Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category.

A day in the Internet

A Day in the Internet
Created by Online Education

I’m just posting this because…

  1. I’m a sucker for these types of comparisons, and
  2. I want to be one among 900,000!

On authors and hissy fits

I always get a kick out of reading about authors’ overreactions to negative reviews, but it’s been a while since I’ve read some great ones. (See all the fun from last April for more along these lines!)

So, I was pleased to see some new rantiness appear. Here is just part of a mind-boggling example:

In last Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, Caleb Crain reviewed Alain de Botton’s The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. While regular NYTBR watchers like Levi Asher welcomed the spirited dust-up, even Asher remained suspicious about Crain’s doubtful assertions and dense prose.

But on Sunday, de Botton left numerous comments at Crain’s blog, writing, “I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make. I will be watching with interest and schadenfreude.”

You don’t see a lot of schadenfreude in blog comments these days! Maybe it’s all moved to Facebook and twitter, too. :) Oh wait — something has! Check this out — Alice Hoffman (although she later apologized and deleted) got mad enough to post the private email address and phone number of one of her negative reviewers to her twitter feed. Hmm. Maybe I should finally get myself a twitter account after all, apparently I’m missing all the fun…

Meredith is more thoughtful than I

I find this both amusing and telling. Yesterday’s post about shrinking speaking engagements and conferences attracted zero comments here — but a number of comments on Facebook. So, I wrote in my Facebook status line yesterday:

fascinated as always by the fact that blog posts get a bunch of comments on facebook, none on the blog itself. It’s funny how conversations move over the years.

… which, in itself, got more comments on Facebook than any post here (yes, I know they’re dwindling :) ) has received in probably a year.

Then I went in my feedreader and ran across Meredith Farkas’ “W(h)ither blogging and the library blogosphere?” about microblogging and how it’s transforming the biblioblogosphere. (Sorry, I still like the word!) Meredith’s post? Up to 38 comments and counting. Is this because Meredith is an “A-list” blogger and has a bajillion readers? Or is it because she’s one of the few people still writing these long, thoughtful blog posts that she misses, and people want to be part of that conversation?

My other (totally nonlibrary) blog gathers many more comments than does The Liminal Librarian. Is this because I post more often there, or because of the topic, or because the people who are into that type of blog tend read it directly rather than on Facebook/FriendFeed?

Yes, I have more questions than answers. But am just wondering how people choose where to continue conversations online, and would love to… have a conversation about it! :)

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It’s too bad they’re not looking for UberGeeky girls, because, you do have to like an email address like

Blogging and writing and professional presence

If a blog turned book = blook, does blogging as writing = blighting?

Over at Confessions of a Science Librarian, John Dupuis says that if you don’t have a  blog, you don’t have a resume. Read part 1, part 2, and part 3. Hyperbole? A little — in part 2, he includes a quote from another blogger changing “your blog is your CV” to “Google is your CV,” which probably sums things up a bit better. But I liked (from part 2):

And if you don’t have a professional development plan, I have to say that blogging will help you define and refine your goals and interests. Believe it or not, just writing a little about a lot of different things really will help you figure out what’s important to you.

Exactly! I’d add that thinking or talking about a lot of different things will also help you figure out your priorities, but blogging is a relatively easy way to begin going about it.

I also nodded all the way through Dorothea Salo’s “Writing and Blogging,” which says, among other things:

Blogging took away the rules, allowed (even forced) me to leave myself in my writing, made me conscious of audience, and made me learn to convince. Without those things, I’d still be mired in bad presenting and worse writing.

This reminds me very much of Julia Cameron’s admonition to do “morning pages” and the general standard advice to aspiring authors: Write every day. Although blogging, unlike morning pages, is very much for an audience, it can veer between the brain-dump of “morning pages” and writing that could easily transfer to “the professional literature.” Every bit of blogging serves as that same practice that morning pages provide: Seeing what works for you, what works for your readers, and what works when you come back to it later; finding the nuggets of usefulness among everything you have to say; finding your own voice.

And, coming back to the idea of blogs — or of Google — being “your CV.” The perennial complaint about employers Googling candidates has popped up again, this time on jESSE. (Access the archives, and read the “if wikipedia is problematic, then what do we think about library employers who google their candidates?” thread from February.) The main argument this time is that this enables employers to engage in discriminatory hiring practices by finding answers to questions they would otherwise be prohibited from asking (with the usual side arguments about “how do they know they have Googled the right John Doe,” etc.).

What I first found interesting here was this argument from the original post:

If a manager makes hiring decisions based on a medium that librarians, by and large, universally disparage as an unreliable source of information, then it calls into question the manager’s core competencies as an employer. Does the manager have the skills to conduct a successful job search without resorting to sources of information that are not verifiable (such as facebook or myspace)?

I’d actually argue that it’s incumbent upon managers — especially librarian managers — to gather as much info as possible on potential candidates, including information on how they interact online (although I’d move a bit beyond Facebook and MySpace). How we present ourselves online, especially in our professional interactions on blogs or on lists, has carryover to how we’ll interact in the workplace. I would very much hope that any hiring manager would Google me, because what I have to say online and how I choose to say it translates very closely into what my workplace priorities would be. The OP also asserts that:

Finally, it is also important to note that librarians are going to look hypocritical and ineffectual if they make a stand to protect the privacy of their patrons and ignore the privacy of their employees, even if they are only potential employees.

