As an addendum to my Survey of the Biblioblogosphere and in response to the recent discussions about rating and ranking library blogs, I’ve created a survey where people can name their top three favorite library-related blogs. People use a lot of metrics to rank blogs, but I never see anyone actually asking people what their favorite blogs are. And people will rank their favorites for many different reasons. Perhaps they’re the three that offer them information they can’t get anywhere else. Or perhaps they’re the most thought-provoking. Or perhaps they’re the most funny. Whatever the reason, we all have blogs that we most look forward to seeing new content from. Which three are yours?
So, if you read library-related blogs, fill out the survey! I’m sure we’ll get some really interesting results from this and I would guess there will be a lot of surprises as well.
I’ve paid for a professional account through Survey Monkey (which allows for unlimited survey responses) until September 29, so I’ll keep the survey open until the 28th. Looking forward to seeing the results!
What an interesting idea! I look forward to the results. As to responding to the survey…I’ve never been much good at choosing X Favorites, but we’ll see.
Yeah, it is hard to pick just three. I’m looking at the results I’ve already gotten and I’m pleased that even though I was limited to 3, a lot of people are choosing the same ones I enjoy that didn’t make my 3. And I’m also noticing a lot of blogs I’m not even subscribing to that I might have to check out. So it definitely should be interesting to see these results. 🙂
Sure would have been great to include a URL line as well…*hint, hint*
Hey Jason, people can put in the URL or the blog title or both (and so far, that’s what I’m seeing people do). It’s a pretty expansive text box.
For something like this, I’m realizing that Survey Monkey is not the best or most flexible tool. I wish there had been a way to have one question and three text boxes that people could fill in, but there wasn’t an option that really fit for what I was trying to get from respondents.
This one was really, really tough. However, I did finally narrow my choices down to three. I can’t wait to see the results.
So I picked the three library blogs that had the most saved entries in my aggregator right now. Seemed like a good criteria.
I hate to be a curmudgeon or party pooper, but I’m not sure I like this idea – in general I think it’s a bad idea to create rankings of library blogs – and many other things. I know it may be regarded as a fun activity by most, but like most rankings I believe it ultimately breeds an unwelcome atmosphere of competitiveness. And just look at how college rankings have contributed to the corruption of higher education. Instead of focusing on student centered education, IHEs do the things that will get them higher rankings. As long as your blog serves the needs of its readers – no matter how many you have or how much or how little popularity you’ve achieved – isn’t that enough? If we really want to rank our blogs, let’s all start charging a $20 a year subscription fee – then we can share revenue data and rank ourselves on who earned the most – just like companies do.
And I belived someone does annually ask people to vote for what they believe are the best blogs – none other than Mr. Blake Carver. See:
So just like all the colleges and universities that boycotted the USNWR college rankings, I’m going to boycott the Farkas rankings. Of course, those boycotts didn’t stop the USNWR rankings from being a huge success again, and my boycott probably will probably have the same impact on the Farkas rankings.
International or American?
Any, Edwin. 🙂 Just pick your three favorites as long as they fit into the genre.
Only three? I’ve got five (maybe six) that are on my must read list. This is hard…
Mazel tov with this effort, but I won’t be participating, only because I will have a hard time limiting myself to my own top 25 library-related blogs (which I plan to blog)… It’s like books: the world has far more books that I admire than I could ever list. Three? No way. 🙂
I’m less interested in the Top Three Blogs than I am in what bloggers of interest read, and which posts have meant the most to me.
In response to stevenb: Blake Carver doesn’t ask people to vote on the best blogs and post the results. He chooses them himself.
Otherwise…well, I disagree, especially because these aren’t like IHE ratings. Almost none of us make any money from our blogs. Anyone who’s going to change their style to get more readers will do so regardless of rankings. There’s not going to be one authoritative set of rankings, and we’re not about to stop doing rankings for various reasons, fun or serious.
I’m reasonably confident I won’t be in the top 10 of the Farkas ratings, probably not in the top 25–and that’s OK. I believe my ranking in OEDb shows flaws in their criteria–and that’s OK too.
“Favoriteness” is a valid but limited criterion. Reach and visibility are less valid (because mostly unknowable) and also limited criteria. It’s all good (to name another blog that ranks WAY higher than mine in most any coherent rating scheme, almost certainly including this particular survey).
Like it, hate it, just please don’t call it the “Farkas ratings!” Makes it sound like I’m coming up with the list myself. 😉
Karen, I think we too often look at what the bloggers read and enjoy; I’m curious to see what the folks who don’t normally publish lists (or who don’t have blogs at all) find most enjoyable/stimulating/useful/thought-provoking/etc.
As to your 3 versus 25 thing, it’s always going to be hard to pick any number of favorite blogs without excluding others you think are great too. And I’d wager that if asked a month or so from now, your top 25 might even be different. The point is, there is no perfect way to rank blogs and no perfect number that will include all that you want to include.
keep it up! maybe the results will eventually reach this bookseller who’s wondering “if there aren’t only about 30 librarian bloggers out there.”
In response to Walt – Blake doesn’t exactly pick his top blogs all by himself. He does contact other bloggers (I’ve been contacted the last few times), perhaps selectively, to ask for opinions and contributions for his lists – and then he develops the list. So there is some input, but it’s a less a popularity contest than the Farkas Rankings (oops – shouldn’t call it that – but she is originating and compiling the rankings – USNWR doesn’t create the rankings either – they are based on data from questionnaires sent to IHE administrators – but it’s still called the USNWR rankings).
I agree that most bloggers are unlikely to change their blogs to get higher rankings, but some may pander to getting ranked. But what about the other impact of rankings – on those who are new to the profession or just starting to explore the liblogoverse. One impact of rankings is that they may unduly influence the decision making of those who are trying to decide among all their options. It’s easier to pick the popular ones rather than the ones of greatest value. You can see this happening in higher education with respect to college choice owing to rankings. That’s just one more problem I have with rankings.
But just like the Oscars, MTV Video Awards, and all the others – people just love to have things ranked. Personally, I’m waiting for Crawford’s 50 Most Beautiful Librarians – just so I can boycott that too.
Like I said… let a thousand flowers bloom… and have fun with it! Just ‘splaining why it doesn’t work for me.
Three? Three? Hooboy, that’s tough, and for me it changes month to month with the ebb and flow of topics being written about and volume of posts. Still, it will be fun to see the results 🙂
Oh definitely! Ask me next week and I might well have a different list of three. 🙂
In relation to blogs and popularity:
Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong. -Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)
w/r/t stevenb’s latest, I think lists like the one that will result from this poll are actually most helpful for those people who are just getting interested in librarian blogs.
Those are the folks most likely to ask “how do I find good blogs,” and it seems like an OK answer will be “choose a few that sound interesting from this list. Read them, and read the bloggers they link to. Drop the ones that aren’t so good.”
[…] by OEDb’s Jimmy Atkinson)? Everybody has been talking all about it. Meredith Farkas was even partly inspired by it to create a survey that simply asks, “What are your three favorite library-related […]