who knows? It’s clearly not possible to be sure I’ve seen the whole universe; it’s not clear whether assembling blogrolls from 100 or 200 or 500 liblogs will yield any significant number of blogs not otherwise discovered.

Meanwhile, I suspect that I will include portions of But Still They Blog in Cites & Insights–but almost certainly not the whole non-profile manuscript, at least not in one big issue. So far, my new attempts at publicizing the book have yielded exactly zero sales, but that could change…

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