Right back where I started from

Yes, this is the post I warned you about.

Short version

Walt at Random–all of it–is back here. The blog on ScienceBlogs will have no new posts.

I’ll restore the banner a little later…I’ve restored the banner and slogan: Easier than I remembered.

Some (but probably not all) of the posts that appeared at ScienceBlogs since that version of Walt at Random was inaugurated will (eventually) appear in the archives here.

The longer version

:If you’ve already read this on the ScienceBlogs version, you can skip this section.

As noted on what was, for a while, “the last Walt at Random post” at https://walt.lishost.org, I was invited by ScienceBlogs to join their newish Information Science channel, already populated by John Dupuis and Christina Pikas.

The invitation itself was an honor, particularly given the regard in which I hold John and Christina.

Even then, I was a little doubtful of my credentials as an information scientist. Quoting further from that post, under the heading “Information scientist? Moi?“:

I’ve never claimed that title and don’t intend to start now.


I believe I’ve done better (more comprehensive, more careful) research on liblogs and library blogs than I’ve seen elsewhere, even if I’ve deliberately stuck to meatball statistics rather than sophisticated analysis.

I’ve certainly written (and will continue to write) about open access and other topics that concern scientists.

My brother’s a chemist. Does that count?

So I moved here–and moved the archives as well. (I may delete those here, since they’re all available on the old/new site.)

I was delighted when Dorothea Salo started a new blog on ScienceBlogs, after closing her old one. The Book of Trogool is an important new blog, one that I believe will have a real impact on data curation.

And, of course, both Confessions of a Science Librarian and Christina’s LIS Rant continue to be fine blogs that enrich the liblog community and ScienceBlogs.

So why did I leave? It’s complicated. Some of the factors (from a message I sent to ScienceBlogs’ Erin Johnson):

  • To the extent that I was reaching a new audience, it’s outside of the library field–and, while it’s welcome, I felt the need to explain things that I wouldn’t explain to the few hundred people I know get my posts.
  • I find an internal pressure (a) to write more posts, (b) to make them a little more formal. Neither of these makes much sense within my overall scheme of things….
  • The split between old and new–in essence, between reviews of old flicks (and duplicated posts on new material in the Library Leadership Network)–seems artificial to me, at odds with the random theme of Walt at Random.
  • I’m really not an information scientist; in fact, I’ve historically made fun of the term.
  • I believe Dorothea Salo (whose star continues to rise), Christina Pikas and John Dupuis all make sense as ScienceBlog bloggers. I don’t believe I do; I think I’m decidedly the odd blogger out in that community. (Note: these are all at least virtual friends–I don’t know that I’ve met Christina in the flesh, but I have both of the others–and I think the world of all of them.)
  • Given everything else, I’d just as soon have complete control of my own space. (And, given everything else, my dislike of the MovableType editing platform as compared to WordPress becomes significant.)

One factor not mentioned there, but one I think may be more significant than all of these:

Walt at Random has always been a secondary outlet. Cites & Insights, my ejournal, has always been more important to me and, I think, to the community. I found it difficult to explain Cites & Insights within this space…

Based on the metrics, ScienceBlogs wasn’t gaining much from my presence, and they’ve been very gracious about letting me go.

The randomness continues

I’m not wild about managing multiple blogs in any case, and between work and other things, I was handling four. Maybe with only three (and only one open to all that randomness), I’ll do a better job. Maybe not.

In any case, you’ll find me here–not only the LLN and C&I announcements and reviews of old flicks, but all my posts.

Explicit disclaimer

I haven’t been blogging all that much at either address. Now that it’s back here, I’ll resist the urge to blog for the sake of blogging.

Note that I am not promising to take up the slack. I’m in the midst of doing another liblog research project, and I’ve seen a few too many cases where a blogger, after an absence, says “I’ll be writing a lot more…” and then is never heard from again.

I’ll say this: I’ll post when I have something to say that appears to suit this particular venue.

2 Responses to “Right back where I started from”

  1. Christina Pikas says:

    Thanks for the kind words/pointer to my blog. Bravo for taking back the freedom to post when you want and what you want! (not that I feel like my freedom is externally imposed, mind you)

  2. laura says:

    Welcome back, then. I’ve always been of the “blog when you have something to say and the energy to say it” philosophy, which I’m sure is reflected in whatever metrics you may have gathered on my little liblog over the years. I would say that you are in fact an information scientist: you take pieces of information and study them for trends that are significant (and my knowledge of statistics is extremely limited, but even I want to point out to people sometimes that they are comparing things that are incomparable, or basing a trend on a statistical difference that is probably not actually a significant difference). But I’m very into owning my own press, and I applaud you for deciding to do the same.