I remember the first OCLC Blog Salon at ALA very fondly. It was like fangirl overload for me. I have to laugh now when I remember that I begged Michael Stephens to introduce me to Roy Tennant because I was too nervous to introduce myself to someone so smart and awesome. There was such a great energy in the room — most of the people there had just started their blogs in the past year or two and were just discovering the community that the library blogosphere creates. Most of us had no idea when we started our blogs that these individual media would connect us to other like-minded individuals, giving us not only an outlet for our thoughts, but a distributed space in which to converse and (to an extent) socialize.
Just like previous years, there was a blog salon at this ALA Annual, but when I think about the ones I attended in 2005 and 2007, this event seems to pale in comparison. And I feel like it is symbolic of what’s happened to blogging in general. And I find that depressing.
Microblogging, what have you done to my beloved medium??? I remember joining Twitter reluctantly (since all my friends were there) more than two years ago and thinking that it was a fad that wouldn’t last. I mean, who would want to be online most of the day updating what they’re doing and reading about the minutiae of other people’s lives? What a time suck! Well, apparently a lot of people did, since Twitter and Friend Feed are wildly successful now. I thought, and still think, that microblogging is great for conferences — as a backchannel and to connect people to one another — but I still can’t commit to doing it enough to really feel a part of things. And I never would have guessed back then what a deleterious impact microblogging would have on longer-form blogging.
With Twitter (and even more easily in FriendFeed) you can have the sort of discussion one might have in the comments of a blog post, nearly in real time. And it’s really cool, because you can feel much closer to the people you’re conversing with since the conversation is happening so quickly and in a single space that everyone is on equal footing in. But that time element is also the problem. If a discussion went on during the work day and you find it in the evening, it’s yesterday’s news by then and there is often no point adding to the conversation. I can usually get to Twitter and Friend Feed late in the evening, on weekends, and very early in the morning. Unfortunately, most of my friends are not on there at those times, so I often feel like I’m broadcasting into the vacuum of space, since people usually only see the first page’s worth of Tweets or posts.
I used to spend hours a day on my RSS feeds, reading thoughtful blog posts by really, really smart librarians. Now, I can get through my feeds incredibly quickly since there’s rarely anything from the people whose blogs I used to love. It feels to me like microblogging is more about being clever than thoughtful. You’re only as good as your last quip, and everyone is trying to write something that’s poignant, provocative, and/or funny in the smallest number of words possible. You want to see someone write “Meredith Farkas FTW” (For The Win, for those not “in the know” — and for the record, there has never been a “Meredith Farkas FTW” comment in Friend Feed or Twitter since I’m just not that clever). It’s not a knock on microblogging, but I don’t think it can’t replace the longer, more thoughtful posts many of us love to read in the blogosphere.
Microblogging isn’t a bad thing though. I think it’s brought a lot of people even closer together. I can see it when I go into Friend Feed — the connections my friends have to one another, even though some of them haven’t even met in the physical world. And it’s given people who never blogged before a way to connect. But I actually feel less connected to my online friends than I used to simply because I don’t have the time to be there as much as I’d like. My job got very, very busy last Fall with teaching, and I wasn’t in front of my computer as much as I used to be during the day. Now, with the baby, I’d much rather play with him and stare into his ridiculously cute face than spend my time in Friend Feed or Twitter. And while you don’t have to be there all the time, you miss a lot if you’re not. I always feel like I’m coming in late to a party on Friend Feed and have missed out on all the “in jokes” that folks will be repeating for days. It’s great for the people who can be there a lot, but many can’t. And that’s something that I never saw in the blogosphere because people could be part of the community when it suited them and wouldn’t miss a beat. It was easy to catch up if you were on vacation for a few weeks.
It really depresses me when I hear from people that blogging is over and when I see some of my favorite bloggers (who are now Friend Feed and/or Twitter devotees) cut their blogging down significantly to a “wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve blogged” post every once in a long while. If it weren’t for getting pregnant and having a baby, I’d still be posting a lot, so for me, it wasn’t microblogging that affected the quantity of posting.
I feel a bit like Michael Gorman complaining about blogging versus scholarly writing in the journal literature. “Given the quality of the writing in Friend Feed and Twitter, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts.” 😉 But it’s not about the quality of what goes on in microblogging platforms, but the barriers to becoming part of the community. Because so many of us just can’t be online enough to really feel a part of things in the easy way that people could write a blog post or comment asynchronously on a post. And maybe I’m just this sad little blogger bemoaning that progress has left her behind. Maybe this is the way communication is moving and I should just get over it and get on the train. But I really hope that both can exist (and thrive!) side-by-side. I hope people will find a balance between the two. But what I’ve seen over the past year makes me think that may not be possible and that most people are devoting the majority of their energies to one or the other.
