Revenge of the Blog People!

Revenge of the Blog People! is a funny one by Michael Gorman, president-elect of the American Library Association, over at LJ.

"It is obvious that the Blog People read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them and judge me to be wrong on the basis of what they think rather than what I actually wrote. Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable."

[Thanks Jessamyn]


If this is the sort of mindset we can expect from the American Library Association, then the ALA is IMHO becoming increasingly irrelevant in today's world. Gorman claims to not be "antidigital", yet remark after remark demonstrates that he is quite out of touch regarding technological advances in information policy, dissemination, and organization.

FYI, Gorman, the "Blog People" post above IS satire. See how it is done?You'll have to do better next time to claim that was your intention.Your explanation insults the intelligence of all librarians...not just the disagreeable, judgmental, and intellectually inferior Blog People.And, yes, you do have "the right to speak in any way you wish." But do you actually think using your position in a professional organization for a defensive diatribe is appropriate?BTW, I don't know you and I don't have a blog, but your petty outburst is embarrassing for my profession. Thank goodness no one else is likely to see it.


Sorry I missed what you were saying. I wasn't paying attention. As a blog person, I am easily distracted by shiny objects.

I like buttons…

As a member of ALA, I will not ask him to resign. He has a right to his own opinions. However, I will not support him in any ALA elections in the future.

I discovered Michael Gorman's piece on Slashdot this morning and, boy, did it make me embarrassed to be a librarian. We try so hard to be hip and relevant and then someone comes along and writes something like this.I feel that sentiments like this, from the future president of the American Library Association, set us back in the eyes of the public as a bunch of arrogant, out of touch blowhards. Who cares if old grumps like this are out of a job when libraries close?Librarians and the internet are unmixy things--just see what the pres-elect of ALA is saying! The only worthwhile knowledge is in our precious books and if it's not published in a peer reviewed process, it ain't worth jack!The disconnect between the public and librarians is only increased with this kind of statement coming out of ALA, and we really don't need to broaden that gap between the "it's all on the internet" and "print is *it*" attitudes. We need to show our relevance in the current environment, not dis our clientele (and a lot of librarians by the way) who feel that the internet and blogs are a vital information source. And if the president of ALA isn't willing to show how libraries and librarians are relevant, it makes me wonder about his fitness to lead the organization.

the ALA is IMHO becoming increasingly irrelevant in today's world.

Becoming? It already is irrelevant. The only thing left is for someone to dispose of the rotting carcass of the ALA.

Yep...he's pulling the "satire" card. The fact that no one whose posts I've seen thusfar have taken it as satire illustrates that it's poorly executed satire at best. His response to the Council list seems to contradict that it is satire.

The piece (LJ, February 15th 2005) was intended to be satirical, though I am certainly no fan of "blogs," having an old fashioned belief that, if one wishes to air one's views and be taken seriously, one should go through the publishing/editing process.

The fact that he puts the word blog in quotations marks speaks volumes.

I must be humor impaired today, my apologies; if I could edit that post, I would.

Seriously though, he should start a blog.

It's funny, Google Says the only person to say "michael gorman is an idiot" was Michael Gorman.(See it's funny because he said that was on a blog, and it's funny because I used google to find it, and it's funny because it returned no results (other than him), and it's funny because I'm a blog person)I need to explain this so well because Blog People are slow.

A few thoughts first.1. Ol' boy must have a full inbox this morning2. This will no doubt be the most popular story ever on LJ.com3. From what I was told this piece was meant as humor. I do see evidence of that, regardless, I'd be willing to bet he'll be using the "I was kidding" defense.From the first paragraph he comes out swinging calling what we do unpalatable, and untrammeled by editors. This was meant to be an insult? In some ways I suppose these are legitimate complaints, but in other ways these are some of our greatest strengths. It's no doubt an ugly neologism, but I don't think I've ever pulled anything out of the drain resembling a blog.Though he provides no reason why it's absurd to give us press credentials, is it so hard for us to believe that someone would think this way? Especially someone who believes a computer that is able to search well over 8billion documents in less than a second is notoriously inefficient. This no doubt is meant to be humor, right? His response to Google is nothing more than typical librarian thinking that leaves us shackled to vendors that provide us with what we want, and leave out users hanging. This line of thinking continues to make us less relevant and expose the ugly curmudgeonly underbelly of our profession we've all seen in meetings. That's not to say we should be rushing into every crazy new idea out there. But not being able to see the value in what Google does now, and what it'll be capable of in a few years is not just short sighted, it's dangerous for our profession.Going on to attack the quality of writing on blogs is like shooting fish in a barrel. No kiddin', we ain't got mad skillz when it comes to gramer and spelinng. Speed kills. The funniest lines I must just quote:

"Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. "

That is simply a classic quote. For my money, probably one of the funniest things I've seen written about bloggers, ever.Something tells me this did little to stem the tide of email and comments that say "Michael Gorman is an idiot" Worse yet, this will work to alienate more of us from the ALA at a time when they probably don't need to push more people away. This coming from the president is simply terrible PR at the very least, and I'd guess will lead to people calling for him to resign.

You're right, you're right. But I did once have a manager at my office -- at a technology company no less, where all official communication was via e-mail -- whose monitor was broken for a month and who never told anybody because he didn't like his computer and didn't want to use it. When people asked him about information they'd sent him electronically he would manager-speak them into believing they hadn't sent it. And he was the director of an online brokerage.

While I am sure it is untrue, it's very amusing to have a mental picture of Gorman dictating his angry anti-blog screed to an overworked ALA typist sitting at a manual typewriter.

Now, if I were one of the irresponsible blog-people, I would make that as a serious accusation. Of course, since I wouldn't be able to read complex sentences, I'd never have realized what he was complaining about in the first place. ;)

Why did my obviously not good enough search not see it until after I submitted heh.But seriously, why is it that someone ranting in parts about Bloggers because of their style and format uses a blogging style and format to do so?His writing is not indicative of any great intelligence or command of the language, nor does it seem to show him as being intellectually superior to many bloggers. I am willing to bet that he has confused being a good politician, and smoozing enough people to become the head of the ALA with actually being bright.

I'm not a Gorman fan or an ALA fan for that matter. But if you don't want people making generalizations and assumptions about bloggers don't make generalizations and assumptions about people who aren't tied to their computers.

There are days, in fact, when I envy them.

Jessamyn wrote "Seeing him lash out -- whether in jest or for real -- in a way that makes him sound like he doesn't know what he's talking about disturbs and concerns me. Though the concern is more in a "will ALA ever get a clue?" way than in any "what will the fallout from this be?" way. "

I think the solution to this problem is to have Michael start a blog, although I'm still not convinced he knows how to use a computer period. I suspect his secretary prints his email out for him. ALA: get a clue!

"Blog People"How satisfying to know that ALA and librarians will be represented by someone who does not dogmatically lump people together into labeled stereotyped groups.Here is someone who is tolerant of differences, respectful of others, and not the least bit defensive, shrill, or opinionated.

Thank goodness no one else is likely to see it.

If only...Steven at LibraryStuff mentioned that the Gorman story was number 11 on the Daypop list. And, we've got Neil Gaiman who thinks a little less of libraries because of Gorman's piece. No such thing as bad publicity? Methinks there is.