Blogging

How Blogs Make It To The "Blogs To Read" List

I had three people ask questions on how the "Blogs To Read" list gets put together each year, so I thought it wise to share. First and foremost, it's not a popularity contest. Every year there have been a couple that received an avalanche of votes, and they usually make it on to the list. But more important that popularity is quality. Blogs make it on the looooong list by being suggested. I go through every blog I can find and look back at what they wrote this year. I get email, IMs, and comments on LISNews full of blogs from all over. I ask past winners, friends, and anyone else I can find. I start with as many as possible. The first list this year was about 180 blogs, which I quickly cut in half, and then with a bit more work in half again. I'm currently working my way through the final list of 30(ish) blogs now.

There are 5 that I have short listed (2 crowd favorites and 3 obvious choices) which leaves just 5 more. I'm going to try to reduce that short list of 30 to about 10 and get feedback from the other LISNews authors. And that should do it. The final list is going to be difficult this year, the short list looks like a great bunch of blogs. I don't have strict rules to eliminate blogs, but I did come up with this list that explains how the list is reduced. I go through the list, read and reread every blog and try to objectively decide if it will fit on the list this year.

Below are the things that I use to create the final list:

Things that get blogs excluded:
Infrequent posting: This year I also excluded any blog that hasn't updated in a month.
Short posts: Anyone can post a single link every day.
Too many posts consisting of just a big long quote: Wow, you can copy and paste!
Too many posts of life stream stuff: We're all impressed you found Twitter.
Too much personal or off topic stuff: Yes, your cats are super cute.
Too many memes: How many Facebook quizzes did you take?
Didn't stand out in its niche: Sometimes the blog is good, but just not better than others.

Things that make a blog "readable":
Frequent essay length posts.
Quality, in depth and insightful posts that add to the conversation.
In depth reviews of books, blogs, articles, conferences and life in our profession.
Frequent updates.

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A Look Back At The First 40 "Blogs To Read"

The soon to be finished "Blogs To Read in 2010" list is looking good. To help with the new list, I went through the first 40 to see how we'd done with our picks. The old lists still look pretty darn good. With just a few exceptions, most of the blogs have stood the test of time. I've listed them all below, with a brief comment for each. Be sure to let me know if you have a pick for 2010.
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Who Belongs On Our "Blogs To Read In 2010" List?

(Why This List Matters.)

We're in the final stretch of putting together our annual list, "10 Blogs To Read in 2010".

What blogs do you read every day? What blogs help you learn? What blogs keep you informed? What blogs make you laugh? Who's the best writer out there?

Think of it this way: "I read many others, but these are the LIS blogs that read even when time is short"

I'm looking for input from as many people as possible so the final list doesn't miss any new talented bloggers. My goal again this year is simple, we'll list 10 blogs that, when followed as a group, paint a complete picture of what's going on in our little world. You can leave a comment below, hit the contact form, or send an email to [email protected].

Before you nominate, take a look at past winners, they aren't eligible for 2010:

10 Blogs To Read in 2006
http://www.lisnews.org/node/17775

10 Blogs To Read In 2007
http://www.lisnews.org/node/20341

The LISNews 10 Blogs To Read In 2008
http://lisnews.org/node/28830

10 Blogs To Read In 2009
http://www.lisnews.org/10_librarian_blogs_read_2009

Library Gift Tags

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<A HREF=" http://www.ourcitylights.org/2009/12/library-themed-holiday-gift-tags.html">Perhaps the perfect way to wrap a present for the book lover in your family?</A>

Nominations & Conference Destinations

I’m very humbled to announce that I have been nominated by my friend Buffy Hamilton for the 2009 Edublog Awards in the category of

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Favorite Blogs This Year? Put Them On "The Blogs To Read In 2010" List!

(Why This List Matters.)

It's never too early to start thinking about "10 Blogs To Read in 2010". Well, ok, so maybe there was a time when it was too early, but that time has passed. Let's start thinking about our favorite blogs.

What blogs do you read every day? What blogs help you learn? What blogs keep you informed? What blogs make you laugh? Who's the best writer out there?

When building my list, I like to think of it this way: "I read many others, but these are the LIS blogs that read even when time is short"

Your list doesn't need to be complete or fair. I'm looking for input from as many people as possible so the final list doesn't miss anyone new or overlooked. My goal again this year, 10 blogs that, when followed as a group, paint a complete picture of what's going on in our little world.

Before your nominate, take a look at past winners, they aren't eligible for 2009:

10 Blogs To Read in 2006
http://www.lisnews.org/node/17775

10 Blogs To Read In 2007
http://www.lisnews.org/node/20341

The LISNews 10 Blogs To Read In 2008
http://lisnews.org/node/28830

10 Blogs To Read In 2009
http://www.lisnews.org/10_librarian_blogs_read_2009

You can leave a comment below, hit the contact form, or send an email to [email protected].

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #91

This week's episode contains an interview with web celeb Cali Lewis about blogging today and recent rumblings from the Federal Trade Commission about disclosures bloggers must make. Related links: Cali Lewis on Twitter GeekBrief TV The Blog of Cali Lewis Linux Outlaws LISNews Account Registration

Rebel Librarians? Yes, please!

The following is our most recent Story of the Week from The Merry Librarian (www.merrylibrarian.com), dated Oct. 11th, 2009. A new story is posted every week on our site. Be sure to check us out!

"Rebel Librarians? Yes, please!"

Library patrons are, by nature, very delicate clientele. They enter our doors with all kinds of requests and needs, but we, being the stodgy librarians we all are, sometimes forget that they are to be treated with absolute sensitivity. Sometimes, we blunder. We inadvertently step on someone’s toes with cold-hearted requests such as, “Please use headphones when listening to your death metal music on your laptop,” or “We’d appreciate it if you’d leave your flask of whiskey at home next time.” And we may slip up occasionally and ask difficult and alarming questions, such as, “What’s the title of the book you’re looking for?”. But hey, we’re only human…right?

Librarian: What can I do for you?

Patron: Can you check to see if a book is in your library?

Librarian: Sure! What book are you looking for?

Patron: I knew you were going to ask that! I just had it…and when you asked me that I forgot it right away!

…pause…

Librarian: Oops…sorry about that, is there anything you know about the book that I can possibly use to find the title?

Patron: No! You shouldn’t have said anything!

Librarian: …

Another Day, Another Taser

The following is posted from www.merrylibrarian.com from our Story of the Week archives, dated Oct. 4th, 2009. Check out the site for all of our stories!

"Another Day, Another Taser"

Just in case you haven’t gotten the memo, we no longer live in the cheerful, black-and-white world of “Leave It To Beaver.” The streets aren’t even clean anymore, much less safe. Where the public library was once a quiet, quaint place for study and leisurely reading, it has now become a strange mix of internet cafe/detention hall/day care/reading room/homeless shelter. Don’t get us wrong–we aren’t complaining (too much)! The library is supposed to be for everyone, and we gladly open our doors to any person who may walk through them.

But let’s face it: the whole “libraries are for everyone” thing means we get a lot of unsavory people stumbling past our desks everyday. And with them, we get a whole slew of uncomfortable situations. (It is the Merry Librarian’s humble opinion that librarians everywhere should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize.) But the true heroes of the library are easily the library security guards. They undoubtedly see the worst. Not only do they get the porno freaks and drunks, they get the screamers, irate parents, gangsters, predators, thieves, liars, abandoned children, squatters…you name it.

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