Archive for the 'Liblogs' Category

Broadening my horizons: First report

Posted in Liblogs on March 7th, 2013

A little over a month ago, I wrote “Broadening my library horizons: A blog-reading experiment.”

That post noted the experiment I began then (actually on February 2, 2013): To subscribe to all of the “Current blogs” from my most recent look at liblogs that still exist and have RSS/Atom feeds–which turned out to be roughly 900 of them–and to read them, or at least skim the titles, for at least a month.

Well, OK, for at least the rest of the month–February 2 through 28, 2013.

It wasn’t difficult. The biggest day had 35 bookblog posts and 169 other liblog posts.

The average was 21 bookblog posts (probably a little higher) and 106 other liblog posts–but that includes a couple dozen blogs that are newer than those in the list.

This suggests to me that library blogs devoted to book reviewing have declined, at least to some extent. So have others, at least most of them.

Backing off: The first cut

I’m reading some things that I wouldn’t have encountered before. That’s good.

But I did make some changes at the start of March:

  • I deleted the bookblogs as a group (although there are some other blogs that I didn’t recognize as bookblogs).
  • I deleted two very active law-related blogs, which between them probably make up more than 10% of the typical daily total.

Other than that, I’m sticking with it for at least another month…and maybe a lot longer. Well, if I conclude that certain blogs are nothing but lists of links, they may go away…

Sure, I’m seeing some stuff that seems wholly irrelevant. I’m also seeing some stuff that I find absurd. And that’s OK. I’m seeing a broader range of opinions.

I’m also adding new blogs more readily based on links. That’s good.

And that’s as analytical as I’m likely to get. There’s no broader import here; I’m not going to do any statistical studies, a fifth-anniversary or 10th-anniversary (depending how you look at it) Liblog Landscape, or any of that.

 

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.

 

Liblog list now available

Posted in Liblogs on August 2nd, 2012

As part of a blogging roundup that will appear in the September and October issues of Cites & Insights–but actually as a separate article in the October issue–I checked the status of all the liblogs in The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010, the final book in the Liblog Landscape series and the one with the most comprehensive list of English-language liblogs (more than 1,300 of them).

While the article won’t appear for a few weeks, one natural byproduct of the status-checking is a set of liblog names and URLs. It didn’t take much work to turn that list into a bunch of HTML (using Excel and Word editing tools), and it only took a couple of hours to turn that bunch of HTML into a Web page with letter headings and all.

That page is now available–and you’ll find it at “Liblogs” in the set of “Places” on the right sidebar. (It’s at waltcrawford.name/liblogs)

I actually did a little more than just prepare One Big List of Links. The page has two lists–one of blogs with at least one post in the past year (and with boldface for blogs with at least 84 months or seven years of posts), and another of blogs that have either explicitly ceased (marked in italics) or are moribund (have gone more than a year without a post.

What’s not there: the 104 (I think) blogs that have either disappeared or been reused for something entirely different.

I’m sure there are errors, but I don’t think there are many of them. Note that the page does not include liblogs that began after June 2010.

 

Never underestimate the power of good editing and focused writing

Posted in C&I Books, Liblogs, Writing and blogging on July 4th, 2012

Laura Crossett sent me a fine reminder of the worth of good editing and focused writing. She looked at the core paragraph in this post (down below the first two horizontal rules) and offered an alternative version, which is far superior to what I wrote.

Here’s her version:


Your public library is in competition with a lot of other agencies–city, county, district, even state–for money. You want your library to sustain its current services and expand them in the future. You know you get a lot of bang for your buck, but how do you show that to the people who hold the purse strings? One way is to use the data in Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four. Walt Crawford has compiled, analyzed, and organized library funding and service data from all around the United States. Give Us a Dollar will let you compare your services to those of other similar libraries at a glance and will help give you the data you need to show your funders how much you already stretch their dollars–and how much more you could provide with even a few dollars more.


She also asked who I thought the key audiences were, and I came up with some answers–leading to the first part of the now-revised post.

So, if you’re a library consultant, public librarian, state library person or library school person–please go read the original post again (specifically the top part) and let me know: Does this sound interesting?

To clarify: Telling me “this might be interesting” or “this might be worthwhile” is not saying “And I’ll buy a copy.” No obligation or expectation of any sort.

And if enough people do think it’s interesting, I will find a way to thank the six libraries who did buy the preliminary version (so far), if only by providing a substantially discounted version of the much-improved book.

And, well, what I say in the post title: Never underestimate the power of good editing and focused writing.

