Biblioblogosphere: Apology and clarification

I would have sworn that the article explicitly said “English-language blogs.”

The draft did, I think. It must have disappeared as I was madly cutting words to get down from 27 pages (for the issue) to 24.

BiblioAcid quite properly noted that not all library-related blogs are Anglophone (I won’t quote directly, since I had to read Google’s Englished version of the French post, and I’m certain the original is more elegant).

So, here it is:

The informal study of the biblioblogosphere that appears in Cites & Insights 5:10, September 2005 is only a study of portions of the arena, to wit:

1. The blogs must be in English, because I can’t make any sense of them if they’re not. I’m not proud to be monolingual (except for computer languages), but there it is. And I didn’t explicitly state that limitation; my humble apologies.

2. The blogs must be listed in one of several directories of library-related blogs.

3. The blogs must be written by one or a small group of people, where this year’s limit for “small group” is four.

4. The blogs must not be official library blogs.

I was very careful to say that this is not in any sense a study of the Top 50 library-related blogs (if such an animal even exists), but rather a “top 50” set: namely, “60 of the most apparently wide-reaching English-language non-group non-“official library” blogs written by library people.”

And if I do it again next year, it will have similar limitations, although the group limit might change (as would some of the measures).

Based on most feedback to date, the chances of doing it again are high–although one comment (on another blog), that the only proper way to do such a survey is to ask all the bloggers to turn over their log files and then analyze those log files for readership size, would (if most people agreed that that’s the Right Thing to Do) change the chances of a repeat performance to roughly zero…

It would be lovely to see a more universal study conducted by a group capable of reading all the blogs out there. But that’s not me. If people think it’s wrong to do a limited study, let me know: I’ll drop plans to do a repeat.

8 Responses to “Biblioblogosphere: Apology and clarification”

  1. Molly Wms says:

    I think we meet all the criteria, and the h20boro lib blog has been around since 2000 …

  2. walt says:

    Hi Milly,

    “4. The blogs must not be official library blogs.”

    I’ve always assumed that Waterboro’s blog, one of the great library blogs, is an official library blog. I excluded those because I thought (and think) that mixing personal blogs and official blogs is too much apples-and-oranges.

    Also, the population grows so much if I include them…

  3. tangognat says:

    Even though log files might be more accurate, in my case they are filled so full of spam, it would take way too much work to wring any meaningful stats from them.

    I’d be interested in seeing a repeat study.

  4. Mark says:

    Not all of us have access to our log files either. For instance, I only get access to a rolling 24 hour set of stats, not even the log files. I’m not particularly happy about it but there it is.

  5. Thanks very much Walt for including The Ten Thousand Year Blog in your survey. I would like to state for the record that I started my blog under that title in July 2002 using the Radio UserLand software. I migrated off it to WordPress in June 2003, but ran the Radio version until my last posting on July 3, 2003. You can still acess the Radio version at The entries look kind of funny because I had installed liveTopics and didn’t get round to uninstalling it before my Radio subscription lapsed. I originally used the title in the WordPress version The Ten Thousand Year Blog (June 02003-), but eventually gave up on the date, thinking only librarians would appreciate the humor. So, the long and short of this comment, is also that I think my blog qualifies as one of the oldest. And I would again like to thank Jenny (“The Shifted Librarian”) Levine for her inspiration.

  6. I hope you continue to do the study regularly. I think it’s a valuable exercise. There are so many ways to evaluate/study blogs that one study can’t possibly do them all. I think this study is better conducted than J. Bar-Ilan’s works. To actually cover a bigger portion of the blogs, you’d have to automate. At one point there was a group of blog researchers working on this but I guess that fell by the wayside.

  7. Molly Wms says:


    IMO, Waterboro Public Library’s weblog is neither official nor is it personal. It’s written entirely by one person but almost never offers a personal POV, and it is permitted to reside on the library’s website but is not written under the watch of the library director or board, nor does the content derive from anyone officially associated with the library. I suppose if I posted something extremely inflammatory, I would hear from the library board or librarians about it, but it’s not happened yet. I really think the h20boro lib blog is a hybrid. I wonder if there are others….

  8. walt says:

    In some ways, Redwood City Public Library’s blog has a hybrid feel, but it’s explicitly written by “the staff.” The hybrid concept is interesting…