Welcome to my first ever (and likely last ever) blog awards. I had to check out five blogs and write about how they differed for this assignment, and this is how I framed the differences in my mind. Here we go!
The winner for longest posts goes to In the Library with the Lead Pipe. This blog reads like a scholarly journal. There are multiple authors who write for the blog, and the articles are peer reviewed by one of the regular contributors and one other person not associated with the blog.They also are very regular with their posts: there is a new post every two weeks. The posts tend to be long and have an extensive reference list at the end.
David Lee King has the most self-promotion in his blogs. A lot of his blogs are links or embedded videos of things he has done. They are often tech related and look pretty good. The posts are not too long and are written in a very clear style. He also wins for the most frequent posts.
The Librarian’s Commute is the winner for the most personal. Even though the content of this blog is specifically library related, it is mostly about her personal experiences. This isn’t a bad thing, but it almost feels voyeuristic to read, as if I were reading from her work diary. She tends to only link back to her own posts and the library where she works in the posts themselves, but in her sidebar she has links to other library blogs and articles, which is a nice feature.
The best linker award goes to The Distant Librarian. His posts are not lengthy, but often are the link blurb type that Farkas (2007, p.17) describes. They tend to be tech related, although not exclusively. One of my favorite things about this blog is his three “you might also like” links at the end of each post.
Librarian by Day gets the coveted “Perfessional” award. No, that is not a typo. It is a
clever combination of personal and professional. She is able to write about serious library and information topics (intellectual property e.g.), but phrases it in such a way that is engaging and easy to digest.
The following blogs are my hand-picked iheartrains honorable mentions. Librarian.net is a long standing library blog that is easy to read and has some fun content. The latest post is a guide for non library people who are writing about a library. Most posts have some great photos in them as well. Another blog that is great for a quick post is A Librarian’s Guide to Etiquette. The humor stands out the most in this blog. Most of the posts are a quick blurb with a link to something related. It is where I found the next blog, and if you feel like everyone and their mother has a blog, then you are wrong. Everyone and their mother and their cat has a blog. Tober’s Adventures is a blog by a cat that lives in a library in Indiana. While this may seem like a silly blog to add to this list considering the other bolgs I have written about so far, it is a great way to draw attention to this library. I’m sure a lot of kids (and adults) want to head in to this library just for a chance to see Tober; I know I do.
From all the blogs I have read for this assignment, the posts that are most appealing to me are ones that have a bit of humor or style and aren’t too personal. I don’t mind reading about something the author did when it relates back to some larger library point. If I had been following a blog for a long time or knew the blogger in real life it might be different, but for the most part I want the posts to have some sort of connection to the library world. With the humor, I really don’t need much. I just want to enjoy my time reading. I’m not hoping to laugh my way out of my chair or anything. In the end I want to feel both entertained and educated or at least feel like I have something to think about.
One of the biggest characteristics that makes a blog successful is tenacity. Keeping a blog going for years is quite a commitment. It takes a lot of drive to make this happen. Another one is style. It really helps to have something about the words themselves that is appealing. A lack of style can be made up for with desired content. Maybe that means having the most up-to-date information on technology, or it may just be really useful tips for libraries. There are a lot of blogs out there, so (just about) anything that can be done to distinguish one’s blog from the others would be beneficial to the blog.
Farkas, M. G. (2007) Social software in libraries: building collaboration, communication, and community online. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.