On Blogging and Progress

I spent some time reading some of the "A List" blogs this week and I was surprised at just how incestuous, repetitive, unoriginal and just plain useless & boring they are. If this is the group of people who are revolutionizing the Media, we're all in trouble. Most of them are just yelling about the same garbage I'd expect to hear on talk radio or see on TV. The "reporting" I saw was mostly just a quick copy and paste from "legacy media" sites. That's not to say everything on every site fit this pattern, I just had to really dig for anything original or with much depth.

I don't see the same thing in the librarian blogosphere (I hate that word). From what I've seen we tend to be much more civilized and perhaps more original than the "A Listers." I've been spending more time reading the library blogs lately thanks to the new & improved LISFeeds. There is some real good readin' and writin' out there, I really like what I see. I like the voices, I like the styles, and I like the content. In doing so I also tried to take a look at what I've been posting to the LISNews home page. I think maybe it could use some work. It feels a bit stagnant. I've been doing the same ol' thing for years now with little change to my style or subject matter. My QuickLinks posts are one example of what I'm trying to bring some new ideas to our little site. It's certainly not an original, earth shattering idea, but it's something different for me. I guess my point is, I'm trying new things and hoping for new ideas on ways I can make LISNews more interesting. This only applies to me, I have no problems with what the other authors are doing. One of the big reasons I so often beg for new authors is to keep things fresh and interesting.

I've also recently tried 2 new things that I've been putting off for what seems like an eternity. News alerts via email (I'm using Google) and using an Aggregator on a regular basis. The new alerts are a big success, I'm finding some great stuff I'd otherwise have missed. I was always afraid I'd be overwhelmed, buried in a tidal wave of news alerts. That hasn't happened. It's an entirely new way to find new stuff and I'm really loving it. On the other hand, using the aggregator just isn't working for me. I just don't care about what's being written on blogs enough to worry about following more than a couple sites. Call me a curmudgeon if you must, but using a feed reader just doesn't fit in with the way I'm currently using the web. I tried a few different programs, and couple different sites, and I even tried using a couple of other aggregators set up by other people, and nothing catches my attention for long. I can see how it's a nice way to do things, but it doesn't work for me.


what were the 'A' blogs?

You may be right--although I guess I'd be surprised if "many" library bloggers had 4-digit audiences on a regular basis. I'd define audience based on feeds and repeat site visits, and I admit that there are no numbers that mean all that much.

Hmm. I read every feed I subscribe to, at least at the headline level, and I subscribe at the full-text level when that's available. For me, the beauty of Bloglines is that I can track a few dozen library blogs whose proprietors only have something to say once in a while.

I based my guesstimates on the Bloglines public subscriber count, adding 33% (based on the guesstoid that 75% of aggregator usage is Bloglines), and roughly doubling for direct audiences. Based on that possibly-absurd metric, there would only be two or three library bloggers with potential 5-digit audiences, maybe half a dozen with four-digit audiences. (The same metric would yield no more than half a dozen "A-list" bloggers with six-digit audiences, if that...)

But, as you suggest, the metric could be dead wrong. The funny thing is that, with RSS, nobody knows the actual counts, including the blog owners (unless there's a whole area I'm missing here): log analysis will show direct access and RSS hits--but won't show how many subscribers are served by each RSS hit.

Not used I hope.

Ya gotta read The Corner, there are more people involved and are a lot of fun to read.

It would be interesting to see what LISFeeds yields!As for audiences go, I think you're probably underestimating it a bit. This is a very educated guess, but I bet many have 4 digit "audiences" and several have 5."audiences" As define by what? People who subcribe to the feeds or visit the site? It's interesting to think about how that can be such a completly different number, and to me at least, one that means something very different.My own (biased) opinion is subscribers to a feed means very little, but all the traditional numbers mean more (hits, page views, etc..).I subscribe to 171 on LISFeeds now, don't read more than a couple. I subscribe to 200 cable channels on my TV, I watch one or 2.

It would be interesting to see what LISFeeds yields; it's got more than twice as many feeds as are on my personal list (oops: Getting awfully close to admitting what's on my Bloglines list--which is, in fact, public for anyone who knows how to find it), but I'd guess I'm missing very few of the big hitters.

To the extent that the power law obtains in library blogs as it appears to in blogs in general, it seems unlikely that there are more than, say, 10 library bloggers with four-digit audiences, given that there are unlikely to be more than two or three who might conceivably have five-digit audiences.

Blake, what search terms do you use in your Google News Alerts?

