Library Juice: gone or changed

Rory Litwin of Library Juice is calling it quits after nearly eight years.

Well, actually, that’s not quite true. He’s shutting down Library Juice as an e-journal. He’ll return with a Library Juice blog.

As I noted in a comment at Library Stuff (where I saw the story), this is one more in a surprising wave of temporary and permanent shutdowns over the last month or two. I’m not sure whether there’s something more significant happening here (I’m inclined to make a comment about deep cynicism at certain levels of leadership infecting the rest of us, but I try to avoid politics). Maybe I’ll write a Blather about it; maybe not.

Meanwhile–Rory’s always been considerably to my left, and also a good writer. I’ve appreciated Library Juice even when I’ve disagreed with what’s there. I’ll certainly add the new blog to Bloglines…

4 Responses to “Library Juice: gone or changed”

  1. I don’t think the wave of shutdowns has any Deep Political Connections. Instead, I suspect it has to do with hype leading to disillusionment. Blogging “success” is something of a pyramid scheme. For every big “influential” blog (in terms of “high” readership), there has to be a legion of smaller players reading and echoing. What keeps all the little people in the system, when their time and effort ends up mostly benefitting the Big Heads? For some, it’s the hope and dream of having influence themselves. But after a while, it becomes clear to a little fish that, in practice, almost nobody is reading them, there’s only a few top niches, and those are taken (this applies to local hierachies as well a global hierachies). So if one isn’t content just to do the equivalent of ranting on a streetcorner, or to hear the sound of one’s own voice, or chat, there’s not a whole lot of incentive to keep playing the game. But that’s a process, it takes a while to go through it.

  2. walt says:

    I don’t really think the shutdowns and pauses have a Deep Political Connection either, although I do wonder about a general malaise, between the weather and other things.

    I tend not to believe that, in the biblioblogosphere, the “pyramid scheme” is particularly relevant. This little area is almost all “long tail.” And the bloggers who have pulled way back because real life trumps blogging include some of the highest-profile people in the community.

    There are probably several semi-related factors, which may or may not become a Serious Essay (probably not): The “that was fun, but only for a while” factor that causes so many blogs to disappear within the first year (there, I think your explanation is on the money, at least in part), but also a range of competing uses for time–and, to some extent, the fact (and I think it is a fact) that blogging is no longer a hot leading-edge cool thing to do, but rather just another outlet, with strengths and weaknesses. And others as well, I’m sure.

  3. Rory Litwin says:

    I’ve read the discussions on blogs about my decision to stop publication of Library Juice with interest. Without exception, bloggers and commenters on blogs have treated my decision as the decision of a blogger to stop blogging, and have assumed that my statement about “all the BS out there” refers to blogs. I’m not a blogger (as long as you don’t count my personal Livejournal, which hasn’t anything to do with libraries) and rarely read blogs. Library Juice was an electronic serial with little relation to the blogosphere. It had a high readership, but probably not among people who read a steady diet of blogs. “All that BS out there” referred to media in general, as well as email discussion lists, conference presentations, books, you name it; and also probably blogs, though as I say, I’m not much of a reader of blogs.

  4. walt says:

    There’s one exception: This blog. I explicitly said you were shutting down an e-journal and would return with a blog. And I didn’t cite “all the BS out there” at all.

    I did, admittedly, lump your decision in with what I see as a wave of blogging pauses, shutdowns, slowdowns. That may be unfair.

    As you note, Library Juice did have a large readership (by library standards).

    I’m not sure about the connection between Library Juce and the library blogosphere. There’s certainly a significant overlap; how much overlap is another question.

    In any case: Eight good years count for something, and I look forward to your blog.