Archive for February 3rd, 2013

Broadening my library horizons: A blog-reading experiment

Posted in Liblogs on February 3rd, 2013

Background

A few weeks ago, I mentioned in LSW/Friendfeed that I was thinking of doing this. I don’t remember whether my sanity was questioned, or whether anybody supposed I was planning Yet Another Liblog Study, but in any case I didn’t get around to it…for a while.

Foreground

“It”–which I’ve now begun–is simple enough: Restoring all of the “Current Blogs” from The Liblog Landscape 2012 (as discussed in the final essay in the October 2012 Cites & Insights–and listed in this long pair of lists of hyperlinked blog names) to my set of Google Reader feeds.

Or at least attempting to do so: In a few cases, Google Reader couldn’t find a feed, and I’m guessing the blog has disappeared.

I already had a fair number of these, and a fair number of newer liblogs (as well as 40 blogs outside the library field), but probably less than a third of the list.

So as of now, there are 959 feeds in my GR account, of which 919 are either in the library folder or the lib-books folder (for blogs that are almost entirely book reviews–that’s currently 24 of the 919, but I’m sure some others will migrate to that folder).

Plans

What I don’t plan to do:

  • A new liblog study, booklength or otherwise
  • A concerted effort to comment whenever I disagree with anybody.

Life really is too short.

What I do plan to do:

  • Keep all of them at least through February 2013, at least glancing at all the posts, and probably tracking the number of posts per day. The latter might result in a blog post about liblog activity, but not much more than a blog post.
  • In March, I’ll probably trim most or all of the lib-books blogs, since I mostly read older books (that is, ones that have been at the library long enough that there are no hold queues) and in order to cut down on the number of posts. (The latter may not be a major reason.)
  • After mid-March or maybe early April, I’ll trim a few of the other blogs–not because I find the blogger annoying (one reason I’ve removed blogs up to now) but because the focus doesn’t interest me.
  • Pay attention to the blogs, to gain more insights into what’s happening in the library field. That’s really the primary reason to do this.

I’ll make a conscious effort not to get into arguments with bloggers who’ve pushed my buttons repeatedly in the past. That may not always be successful.

I will note that blogs with excerpt feeds (where you see a couple of lines of a post, then an ellipsis) are far more likely to be trimmed than those with full feeds.

Significance and impact

What does all of this mean to you? Not much, actually. If I’m right, I’ll understand what’s happening and being said among library folk a little better. If I’m wrong, I’ll just be wasting a few minutes each day. It really doesn’t take much time to monitor 900 feeds–for one thing, I’d be surprised if 100-200 aren’t moribund (although I didn’t subscribe to blogs that were already moribund as of July 2012), and for another, most libloggers don’t post daily.

Mostly, this is just a note. If future posts and C&I articles seem to indicate that I’m gaining a broader set of perspectives, then this is succeeding.

 


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