 

Liblog Profiles 37-40

Posted in Liblogs on July 21st, 2011

Yes, somebody purchased a copy of The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010. So…

Profiles 37-40

AbsTracked

“A blog listing useful links. (Since this blog is from the perspective of an off-duty law librarian, links will generally be related to the topics of law, libraries, reference, technology, and fun.) …” By Abbie Mulvihill. U.S. Blogger. Began February 2005. Lasted 62 months: Most recent post March 10, 2010. Group 2 (only one post March-May 2010).

Overall Posts

718

Per Month

11.6

Quintile

1

Quintile

1

2007

2008

2009

2010

Posts

0

35

4

1

Quintile

5

2

4

5

Words

0

4,985

373

130

Quintile

5

3

5

5

Post length

0

142

93

130

Quintile

5

5

5

5

Comments

0

13

8

0

Quintile

5

3

3

5

Conv. Intensity

0

0.37

2.00

0

Quintile

5

4

2

5

Academic Evolution

“the order is changing…the change needs order” By Gideon Burton. U.S. TypePad. Began December 2008. Lasted 15 months : Most recent post February 23, 2010. Group 3 (no posts March-May 2010).

Overall Posts

47

Per Month

3.13

Quintile

4

Quintile

4

2009

Posts

10

Quintile

3

Words

3,560

Quintile

3

Post length

356

Quintile

2

Comments

27

Quintile

2

Conv. Intensity

2.70

Quintile

1

Academic Librarian

“On Libraries, Rhetoric, Poetry, History, & Moral Philosophy” By Wayne Bivens-Tatum. U.S. Movable Type. Began July 2007. Lasted 40 months through May 2010: most recent post July 7, 2011. Group 1.

Overall Posts

185

Per Month

5.29

Quintile

3

Quintile

3

2008

2009

2010

Posts

26

9

10

Quintile

2

3

3

Words

28,440

10,274

14,986

Quintile

1

1

1

Post length

1,094

1,143

1,499

Quintile

1

1

1

Comments

56

30

36

Quintile

1

2

1

Conv. Intensity

2.15

3.33

3.60

Quintile

1

1

1

Accidental Aussie

“A personal account of an information professional’s journey to the Sunburnt Country of Australia….” By Robyn. Australia. Blogger. Began April 2006. Lasted 40 months: most recent post August 1, 2009. Group 3 (no 2010 posts). Partial metrics.

2007

2008

2009

Posts

10

7

3

Quintile

4

4

5

Words

1,066

1,756

563

Quintile

5

4

5

Post length

107

251

188

Quintile

5

3

4

Comments

3

6

0

Quintile

4

4

5

Conv. Intensity

0.30

0.86

0

Quintile

4

3

5

 

Liblog Profiles 33-36

Posted in Liblogs on April 23rd, 2011

Profiles 33-36

Aaron the Librarian

By Aaron Dobbs. US. WordPress. Began June 2006, lasted 48 months (so far, through May 2010). Group 1

Overall Posts

168

Per Month

3.5

Quintile

3

Quintile

3

2007

2008

2009

2010

Posts

14

1

4

3

Quintile

4

5

4

5

Words

2,497

157

843

125

Quintile

4

5

5

5

Post length

178

157

211

42

Quintile

4

4

4

5

Comments

5

0

1

1

Quintile
Conv. Intensity

0.36

0

0.25

0.33

Quintile

4

5

4

4

Abby the Librarian

By Abby Johnson. US. Blogger. Began October 2007, lasted 32 months (so far). Group 3 (GPR 0).

Overall Posts

870

Per Month

27.19

Quintile

1

Quintile

1

2008

2009

2010

Posts

60

77

102

Quintile

1

1

1

About You: Resources for Everyday Life

US. Blogger. Began January 2009, lasted 17 months. (Defunct and removed at this point.) Group 1.

Overall Posts

176

Per Month

10.35

Quintile

3

Quintile

2

2009

2010

Posts

64

10

Quintile

1

3

Words

2,968

845

Quintile

3

4

Post length

46

85

Quintile

5

5

Comments

0

0

Quintile

5

5

Ab’s Blog

“e-resources management, technology, and anything else that strikes my fancy.” By Abigail Bordeaux. US. WordPress. Began January 2005, lasted 60 months (so far). Group 3 (GPR 0 and no posts in March-May 2010.) This blog had activity as recent as July 2010, but tends to be missing in March-May periods.

Overall Posts

146

Per Month

2.43

Quintile

3

Quintile

4

2007

2008

2009

2010

Posts

12

0

0

0

Quintile

4

5

5

5


Liblog Profiles 29-32

Posted in Liblogs on March 30th, 2011

An eighth copy sold, so here are profiles 29-32.

