Archive for August, 2010

Progress (regress?): A quick update

Posted in Books and publishing, Liblogs, Writing and blogging on August 3rd, 2010

The good news: I’ve started in on The New Project (a fast-turnaround, relatively brief book for a real library publisher, on a topic I’m quite comfortable with–more later). First of six chapters has a good rough draft in place. Second of six chapters has the first half of a very good rough draft, and I expect to do the second half tomorrow.

The odd news: I haven’t entirely set aside the Liblog Project (here’s the most recent post, which links to the others). It was the kind of thing I could work on after mowing the lawn in 88F weather (which was too tiring to focus on real writing) and in logical pauses during the writing. Here’s what’s happened:

  • I decided to change the boundaries for the “deep look” so that it includes blogs with GPR of 3 (of which there were apparently 83, but really 81) and, after looking at them more, blogs with only one post during March-May 2010 (of which there were 67). So I’ve added the comment counts and length totals for 2010 and, where not already there, earlier post counts, comment counts and length totals for March-May 2007, 2008 and 2009 as appropriate.
  • While doing that, I started cutting-and-pasting blogrolls that appeared to be library-oriented and consisted only of blog links (there’s a new breed of blogroll that includes the latest headline and date for each blog; WAY too much work to strip down to links, and glancing at most of them says all or nearly all are already in the study).
  • So far, 22 of the 148 blogs had usable blogrolls (that weren’t obviously all repeats). The list of unsorted, unchecked candidates is 543 blogs. After Chapter 2 is done (and the Wednesday hike, and other stuff, and maybe Chapter 3), I’ll do the sort/dedupe/check step and, assuming anything’s left, check the remaining candidates. If I get more than, say, 4 or 5 new-to-me liblogs out of that process, I might continue picking up blogrolls. If not, not.

I also realized that I really have four groups of liblogs and that some portions of the analysis and narrative ought to treat them as four separate groups, not just two groups. As things stand, the four groups–which don’t include the 720 “not liblogs” that will be treated summarily–look like this:

  • Group 1: Fairly active and fairly visible blogs. Liblogs with a Google Page Rank of 4 or higher that have at least three posts between March 1 and May 31, 2010. So far, there are 394 of those.
  • Group 2: Less active or less visible blogs. Liblogs with Google Page Rank 3 or that had only one or two posts during the quarter. So far, there are 156 of those. The combination of Groups 1 and 2 constitutes the Deep Look pool, 550 liblogs in total. (So the comment somebody made that “there seem to be around 500 active liblogs” seems to be right enough for jazz…)
  • Group 3: Probably alive but relatively inactive or invisible. Basically, these are all the liblogs that don’t qualify for the Deep Look but that seem to still be around. That includes active blogs with Google Page Rank lower than 3, blogs with no posts during the quarter but at least one post since December 1, 2009, and blogs with no posts during the half-year between December 1 and May 31, but with at least one post since May 31, 2010. There are 210 of these.
  • Group 4: Canceled or deeply moribund. (Canceled blogs only appear here if they didn’t qualify for Group 1 or Group 2: A liblog that’s explicitly canceled during or after March 1-May 31 is considered active for that quarter. There are a small handful of those.) These are blogs with either explicit cancellations prior to March 1, 2010 or no sign of activity for at least seven or eight months (that is, nothing since November 2009, given that testing was done in late July and early August 2010). There are 310 of these–and that doesn’t include, to be sure, a few hundred blogs that have disappeared entirely or gone behind firewalls.

I may be almost done with the data gathering. Data analysis and writing up an interesting narrative–and I think there will be lots of interesting things out of this very broad look–will come, well, when it comes.

Now, back to the book project…

As for Cites & Insights, where I’m still apparently on a writing break: There will certainly be a September 2010 issue. Whether it will appear in late August or early September: Still unknown. Whether it will be new material or a large chunk of But Still They Blog: Still unknown.

[Whether even the tiny trip we were planning this month will happen: Still unknown. That's a whole different can of worms. Meanwhile, I think we're now safely above 95% electric generation for the year, since the total from PG&E is now down below 150kWh and the photovoltaic system has generated considerably more than 3,000 kWh...even though, thanks partly to a neighboring palm tree that keeps feeding lots of pollen to our cars and to the panels, we never did reach 18kWh per day.]


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