It's been ages since I've written about LISNews (actually, now that I think about it, It's been ages since I've written about anything). I spent a little time last night getting caught up on what I missed last week while I was gone and saw a troll complaining about a post. A post I thought appropriate and important. I gave up caring what anonymous trolls write quickly after I started LISNews. It's just not worth it. It's not that I don't care what anyone says, I still care about what "real" people have to say about the site, there's just no point in feeding the trolls. I always have welcomed comments and criticisms of the site. But, it's been years since I've seen someone complain about the post being off topic, and it caught me off guard:
Yet another instance of LISNews posting items that really have nothing to do with libraries, librarians or information science. If you're going to stretch and assume the whole world is in the "information" part, why not also include items about Brad and Angelina or how to microwave vegetables?
We've had this debate several times, but it hasn't come up in so long I forget that many LISNews readers are new and missed out on the debates and writing from the days of yore. I've written extensively, and there have been extensive comments on what content is appropriate for LISNews (If I wasn't so lazy I'd dig those up right now, but you're probably a librarian, so you can find them)
If you look at our "About" page you'll see sentence #2 is this:
A dedicated team of international bloggers scour the World Wide Web to find stories they find interesting.
That sentence used to read "We post what we find interesting, if you find it interesting then today is your lucky day." Note that it says "stories they find interesting." That's the criteria I've always given people for posts, and I follow it as well. We post what WE find interesting. We're not in this for ratings, or clicks or stock price, we do it because we enjoy it. It helps if the post is somewhat related to libraries, but there's nothing wrong with posts about other topics, especially if they relate to the internet or technology. I don't know much about LISNews readers, but I can see we're a bunch who are obviously interested in techie stuff.
Personally I think it's not a stretch to assume the whole world is in the "information" part, it keeps the site fresh and interesting. The best thing about LISNews is I never know what I'm going to read next, that's why I beg for others to contribute, and that's why it's not "Blake Carver's LISNews" it's just LISNews. While I post far more stories than anyone else, I don't expect to agree with every author or what they post. I have a strong influence over the site, but in the end I leave it up to the authors and readers to decide what's interesting. Luckily, none of think Brad and Angelina are interesting enough to write about, yet.
When you read Librarian.net or LibraryStuff.net you most likely read the site as much for the person as for the content. Jessamyn and Steven are inseparable from their sites. When you read LISNews my guess is you read it for the content. "Blake" is just one name of many that make up LISNews. I have my blog on the side, and that's the only place I have complete control. I think the idea of some randomness, and I think that having many voices contributing to the conversation makes it stronger.
You won't be seeing many posts here on Steam Punk or Disney anytime soon, but because I do my best to keep LISNews open, you'll see things that aren't about libraries. If that offends your delicate librarian sensibilities then be sure to check out the latest issue of RUSQ or Public Library Quarterly, they're sure to have an article on everything we discussed 2 years ago.