Remember when blogging was hot?
Remember when a blog by a library person could average more than six comments per post, not including spam?
(Remember when spam didn’t represent 95%–or, in my case, 99%–of the comments in a blog?)
There were a number of “Top XX blogs” pieces in various places in 2004-2006, and the idea of “top” blogs was so entrenched that, when I wrote “Investigating the Biblioblogosphere” in September 2005, looking at 60 liblogs with broad reach, it was referred to using phrases like “Walt Crawford’s Top 50 Blogs,” even though I tried to make it clear that the list was never intended as a “Top 60.” The piece was also very well-read: Some 25,000 downloads and views through the end of 2012.
I devoted almost all of the August 2006 Cites & Insights
to a much broader view of liblogs (I stopped using the pseudo-Germanic term because I thought the first and last parts were both misleading), “Looking at Liblogs: The Great Middle.” This time, I looked at more than 550 liblogs, then eliminated the most widely subscribed 90 and least widely subscribed 183 (based on Bloglines subscriptions), leaving 281 that I thought of as “the great middle.” Some further refinement reduced the list to 213 liblogs; I did detailed metrics and individual descriptions for each of those. It’s important to note that the list deliberately excluded what were probably the best-known liblogs.
That essay has also been very well read: in fact, the issue in which it appeared is the most heavily downloaded for the period from 11/1/13 through yesterday, with nearly 2,000 essay views and downloads during that time. It’s also had more than 25,000 total downloads and pageviews, probably significantly more (since I lack figures for January 2013 through October 2013).
Given the early and continuing readership and interest, I thought it might be worth doing a fairly comprehensive look at liblogs over a period of time. The result was too long for C&I, so it became a self-published book (both Amazon/CreateSpace and Lulu, so one edition has an ISBN), The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008: A Lateral Look. It was clear that there were more than 1,000 liblogs in 2008. I added more blogs to those in the first two studies, looking at a couple of lists, most notably including Meredith Farkas’ “Favorite blogs” survey.
My criteria for inclusion in the book were that a blog had to be:
- In English (or at least predominantly in English)
- Not clearly defined as an official library blog
- Somehow related to libraries or librarianship (or by a librarian)
- Reachable—on the web and not password-protected
- Established before 2008: At least one post before January 2008
- Visible: adding up Bloglines subscriptions and Technorati “authority” (remember Technorati?) to get at least 10.
- Not defunct: At least one post after August 31, 2007 (not consistently applied).
That yielded a universe of 607 liblogs. The book includes detailed metrics (and lists of extreme cases for most metrics) and, for each blog, a very brief profile including metrics, identification and start date.
The book didn’t do terribly and didn’t do well. Worldcat.org shows 14 libraries holding the book. It’s a 284-page 6″ x 9″ paperback.
Crawford, Walt. The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008: A Lateral Look. 2008 (pbk.) CreateSpace edition: ISBN 978-1440473845.