Just the blogs: any audience?

As already noted, I am doing another liblog investigation, this one covering 2007 through 2009 but not quite as broadly as The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008 (which will continue to be available at Lulu and Amazon).

I’m not sure just what I’ll do with the results, but one possibility is another book–this one having review copies and all.

Brief status report

  • I’ve established the universe being investigated (521 blogs in all, all of them visible as of September 2009).
  • I’ve done almost all of the metrics for the blogs–measured frequency, length and comments for March-May 2007, 2008 and 2009 (as feasible), recorded starting date, prepared text section with blog name, tagline/subtitle/motto, author’s name, start date, metrics table and, new for this year, a sentence or two of personal commentary (although I omit that on some blogs). (What’s left? Maybe nothing; maybe a quick 10/1-10/2 scan for most recent post and for blog software.)
  • I’ve prepared the 15 quintiles that feed back into the blog tables (frequency, words per post, comments per post, each for 2007, 2008, 2009, and the delta from 2008 to 2009 and 2007 to 2009). (There are other quintiles–total blog length, total number of comments–but they won’t be reported at the individual-blog level)
  • I’m about halfway through updating the “blog chapter” by adding the quintiles to the text tables.

There’s a lot more to do, to be sure–all of the other analysis and narrative. But…

A few people, commenting on The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008, said they were sorry I decided not to include my comments on individual blogs–and at least one even said they’d pay for that book.

The question then becomes…

Would you?

That is, are there folks out there who really don’t care about the details of the overall liblog picture but would be interested in a book (PDF or paperback) consisting of the 521 liblog profiles, with an introductory chapter explaining how they were chosen, giving the quintiles (but no other metrics) and noting how they work–and with a blog author index?

I’m thinking there might also be some folks who really don’t care about the individual liblogs, but are interested in the discussion of the liblog field as a whole.

If there is a market for “just the blogs,” it wouldn’t take a lot of work to do it–slapping together that introductory chapter, doing the index (fairly easy in this case), making a couple of global format changes in “the blog chapter” and breaking it into 27 chapters for convenience…and, to be sure, making a cover. I could probably have such a book available by mid-October.

If that book came out, then I’d see there being three versions of the investigation (plus whatever I publish in C&I or elsewhere):

  1. Just the Blogs. Probably $20 PDF, $30 paperback. Probably around 200 pages. Probably out October 2009.
  2. Just the Analysis. Probably the same price. Probably around 100-150 pages. Probably out December 2009-January 2010.
  3. But Still They Post… The “real book,” the one I’d send out for review. I don’t think it will be divided into analysis followed by one big blog chapter, as was the case for the three previous blog studies. Instead, I think I’d interleave blog notes as appropriate within the narrative. This would also be a better bargain than the others: Probably $20 PDF, $35 paperback. Probably around 250-300 pages. (The text in “Just the Blogs” would be 11pt. where blog segments within the overall book would probably be 10pt.–and “Just the Blogs” would have a bunch of extra chapter breaks. And one chapter in “Just the Blogs”–as well as the index–would be redundant. Thus, 100-150 plus 200 really might total around 250-300.)

Reactions desired

It would be exceptionally dumb, even for me, to do #1 and #2 unless there’s some indication of demand. It might be exceptionally dumb anyway (maybe the whole project is!), but that’s another question.

Do note: There wouldn’t be “excess paper” if I do it this way–other than the single proof copy, that is, No more books will be printed than are sold, and if people want PDF, that’s fine with me.

So: Over to you. Is there any interest in #1 or #2? (Or #3 for that matter…)

And a final reminder

If you have a sudden belated urge to own a copy of Academic Library Blogs: 231 Examples, you have a few more days to buy one (you can probably find that on Amazon as well). On or about October 1, 2009, it will go “out of print”–I’ll turn off both print-on-demand projects.

2 Responses to “Just the blogs: any audience?”

  1. Steven Kaye says:

    I’m interested in the statistical aspect from the perspective of “Someone should do this, damn it!”

    But what I’m *really* interested in, and what I suspect would be too much work to consider, would be how metrics vary by blog type (medical librarians vs. librarian blogs as a whole, and so on for other segments.). Maybe do that as one-offs, with funding via PayPal or Fundable?

  2. walt says:

    Steven: I’m doing the statistical aspect because I thought (and think) there’s still an interesting story (and, to be sure, I had an existing database to work from).

    As for metrics by blog type: I’ve done that in Chapter 9 of The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008, which continues to be available as a PDF or book, for every subgroup with at least 10 members. (Losing yet another sale opportunity, I’m probably obliged to note that the breakdowns are also in Cites & Insights 9:7.)

    For the new study, I’ve given up trying to identify blogs by subgroup; it felt too questionable. So such metrics won’t be feasible…although, once a set of blogs is identified, it’s probably no more than an hour’s work to do comparative metrics.