2. Blogging for Libraries

A single book that would:

  • Replace Public Library Blogs and Academic Library Blogs
  • Begin with a chapter or two on good practices and minimalist planning for library blogs biased toward success.
  • Focus on the 176 (or 110?) “active” academic blogs and 185 (or 129?) “active” public blogs, for a total of 361 or 239 blogs in total
  • Survey as many bloggers in that group as possible, to try to find out (a) apparent subscription and use levels (to be used anonymously), (b) “success stories,” (d) comments.
  • Bring the stats up to date (either doing 2008 and 2009, or just jumping from 2007 to 2009) and add “internal stats” as available, also using richer metrics.
  • Try to establish typologies of successful blogs
  • Use half-page profiles of all of these as success stories.
  • Notes

    There’s a trickle of sales for the two books (two of one, one of the other in February; still short of 80 copies for Public Library Blogs and 50 for Academic Library Blogs altogether).

    While the new book would be much richer, that might not translate into reasonable sales—this really may be one that can only be done with sponsorship.

    Quick evaluation

  • Level of effort: High, involving email, survey, handling return, and metrics for 239 to 361 blogs.
  • Value added: Existing database and sheer persistence.
  • Upfront risk: Only time—but doing the survey would pretty much oblige me to do the work.
  • Value to the field: Likely to be higher than for the current two books, but may not be perceived as high enough.
  • Personal rewards: Fairly low, frankly. I have this pessimistic sense that people aren’t really interested in knowing how library blogs are actually doing and would rather hear about how wonderfully they should be doing.
  • Comments?

    In the interests of a silly but amusing experiment, I am obliged to note that this post has nothing whatsoever to do with Kindle 2, Amazon, text-to-speech, 23 things or Authors Guild. It also has no specific references to Kansas or Nebraska.

    3 Responses to “2. Blogging for Libraries”

    1. Mark says:

      I’m not the market for either of these, Walt, but they do not seem to me like the best use of your time. And based on sales-to-date I’d have to ask why “invest” the effort?

      Our library (UIUC) has a copy of the public one but not of the academic one. Go figure. Consortium-wide there are 3 copies of the public and 0 of the academic.

    2. Leigh Anne says:

      Am highly biased here, as I’m both the nominal blogwrangler and collection developer in the Zs @ my library. However, I’d say that, in the interest of making sales AND helping professional development, any book that gave concrete suggestions for better blogging would get snapped up by both the library school AND public library markets.

    3. walt says:

      Leigh Anne,

      Thanks. I guess I thought there was plenty of advice out there already (in books and on blogs), but maybe not.

      Mark: Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind. (#2 is probably #3 in likelihood at this point…or maybe #4, since “doing nothing” is sounding good.)