It’s not like everyone has given up blogging or writing thoughtful posts. I still find some great material in my aggregator from some really great library bloggers. Maybe I’m feeling this more because I haven’t added enough newer librarianship-related blogs to my aggregator, blogs from people who are still bursting with enthusiasm about this awesome medium. I just recently added The Librarian’s Commute to my aggregator and was happy to see that there are still people blogging regularly and thoughtfully. What blogs are you enjoying these days? Please, save me from my funk and find me some good blogs to read!
Well said, Meredith. And if I wanted to be clever I would immediately post “Meredith Farkas FTW” to Twitter. I fear someone more clever than me will though.
I am on Twitter (fairly reluctantly) and FriendFeed which I quite like. I agree that with many folks they do have an impact on blogging. I also fully agree with the following: “everyone is trying to write something that’s poignant, provocative, and/or funny in the smallest number of words possible.” In fact, I have an hypothesis about the impact such tools and behaviors are having on our language and communication. 😉
But for me, another once prolific blogger who has of late had almost nothing posted, my reasons are also quite personal. No babies in my life but other things just as important (to me) and as positive.
I do truly miss the heady days of the library blogosphere and participating in it. On the other hand, I have resigned myself to leaving the interesting folks in the aggregator and letting time and ability to write bring me their reasoned thoughts, witty or otherwise.
Nonetheless, I do feel the loss you point out.
I agree, Meredith. Microblogging reminds me a lot of the days when I used to rush home to get on IRC to see what my friends had been up to that day. Like Twitter, you could scroll back sometimes to see what they had been talking about, but it wasn’t the same as being in the conversation.
I love Twitter but I also enjoy reading longer posts. Over time though, the number of library blogs I read has really dropped. I tend to read more from other fields now, that are still blogging more.
I think the ability to comment on posts within FriendFeed has contributed to the decline in blogging, actually. There is less of a reason to go back to the post to see comments, the conversation now happens in another place. If I was new to social media, it would seem pretty overwhelming to try and keep up these days.
Personally, I find myself writing for the literature more than blogging these days, which seems an odd turn of events.
I totally appreciate what you’re saying! I have not jumped on the Twitter bandwagon because I just can’t be online all the time reading about what people are eating. I prefer the longer more thoughtful posts, which is why I am still following your RSS feed. Do you read The Other Librarian (http://otherlibrarian.wordpress.com/)?
Effing still posts, so that’s something. I think casual bloggers are migrating to microblogging because it’s easier, faster and there’s instant feedback.
I think die hard bloggers will still blog and this shakedown probably means that what’s left is higher quality. However, what concerns me is that readership is moving away from the blogosphere.
I just don’t see the volume of comments on blogs that I used to. I miss the discussions Annoyed, Walt, and LISNews once prompted.
I feel the loss too and I am guilty of it. Part of it is being busy with more time spent on projects in my dept., as well as writing more articles rather than blogging at this point in my career, and part of it is Twitter and Facebook time-suck. 😉
I think I need to go back to blogging my thoughts when I feel the spark of inspiration rather than putting it on the back burner. Blogging is best done the instant you have that “spark”, know what I mean?
I use different mediums for different purposes, so I don’t see the rise of microblogging as much as a threat as you or your commenters do, Meredith. Twitter is where I share the interesting bits of my day or my thoughts, but I use my blog to post longer, more infrequent commentaries. Each medium has a different mix of audience and a different emphasis, so it’s not hard for me to think of them as separate spaces.
IMHO, microblogging provides a venue for those in the biblioblogosphere who prefer to use short bursts of communication over longer essays. The only damage I can foresee is the chafing that may occur if we get our panties in a twist over it.