A Publik Library Life

“I am the Lizard King, I can do anything.” US. LiveJournal. Began May 2005, lasted 16 months. No posts since 2006. Group 4.

Overall Posts

5

Per Month

0.31

Quintile

5

Quintile

5

A Splash Quite Unnoticed

[Disappeared since study.] US. WordPress. Began August 2007, lasted 23 months. Group 4.

Overall Posts

121

Per Month

5.26

Quintile

3

Quintile

3

2008

2009

Posts

10

6

Quintile

4

4

Comments

7

2

Quintile

3

4

Conv. Intensity

0.70

0.33

Quintile

3

4

 

A Striped Armchair

“Blog of a twenty-something reader and unapologetic book nerd.” By Eva. US. WordPress. Began January 2007, lasted 41 months (so far, as of May 2011). Group 1

Overall Posts

951

Per Month

23.2

Quintile

1

Quintile

1

2007

2008

2009

2010

Posts

38

66

80

42

Quintile

2

1

1

1

Words

15,559

63,489

41,233

46,505

Quintile

1

1

1

1

Post length

409

962

517

1,107

Quintile

1

1

1

1

Comments

99

1,059

1,558

2,984

Quintile

1

1

1

1

Conv. Intensity

2.61

16.05

19.48

71.05

Quintile

1

1

1

1

 

A Wandering Eyre

“traversing life with words.” By Michelle Boule. US. WordPress. Began November 2004, lasted 67 months (as of May 2011). Group 1

Overall Posts

1,317

Per Month

19.66

Quintile

1

Quintile

1

2007

2008

2009

2010

Posts

79

17

15

7

Quintile

1

3

3

4

Words

15,702

3,799

2,840

1,203

Quintile

1

3

3

4

Post length

199

223

189

171

Quintile

4

3

4

4

Comments

228

19

7

5

Quintile

1

2

3

3

Conv. Intensity

2.89

1.12

0.47

0.71

Quintile

1

2

3

3

 

 

 

Liblog Profiles 25-28

Posted in Liblogs on March 23rd, 2011

Another copy sold (#7, and a printed book this time), another four blogs…

A Librarian By Any Other Name

“Is Still A Collection of Information.” By VWB. US. Blogger. Began November 2006, lasted 43 months. Group 1.

Overall Posts

291

Per Month

6.77

Quintile

2

Quintile

2

2007 2008 2009 2010
Posts

28

34

19

7

Quintile

2

2

2

4

Words

6,119

7,776

5,005

1,889

Quintile

3

2

2

4

Post length

219

338

263

270

Quintile

3

2

3

3

Comments

21

51

27

11

Quintile

2

1

2

2

Conv. Intensity

0.75

2.22

1.42

1.57

Quintile

3

1

2

2

A Library Writer’s Blog

“Have writer’s block? Hopefully this resource will help librarians identify publishing and presentation opportunities in library & information science, as well as other related fields. I will include calls for papers, presentations, participation, reviewers, and other notices that I find on the web. If you find anything to be posted, please drop me a note. thanks — Corey Seeman, University of Michigan(cseeman@bus.umich.edu).” By Corey Seeman. US. Blogger. Began February 2004, lasted 76 months (so far). Group 1

Overall Posts

1,389

Per Month

18.28

Quintile

1

Quintile

1

2007 2008 2009 2010
Posts

21

45

33

83

Quintile

3

1

1

1

Words

5,973

14,609

10,985

25,468

Quintile

3

1

1

1

Post length

284

325

333

307

Quintile

2

2

2

3

A Passion for ‘Puters

“The Intersection Of Libraries, Computers and Web Trivialities.” By Robin Hastings. US. WordPress. Began April 2007, lasted 37 months. Group 2.

Overall Posts

248

Per Month

6.70

Quintile

2

Quintile

2

2007 2008 2009 2010
Posts

3

20

3

2

Quintile

5

3

5

5

Words

925

10,845

589

454

Quintile

5

2

5

5

Post length

308

374

196

227

Quintile

2

2

4

4

Comments

0

23

0

0

Quintile

5

2

5

5

Conv. Intensity

0

0.79

0

0

Quintile

5

3

5

5

A Patchwork of Books

By Amanda (Snow?). US. Blogger. Began February 2007, lasted 40 months (so far). Group 2 (Google Page Rank).

Overall Posts

1,262

Per Month

31.55

Quintile

1

Quintile

1

2007 2008 2009 2010
Posts

52

79

178

71

Quintile

2

1

1

1

Words

25,585

32,440

70,435

30,644

Quintile

1

1

1

1

Post length

492

411

396

432

Quintile

1

2

2

2

Comments

323

157

652

269

Quintile

1

1

1

1

Conv. Intensity

6.21

1.99

3.66

3.79

Quintile

1

1

1

1

 

Obligations of a failed researcher?