Here’s what we tell the highschoolers: If you post it online, you don’t have an expectation of privacy. This includes the listserv message excerpted above, which I had deleted out of my email, but found again in about 10 seconds by Googling “jESSE” and accessing the archives. Look, there it is, and if I found it, potential employers (or anyone else who happens to Google that topic, that person, her institution) might well find it as well. What you say online is not private. You can quote me on that, because I’ve said it online, and here it is for all to see.

Some ammunition for all you anti-AL peeps

From “Reputation as Property in Virtual Communities,” posted in Pocket Part, an online companion to the Yale Law Journal:

Anonymous blogging and commentary, on the other hand, correspond to the virtual world economies describe above. The reputational property this type of activity generates exists only online, associated with virtual identities that generally are not connected to any real-world identities. What enables this division from the real-world reputational economy is anonymity, which permits bloggers—or even blog commenters—to gain online status, often at the expense of others, without risking their own real-world status. And as with the online and virtual world economies, challenging problems arise when the two reputational economies meet, as happens when anonymous posters (members of the virtual-world-style reputational economy) attack nonanonymous online profiles (members of the online reputational economy). From a practical standpoint, it is difficult, though not impossible, to identify anonymous online attackers, making redress rare. But from a more theoretical standpoint, it is difficult to replace, with currency or any other kind of “old” property, the reputational property they have lost.

Then again, I don’t know that anyone has lost “reputational property” here. Or how you figure out the value of someone’s reputational property. Another way of playing the old “A-list bloggers” game?

Random thoughts on the attenuation of conversation

I’ve been playing happily with FriendFeed for over a month now, and quite enjoy it — the ongoing stream of conversation and links there, combined with the pokery of Facebook, give me the feeling of coming home to the multiuser chat boards of the early 1990s. I also enjoy the serendipity; I keep a FriendFeed window open that I dip into from time to time during the day, and always see at least one or two links/comments worth further exploration (or simple amusement!).

One thing that nags at me, though, is the way in which using multiple sites fragments conversation. Someone might comment on my Facebook status on FriendFeed, for instance, but my Facebook friends won’t see that comment or be able to join in the conversation. Someone might comment on a blog post on Facebook, but readers over here will miss that discussion entirely. (Let alone, I haven’t even made it to twitter yet — and probably won’t, since I can’t afford another time suck!)

Over at Walt at Random, Steve Lawson comments on the usefulness of FriendFeed, saying in part:

You will see that some blog posts that got very few comment have actually sparked a discussion on FF. Also helpful for blogs like Caveat Lector that don’t have comments enabled.

I pull blog posts into both FriendFeed and Facebook, and notice that posts (and Flickr photos, for that matter) that garner no comments at “home” may get comments elsewhere. This is neat, but again leaves no record here and doesn’t inspire blog readers to join in the conversation.

Ironically enough, I recently saw a link to the following on FriendFeed (there’s that serendipity again…)

Dear Blog,

I feel like I have neglected you to hang out on Facebook and even sneak off with Twitter.  I am so busy these days communicating about what I am doing, thinking, eating, watching etc that I really have little time for a deeper relationship like ours.  Oh, blog.  You were my first love (if you forget my youthful romance with bulletin boards, chat, and texting).  Well, in any case you were my only serious commitment but that was before I met Facebook. You see, on Facebook people actually communicate back to me but almost no one ever posts on you my dear blog.

I’ve been trying to get back to my own Dear Blog, but admit that the ease of a 2-second status update on Facebook is generally a more seductive pull — and that friends (or “friends”) over there are likely to comment, where here it’s a more hit or miss proposition.

Where these thoughts are leading, I’m not yet sure. But, feel free to subscribe to me on FriendFeed, and I’ll likely return the favor — and comment here, there, and everywhere! :)

Brief references to the whole OMG publishing as we know it is ending theme

I blog, I blog again, then more articles cross my radar — while book publishing may be having its troubles, people aren’t running out of things to say any time soon. So, briefly noted, some recent publishing- and book buying-related squibs:

  • One thought on helping the industry recover would be: stop buying fake memoirs, people.
  • The Motley Fool thinks the publishing business will survive.
  • Used-book-buyer types might enjoy “Bargain Hunting for Books, and feeling sheepish about it” over at the NYT.

And, on a semi-related note and taking an interesting approach, the post “Academic Evolution: The Book” over at Academic Evolution notes:

This blog is intended to become Academic Evolution, the book. My model is Chris Anderson, whose Long Tail blog helped bring about his seminal book of the same name. Similarly, I am beta testing my ideas, developing them in keeping with the principle of transparency and with the goal of inviting public review and collaboration. I’m smart enough to know others are often much smarter, and I firmly believe that publishing one’s thinking process improves it.

If I’m remembering right, The Long Tail grew out of the Wired article, with the blog collecting data along the way and post-publication, but I like the acknowledgement here of the inherently collaborative process involved in creating a book, and look forward to seeing how the project develops.


According to Typealizer, the writing on this blog puts me as:

ISTJ – The Duty Fulfillers

The responsible and hardworking type. They are especially attuned to the details of life and are careful about getting the facts right. Conservative by nature they are often reluctant to take any risks whatsoever.

The Duty Fulfillers are happy to be let alone and to be able to work int heir own pace. They know what they have to do and how to do it.


(Speaking of “careful about getting the facts right,” don’t look at the spelling on Typealizer too carefully….) :)

Opposite world

Sometimes, the publishing industry just baffles me. As does what qualifies as “peer reviewed” literature. Is it just me, or are you also reading these things and saying WT*?