Very well, said, Meredith. I’m on twitter, and I like it for what it is, but I’m not sure the content lasts the same as blog posts. As an example, I can look at my WordPress stats and see what people have been searching to find my blog, and to see what they have been looking at. Many of my most popular posts are older posts, and I find it amazing that the content is still useful and relevant months and years after it was written. As twitter is more “in the moment” it doesn’t quite have that lasting appeal. If you weren’t there when something was written, then it likely won’t be relevant months, years, or even hours from when it was written. I’ve thought at times about giving up on my blog, but with other librarian bloggers moving on to twitter and Friendfeed, I’m going to stick around the blogosphere for a little longer. I still think it’s important to be present in the blogosphere, even while dabbling in the other mediums. Like you, I don’t have the time to follow every single conversation that goes on out there, and it’s easy to feel left out. When I’m blogging, I’m posting my ideas and findings, and perhaps someone will find them interesting as well. Because it’s my content, I can do it on my own time, without having to worry about being in the twitter stream at the right place and the right time, and without having to worry about the most clever way to say something in 140 characters. I’m glad you’re still blogging as well, and I hope you keep it up. Cheers, CFB
Thank you for your post! Can I offer a newbie’s perspective though? I’ve started reading (and using the info from) blogs a lot more because of twitter. To be honest I wouldn’t have known about your blog if it weren’t for twitter and that was because someone I followed shared it.
I’ve always tended to forget about my rss reader and I felt like I was floundering when trying to find new (and interesting) blogs. Now with Twitter most of the bloggers I follow (including you) will tweet a link to their newest entries. Because I use TweetDeck at home and TwitterFox at work, I know instantly when a post is available. It’s true that it is possible to lose the thread of conversation when it comes to in-jokes and ala secrets, but that is just the ephemeral noise anyway (imho).
From my perspective as a newbie, you aren’t seeing new entries into the library blogosphere because there are established bloggers who have staked their claims on that world. Do the new librarians out there feel like they will be respected for their perspectives or will the established bloggers just claim that “we’ve been there, blogged about that!”? I recently started a personal library blog, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing it until has enough material.
Maybe instead of bemoaning the loss of the “heady days” we should encourage the democratization of the blogosphere and the microblogosphere. That seems to be what Roy Tennant does in his new post (http://roytennant.com/)…which by the way I found through Twitter.
Your comment about the ALA Blogging Salon reminds me of our bloggers get together at SLA this year. The group was smaller and it just wasn’t the same. Many of the people who had been at past events didn’t come. Maybe blogging has become too mainstream and we all don’t need the support and camaraderie. And rather than needing that f2f time, we do “see” each other online more frequently through Twitter, etc.
I do think that the variety of ways that we can disseminate information has cut down on our blogging. I also think that some of us have gotten burned out. We blogged as a way of sharing information and showing that blogging was a medium that deserved respect. We’ve proven our points, and for some it is time to move on. They are now proving the worth of other tools.
I think Lynda perhaps has a good point – it might be somewhat intimidating to be a new librarian and start a new blog now that there are some “established” bloggers known for covering certain topics. Someone who is not quite sure of themselves and wants to explore ideas and get feedback might make an assumption that, “Oh, Meredith or Jenny or whoever already covers that a lot, and better than I think I will.” So maybe part of what we need to do is make sure to encourage that exploration of ideas in others.
I also think there have been a lot of babies among Established Bloggers of Libraryland of late. 🙂
I do think Twitter etc. have value for the short form thoughts and quick feedback and the like. However, for me it’s a bit like the listserv mail piling up in my email – I’m not going to make an effort to go back or catch up. I can easily explore blogs at my leisure in a way that is more user friendly to me than hitting “older” a bunch of times to see if I missed anything.
Another newbie here, Who started with Twitter then decided to try his hand with blogging.
I really appreciate how difficult it is to blog, much less to constantly come up with creative, thought provoking entries. Kudos to you guys who have done it for years.
It’s fairly easy to look at techcrunch, mashable post, and do a “what a library could do with new service X” post, but new perceptives are rare and difficult, I really don’t expect such bloggers to come along much.
I agree with Lynda that Twitter makes it easier to find interesting blogs, or posts.
I wonder if Twitter is actually making surviving blogs even more popular! As some of the commenters mentions it makes us read more broadly. it takes a very high quality blog to make me subscribe to the blog, but i might still read particular posts because they were tweeted/retweeted.
I miss blogging and have been trying to get back into it, but I can’t say my absence has a *lot* to do with Twitter. Maybe a little, but mostly, for me, it’s been a change in what I’m thinking about due to a change in jobs and the end of school, which has made me unsure of my audience and what I want to say.
