There have been a number of recently published or written scholarly articles on blogging. Communications of the ACM has devoted most of their December 2004 anniversary issue to articles about The Blogosphere. I read the articles for free (one of the benefits of still being a University student) and didn’t really find anything in them that hasn’t been printed dozens of times before. Yes, we know the various reasons why bloggers blog and how social networks of blogs form already! The article about Semantic blogging and decentralized knowledge management was somewhat interesting but I wouldn’t recommend anyone shelling out cash to read it.
Foreign Policy this month has an article about how blogs are influencing policy and journalism. I found this article to be quite interesting and insightful, and it offered links to other articles about blogging and books on the subject. Much of the author’s research was taken from Daniel Drezner and Henry Farrell’s publication The Power and Politics of Blogs, which is an even better read, if you have the time (it’s 27 pages). It is amazing, encouraging, and somewhat scary to see the influence that blogs can have on the political sphere.
But most relevant to librarians is the fantastic pre-print article by Teri Vogel and Doug Goans entitled Delivering the News with Blogs: The Georgia State University Library Experience that will be published in Internet Reference Services Quarterly next year. GSU has been using weblogs and RSS to inform their patrons about new databases, papers published by faculty, and any other library news. They really should be a model for libraries that are considering using blogs and RSS. In the article, they talk about their practical experience using blogs (as opposed to newsletters and email) to keep students and faculty up-to-date on the latest news in various sections of the library. The authors distinguish between library blogs and blogs written by librarians (with links to some of my favorite librarian blogs). They discuss how libraries can use blogs, how they can market blogs, and the nitty-gritty on maintaining blogs. Sure, it’s annoying to read the pdf with the “preprint” watermark, but I’d still say it’s definitely worth a read.