Posted in Liblogs on March 22nd, 2011

Another honest question–looking for advice here.

The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 is about as clear a failure as I’ve ever had (well, other than losing my job, twice). The most ambitious and difficult of any of the research projects I’ve carried out, it’s not only had the lowest sales by far, it’s the only case where people have explicitly told me they don’t even want to see the results if they’re free–that, basically, nobody gives a good, well, I won’t finish that sentence.

(Just read a post by someone who seems to feel that a slender self-published book is a failure because he’s only made $9,000 in net revenue after three months, along with thousands of free downloads. $9,000? It doesn’t look as though I’ll see $90 in revenue from this book, and it sounds like this one was a lot bigger job. For me, as a library writer, $9,000 net revenue for any project, over several years, not three months, is an enormous success!)

I know: I screwed up. Let it go. If you want to be sensible, let more than that go… But:

The person who purchased the sixth copy of the book (as a download–I think maybe two print copies have been purchased) sent me email asking for the complete list of blogs and for lists of blogs in each of the four groups.

I responded that most of the blogs are, in effect, listed in alphabetic order as the index to the book (which is entirely blogs), and that the lists weren’t readily available, as it was difficult to justify putting more effort into such a disastrous failure. (Every time I touch it, I wonder about continuing C&I unless I find sponsorship…although I must admit that there have been donations this year, although not yet reaching a three-digit total.) The purchaser responded with disappointment, said that it would be normal for (all raw data for a project?) to be included as appendices, and…

So here are the questions:

  • Am I being remiss in not going to the extra effort–probably a few hours to clean up the master spreadsheet, maybe a little more if I post it as anything other than an .xlsx file–to make all the data in this failed project freely available?
  • Is there any beneficial outcome to expending that effort, for a project where I’ve been told to go away and stop bothering people?

Advice welcomed.

 

Liblog Profiles 21-24

Posted in Liblogs on March 17th, 2011

I’m delighted to note another sale of The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 (download version)…and, with it, four more profiles. This time, they’re all active.

A Digital Outrigger

“supporting research in digital libraries & usability.” By Steve McCann. US. WordPress. Began September 2006; lasted 45 months (so far). Group 1.

Overall Posts

115

Per Month

2.56

Quintile

3

Quintile

4

2007 2008 2009 2010
Posts

13

5

13

6

Quintile

4

4

3

4

Words

2,932

1,116

1,789

616

Quintile

4

5

4

5

Post length

226

223

138

103

Quintile

3

3

5

5

Comments

1

1

1

0

Quintile

4

5

4

5

Conv. Intensity

0.08

0.20

0.08

0

Quintile

5

4

4

5

A Fuse #8 Production

By Elizabeth Bird. US. WordPress. Began February 2006; lasted 52 months (so far). Group 1. Partial metrics thanks to LJ/SLJ platform.

Overall Posts

1,988

Per Month

38.23

Quintile

1

Quintile

1

2007 2008 2009 2010
Posts

486

176

171

135

Quintile

1

1

1

1

Words

140,425

Quintile

1

Post length

289

Quintile

2

Comments

1,689

1,751

Quintile

1

1

Conv. Intensity

3.48

12.98

Quintile

1

1

A LIBRARIAN AT THE KITCHEN TABLE

“Librarians build community by working as advocates for human rights.” By Kathleen de la Peña McCook. Blogger. Began November 2004; lasted 67 months (so far). Group 1.

Overall Posts

392

Per Month

5.85

Quintile

2

Quintile

2

2007 2008 2009 2010
Posts

28

11

15

3

Quintile

2

4

3

5

Words

7,116

14,998

3,478

289

Quintile

2

1

3

5

Post length

254

1,363

232

96

Quintile

3

1

3

5

Comments

2

0

0

0

Quintile

4

5

5

5

Conv. Intensity

0.07

0

0

0

Quintile

5

5

5

5

A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette

“A polite librarian is a good librarian.” By J. Blogger. Began January 2005; lasted 65 months (so far). Group 1.

Overall Posts

434

Per Month

6.68

Quintile

2

Quintile

2

2007 2008 2009 2010
Posts

7

13

17

61

Quintile

4

3

2

1

Words

481

1,000

1,028

4,306

Quintile

5

5

4

2

Post length

69

77

60

71

Quintile

5

5

5

5

Comments

202

196

178

410

Quintile

1

1

1

1

Conv. Intensity

28.86

15.08

10.47

6.72

Quintile

1

1

1

1



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