While I think there’s a gut reaction that’s easy to slip into (“Twitter has destroyed blogging!”) you have to step back and think- is that really true? Maybe people, on a whole, are more busy (probably true many places, as budgets tighten). Maybe the initial two to three years of heady library blogginess was bound to die down after the “shiny” wore off, with or without Twitter. And maybe, like you said, people stopped looking for new blogs quite as much, which leads to stagnation because new voices aren’t found and don’t feel heard. Lynda (above) is right that Twitter, etc., in a way, help democratize this- good posts float to the top, whether or not they’re from the stable of blogs you already follow.
My biggest “problem” with twitter and friendfeed isn’t that they’ve taken away from blogging itself, but the comments have fractured (as others have said). You don’t always know if you are getting all of the conversation. But now there are tools to pull friendfeed comments into a blog, so we might find ways yet to re-unify the conversation.
@Rachel and Lynda, I definitely remember being a new blogger almost five years ago and thinking the same thing. I didn’t think anyone would read my blog or that I was saying anything particularly unique, but somehow my voice I guess was unique enough to get people’s attention back then. There will almost always be people who’ve come before us, but if you feel like you have something to say, it’s absolutely worth starting a blog. And there ARE new blogs that are getting a lot of attention from the older bloggers. One great example is In the Library With the Lead Pipe.
@Lynda, I agree that Twitter is useful for lots of things. Just the other day, I shared how I got rid of my son’s cradle cap and was able to help another mother who was having trouble with the same issue. It’s a great space for sharing information, things we care about, etc. It’s not that I have anything against microblogging — it’s just that I miss the days when my RSS aggregator was full of great thoughtful posts and don’t think microblogging is an adequate replacement for blogging. They’re just so different.
@Anna I don’t think anyone’s panties are in a bunch. Just looking back on what I guess was the golden age of library blogging and looking at what was lost (and gained) in what is now probably the golden age of microblogging.
And @everyone — how great to actually see a conversation taking place… on a blog! 🙂
Karin (and others) I definitely agree with your observation about the fragmenting of conversations (and I just ironically posted that at FriendFeed). I remember noticing a year ago that I was getting fewer comments and then finding that most people were commenting on my posts at FriendFeed. I really ought to install that plugin to pull the conversations into my blog, but can I pull my blog comments into FriendFeed and does it matter if I pull them into my blog if the audience is elsewhere?
One thing I really do like about the microblogging world is how democratic it is. Unlike with a blog, it’s everyone’s space, and I think that’s something that a lot of people find appealing. It’s also much easier to hang your shingle there than to start a totally separate blog. But I think in some ways, it requires a similar amount of work to build a reputation in Twitter or FriendFeed as it is to build a reputation in the blogosphere. In the blogosphere you have to post a lot of good, thoughtful posts. With microblogging, you actually have to be there a lot, posting shorter stuff, but requiring more actual presence when other people are on there too.
I definitely agree that microblogging has changed the place that blogs once had in our conversation. I liken it to being at a conference, where blog posts are the presentations and microblogging is everything else.
I know that for me, blogging has gotten a lot harder in the last year and a half for a combination of reasons both personal and professional. But at the same time, it’s also gotten harder for me to be involved in other “core” aspects of my network in the same way (I’m thinking of the LSW Meebo room, and even Twitter and FriendFeed). And I think the same combination of personal and professional things changed that experience for me, as well. Chief among these is that I’m involved in things at work that I shouldn’t broadcast for fear of breaking trust with my colleagues. And I know from conversations with others who used to blog prolifically that they’ve run into similar barriers recently.
Last week I decided that a bunch of what was keeping me from blogging needn’t, so I started up again. And I’m hanging out in the LSW Meebo room more often again.
Anyway… that’s an overly long comment, but you caught me just as I was going to blog about these things myself, so I think I just started blogging in your comments.
Well put. I think we’re all faced with finding that balance – regardless of the new tool or technology – between getting lost in the time suck of ever more distractions, and enjoying the unique ways that said tools allow us to connect. Twitter is indeed an incredible time suck, yet I agree with Lynda that it’s helped me discover a ton of blogs, bloggers, & info I wouldn’t have otherwise. It actually helps me keep up in a way that wasn’t working as well with RSS.
Maybe what we need is a designated “librarian’s hour” for those who aren’t at their computers all day but might be able to spare a few minutes if they know it’ll be when the conversations are happening? I know that many times these conversations happen organically, but it’s a thought. And with more focused use of twitter through designated events (& of course, hashtags), maybe more of us can carve out some time for blogging.
Great post and remarkable set of comments–and Karin, I think you’re right on the money. Twitter et al (I really dislike the term “microblogging,” but can’t win that one) have, in a way, strengthened essay-length blogging while weakening short-form blogging (maybe)–and essays have always been harder to do than quick notes.
