Blogging

I seem to spend less time looking at blogs, library or otherwise. I don't know if this is just me or if it is a general experience. The demands of work, life and Twitter perhaps. No doubt Walt will inform us in due course whether the volume of library blogging, at least, is up or down, whatever about the quality or interest.

However, as soon as I say that I realise that it is probably not true. I do look at quite a lot of things that are sort of quasi-blogs/quasi-news (e.g on Cnet) which I do not tend to think of as blogs because they do not have a strong personal voice. I occasionally look at some other things which are clearly 'blogs', if in some managed space. The blogs at HarvardBusiness.org are an example, and they seem a bit flat, as if produced to order.

In this context, I was quite interested to read the job advert for the editor of the BBC Internet Blog.

The BBC internet blog is the key audience facing accountability blog for senior staff in the BBC's online and technology teams (e.g. BBC Online, BBC iPlayer, Future Media & Technology, Online Media Group, A&Mi, Vision Multi-platform). It aims to showcase the work of these teams and to respond to live issues in the blogosphere and elsewhere on what the BBC does in technology and online.
The blog is a fast moving editorial proposition which aims to publish a blog post every day. [BBC - Jobs - Job Details]

This prompts me to think that perhaps the word blog has become overburdened and as a result somewhat fuzzy in use. Sometimes we use it for the mechanics, for a mode of delivery which has become a useful and general web publishing medium: a stream of messages which are individually commentable, addressible, and signed, which can be subscribed to as a stream and which can be aggregated and mixed in various ways. Other times we may mean this, but we are principally thinking of the personal voice that comes through ...

So, I probably spend as much or more time looking at blogs in that mechanical sense. But I probably spend less time listening to individual, idiosyncratic voices ...

Comments: 2

May 04, 2009
Roy Tennant

I have also noticed a drop-off in my blog reading, or at least my blog monitoring. I run my aggregator whenever I want to review the blogs I follow, and I realized that I've been running it only 3-4 times a month lately. Perhaps I'm relying on other channels, such as Twitter, to point out specific posts of interest. Or maybe it's just a phase. Dunno (yet).

May 04, 2009
walt crawford

True enough that blogs cover too much territory/too many styles to think of as one medium. Also true, I believe, that "microblogging" (a term I don't care for) has probably reduced the amount and "personality" of blogging--as have intermediate forms such as FriendFeed.

As for your opening paragraph: Thanks for the mention, but at this point there's quite a bit of doubt that I'll take the project forward another year. Lack of revenue and readership does not encourage putting in a couple hundred more hours on it. (For library blogs, as opposed to personal blogs by library people, I'm 99% certain that there won't be a new study, barring sponsorship. For liblogs, it's still slightly up in the air--but the rational choice is to give it up, leaving it to LIS faculty and others who can profit from the research one way or another.)