Based on a thread at FriendFeed, I’ve chosen to edit this post by striking out a group of paragraphs that apparently caused some friends to feel the need to respond. At length.
Part of that series of responses is a semantic issue: To wit, is Cites & Insights a blog or not?
I muddied the issue by using “just” in relation to blogs. I can’t imagine how anyone could believe that I regard blogs as unimportant, but fast-response media (social networks) tend to lead to offhand comments that may be misleading as to real intent.
But to me, there’s a simple answer, one that has little to do with quality, importance, effort or anything else.
A blog is a series of essays or other items (99.9% of the time in HTML form) that appears on a site in reverse chronological order. The items may be article-length, peer-reviewed commentaries (oh, you know which first-rate blog I mean), and although I can and do think of such blogs as “journals in blog form,” they’re still in blog form. The items may be one-sentence links to items of interest, the original “weblog” form that’s largely yielded to Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and all the rest.
Cites & Insights simply is not a blog, any more than Current Cites is a blog, any more than Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship is a blog. (Couldn’t resist linking to that particular issue of Current Cites.) You can call it an ezine, or an ejournal, or a pile of random crap that comes out periodically…but it’s not a blog. Doesn’t make it better or worse. Does make it different.
And I get that self-publishing really isn’t going to work for me unless I come up with something fun, catchy and cheap (and I’m not a fun writer). Boy, do I get that.
Update along with title change: An owl-shaped statue is not an owl either.