I found Twitter wanting, largely because of my own personality and habits, but that’s me. I find FriendFeed working well–but, yes, distracting from blogging (and the longer-form writing I do).
There should certainly be room for newer bloggers with things to say; most of us who’ve been doing it for a while aren’t doing much of it–and I don’t know of anyone who’s all that protective of their space. We (I) might link back to something we’d noted before, but new or even refreshed perspectives are always good.
Thanks for the (Librarian’s Commute) plug!
Funny how blogs are considered here as platforms to solicit feedback, because I’ve been writing more for other reasons: to have a record of what the heck I’ve been doing professionally, to aggregate trends and comment on them, to explore ideas in and outside of the profession, etc. Maybe because I’m not a library rock star I never expected much commenting on my blog…mostly the people who have left comments there are friends or people I’ve met personally, and I’m fine with that. When I’m actively looking for responses, I tend to use facebook, twitter, and even email.
Olivia, I think most of us started blogging for the reasons you mention. I did it because I find that when I write things out, I can better work out my own thinking on things. But then I found my blog becoming part of a bigger conversation, and I liked that conversation, even when it sometimes became a bit snarky or contentious. It was nice to feel part of a community like that, but now there are other ways to become part of a community (LSW Meebo Room, FF, Twitter, etc.) and maybe blogging was so much more attractive then because it was THE way to be in a conversation with other passionate, like-minded library folk.
I agree, Walt. I’ve never seen the library blogosphere to be anything but welcoming to new voices.
We’re really grateful for the In the Library with the Lead Pipe compliments and links. Your blog was one of our primary inspirations, so it means a lot to us that you like our work.
While I generally prefer longer pieces, the medium isn’t really a consideration, at least for me. Even if I don’t get personally involved with Twitter/FriendFeed or non-CC-licensed dead tree publications or IRC or firewalled peer-reviewed journals or blogs or conferences or SMS or social networking websites set up by professional organizations, I still benefit because the people who are involved don’t restrict themselves to a single medium: they identify the ideas they like and talk about them in ways that eventually reach me. Or so I keep telling myself.
Maybe the question shouldn’t be, “Which blogs should I read?” Maybe it should be, “Who’s generating the most consistently interesting ideas?” I have one nominee: our next guest at ItLwtLP, Ross Singer. I pity anyone who ever hopes to write his biography, because many of his best ideas seem to be developed in IRC, in mailing lists, and in other darkened corners of the Internet. I suspect that someday it will be easier to follow the people and ideas we find interesting. My impression is that Twitter and FriendFeed seem to me to be moving us in that direction, not holding us back.
Good post, Meredith. I’ve been blogging for two years, and have been a parent for twenty. Believe me, staring into that cute (and quickly changing) face now will mean a great deal to you when your baby is all grown up, and heading off to college (like mine is). Learning to blog, and learning more about the digital library world (or Web 2.0/3.0 if you want to call it that), has been a very useful continuing-education tool, and building a small but determined readership has been invaluable. Twitter is OK for my information needs, but it will never replace a lengthy, multi-purpose blog post.
@olivia your blog is exactly the type i enjoy reading most, even if i don’t comment! Why? Because i like knowing how other new librarians are dealing with librarianship. sometimes it is hard to get that perspective amidst all the “official” blogs.
when blogs first became popular i was turned off (much as i was to twitter) because it seemed like a forum for shouting into the wind. lately, i’ve been way more connected to new librarians because they are writing about their experiences on blogs and voicing their frustrations on twitter (hello! young turks!). i feel like i am able to connect with these voices. on the other hand with some of the older blogs i felt like i was only being told what to do or what i was doing wrong. 🙂
@meredith i love in the library with the lead pipe but because its focus is on full articles i dont’ feel like it has the same conversational approach. sometimes i want the impromptu conversation like you’ve started here! thank you btw!!
As someone new to library/tech blogging, it’s interesting to see the changes and hard not to feel a little like I “missed the boat”. I’ve made more connections through twitter than I have my blog, but there are many things I want to talk about that take more than 140 characters so I’ll keep at it and see how it turns out in the long run! Great post and great discussion.
