Liblog mortality, Part II – an encouraging end-of-year note

A couple of months ago I posted this commentary about the results of checking on the 213 blogs in this year’s look at liblogs.

At the time, 31 of the 213 had either disappeared or gone dormant, where I used “no post in the last two months” as a marker for dormancy. I scoffed at a strawman straight extrapolation of where the group of 213 would be by next summer, and offered my own WAG as to the likely reality. (Wild-ass guess, just another TLA).

Just finished doing the second two-month checkup, but this time I used a slightly less severe dormancy test: “No post since August 31, 2006 or the site can’t be reached.” Note that any blog marked as dormant in the last round, and with no updates since, would definitely be dormant this time around.
I said in the late October post that most likely a few of the 31 would come back to life. That’s what happened–at least five, and I think more, of the bloggers started blogging again after an extended break.

There were a couple of explicit shutdowns (Max Power Blogs, for example), two cases where the most recent post is September or later but there’s indication that a shutdown may have occurred, and a couple of unreachable sites or ones that are now linklots rather than blogs.

Still, I wound up with only 27 of the 213 blogs marked as dead or dormant.

Innumerate strawman pops up again: “Why, at this rate, all 213 will be in business by next summer!”

Well, no. The cutoff for the October test wasn’t much earlier than the cutoff for this test. (I will say, though, that I don’t think there are more than three or four blogs with September posts but nothing in the last two months.)

I’m guessing 27 will be the low point–that is, I’d expect that very few blogs will resume after a nearly four-month hiatus, and I’d guess a few more will disappear between now and next summer.

But probably not many. All of these blogs have or had decent-size readership. None of them were one-post wonders, the kind you frequently see in classroom or workshop settings. All of them have had a tiny bit of extra publicity, with perhaps 7,000 library people reading about them in C&I.

In that previous post, I guessed that at least 150 of the original 213 would still be around after a year (some, to be sure, with different names or locations–but traceable changes), and hoped that 160 to 170 would still be around. I’ll stick with that guess, and I’m a little more hopeful about the hope.

You know, this one might actually be the last post of the year (or might not). If so, have a happy and see you next year.

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