Thank you!

>>I don't know of any comparable list specific to library blogsIf someday I have the time I can probably squeeze something useful out of LISFeeds.>> I'm not picking on JennyI'm telling her you've been picking on RSS again!

Ha! SO that's your secret.It's funny, I always cared about my Karma at Slashdot, so I understand the feeling.Interesting idea on the points being good for someting though. I've got a few old condoms around here somewhere...

Wise! One thing that drives me nuts is reading a blog complaining about not being read.

"What else could be used to separate the wheat from the chaff?"Stats are so hard to do on the web. We could use pageviews, hits, comments, registered users, mailing list subscribers, unique IPs, and so on. So much to measure, so little time.

>>Don't you think there may be a connection between being blowhards and being on the A List?Yup, I do now.I guess I Already Wrote on this popularity thing. I can't add up all the Subscribers to all the LISNews feeds (I honestly don't know how many we have This Page is not even complete.), but that just doesn't mean as much, to me, as the number of comments and pageviews we get. Bloglines = Cable TV for the web.

ah jeeze, that was lazy of me.I used a few "top blogs" lists: technorati.com , rightwingnews.com and truthlaidbear.com.

For 20,000 karma points you get...a virtual retirement party, 'coz you've been way too involved with LISNews.

Referring way back up, Blake probably used one of those lists on places such as Technorati--maybe just used Technorati's Top 100 list. I don't know of any comparable list specific to library blogs--and my informal "a list" was only from my own tiny list of Bloglines subscriptions...

I would note that, if all of Jenny Levine's readers also had blogs and all of them linked to her, The Shifted Librarian would be within the top 30 on the list, and probably within the top 20. I'm not picking on Jenny--but she has the most Bloglines subscribers of anyone among the library bloggers on my list.

And I will also admit that I do read one of the top 100. #1, actually, although "read" may overestimate the attention I pay to it. (I did read one other, but that one's actually been abandoned for a different address...)

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. That is my primary source for stories I suggest for LISNEWS. You can't have it, you can't use it. It is mine. Fine, I don't care anymore, I think I hit the new Karma limit anyway.

Why the hell do I care about the Karma points anyway? I got dinged a karma point (justifiably, mind you), and I was crushed for like hours. Until someone went in and restored it. It's not like the old S & H Green stamps. I can't turn them in for a toaster.

Now there is an idea.... you can have a little LISNEWS store (you have tons-o-time on your hands), and you can either sell the stuff (notice I didn't say "shit" like I was gonna), or... WE CAN USE KARMA POINTS TO GET REALLY COOL STUFF (shit). LISNEWS T-shirts, mugs (you can never have too many mugs), key rings, pens, condoms, you name it!

With five Bloglines subscribers, I suppose that I'm on the "Z" list of blogs. :-)I'm not bothered by that very much, since 1) I know more people read me through LISNews; and, more importantly, I view my journal/blog primarily as a way to share ideas and resources, whether or not people pay attention.I'd hate to be in a place where I'm worrying whether something I write will be raise or lower my readership.

That acronym, by Peggy Noonan, stands for main stream media and boy are they torqued! Here's the link to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. Just as an aside: I try to follow Intelliseek's BlogPulse because it does tend to track some interesting tidbits, but that's just me.

I do like Walt's idea of using some sort of metric like how many feeds are pulling from a blog to determine "A-list" status. What else could be used to separate the wheat from the chaff?

Don't you think there may be a connection between being blowhards and being on the A List?

After all, with library blogging's version of the A list (Librarian.net. Shifted librarian, Library stuff, ResearchBuzz--the only ones I know of with >500 and >1000 Bloglines subscribers, one good indication), or even moving down to the "Killer B's" (350-500 Bloglines subscribers: Catalogablog, LibrarianinBlack, TametheWeb, TechnoBiblio), you're dealing with people who are, I suggest, more interested in saying something useful than in being simplistic and controversial. You can look at all eight of those blogs every day and might only get "red meat" once a week or less often--especially if some jackass hasn't been dissing RSS or otherwise causing trouble.

Lots of people love red meat and simple confrontation: Consider FauxNews' ratings.

Why would it really be different in the blogosphere?

(I avoid the A list pretty much entirely, with one occasional exception. But I avoid TV news and "Crossball"-type shows as well...)

I have several now, I keep adding new ones slowly to see what else I can find without getting buried. I think I get about 30 a day, which isn't too bad, maybe 10 orso are useful.librarylibrarianlibrariesbooks authorsarchives records

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