This topic is incredibly timely and personally very interesting to me. Like Lynda, I’m a newbie librarian, currently in between jobs and prepping to move in a few weeks to start working for *gasp* Meredith herself. In the last year or so I have really started following different blogs using Google Reader and have found it to be an awesome way to stay up to date on people, trends, and ideas in/for the profession. I joined Twitter, very, very hesitantly a few months ago, and did not really see the whole value of it until attending ALA Annual. Now I’m following a lot of the people who I found particularly interesting that I encountered in sessions. Through following those people I have stumbled upon new blogs to read and thus further widen my perspectives of the profession and the people and minds in it, as Lynda also noted.
Meredith’s post is particularly noteworthy to me because I have been struggling with whether or not to start a blog of my own. The appeal is that I know I have things to say, I like thinking things out through writing and genuinely enjoy writing, and I want to contribute to the communal knowledge. The thing holding me back, other than procrastination, has been seeing the types of communication that happen on Twitter and wondering if I really need to, or can handle, starting to participate in both…and I haven’t even started work yet. Very much concur with Heather that this a great post with a great (and valuable) discussion. So many excellent points made and things to ponder.
@Heidi, and another thing I should have thought to note earlier in the context of why having a blog can still be important: With a blog you have a representation of yourself online that is independent from where you work and who your friends are. I find it weirdly comforting that someone could google me and find my blog…I guess because I prefer to be the one defining myself online. But maybe that’s just me (-:
Like so many others, this is something I have been thinking about quite a bit. As I posted on my own blog, I’ve had an interesting road with Twitter and it took me a while to find a rhythm that I felt comfortable with. But I have found that rhythm and not by being on Twitter all day and all night. Rather, I am on when it suits me. Ironically, I find Twitter much more community oriented than blogging. And as others have said, Twitter has pointed me to many more blogs in many more areas than RSS ever did.
I don’t agree that micro-blogging is about the best quip. Or rather, perhaps for some people it is. But I am finding, at least among the #infolit folks, that it is a marvelous tool for sharing ideas, reaching out to a wider community, and collaborating. As I said though, it took me finding the right tool with which to use Twitter (Tweetdeck for me) and finding a way of using it that felt right to me. So, similar to how many bloggers feel when they first get started, I would say keep at it and find the tags to follow that fit your interests. You might be surprised what you find!
As always, thanks for the thoughtful post.
I was going to comment on Meredith’s excellent post, but I’m a little scared to now because there are so many comments – way too many to read. Sorry.
And I guess that’s the crux of it… sometimes I feel like blogs are just too much to read. Other times I miss them horribly and feel like the real-timeness of Twitter causes me to miss things if I’m not on night and day. (I’m not.)
It all comes down to time for me. Do I have time to really think this out well and blog the idea in a more complete way? Or do I just have time for a Tweet to get the idea out there? Am I going to use my time today to read a few long blog posts or a whole lot of little tweets? Either way, it’s joining in the conversation, but it is
a struggle to find the right balance for using these tools in conjunction with one another… and still have time to feed the kiddies.
Thanks again for the interesting post Meredith. Like many of the other newbies, for me personally I have found Twitter great for getting comfortable with sharing in the online environment. I often have lots of topics for blog posts in my head but not the confidence or comfortability (if there is such a word) to write them. By being on Twitter I have slowly been increasing that confidence and so in the near future my blog will be filled with all of those thoughts and ideas.
Thanks for writing this Meredith! As someone who’s using slow with a witty quip and late to the friendfeed party its nice to see someone who’s been blogging, involved and has a great reputation put something I’ve been feeling into words. I don’t have the time to spend on Friendfeed and when I do I often feel I’m interrupting an ongoing conversation. I do spend some time on twitter but I feel that blog posts are a better way to share information and exchange opinions.
Agreed. I miss the intelligent dialogue of blogging comments. For a while there was some dialogue on FaceBook, but then the tweeters started duplicating their tweets on FaceBook, which flooded the FaceBook pages. Besides that, many of the tweeters only post, but never go to FaceBook — so even if one leaves a comment to try to engage a conversation, it is not read.
I became a Twitter Quitter on May 28th – and blogged about it. http://www.multitypelibrarian.com/?p=331
My blog is one of the ones that has gone by the wayside recently. For me and my co-blogger it comes down to the fact that we feel we no longer have anything to say. I don’t feel strongly enough about anything to sit and write lengthy blog posts, when I could be using that time for something I’m more interested in.
Lara: Thanks for the blog plug. Meredith and I hang out a bit at conferences, right Mere?
I learned my stride on Twitter because I discovered that an hour or two of committed Twitter time works really well. I am not “on Twitter” 24/7, but I join in on the conversation for periods of time. That brings it in line with blog writing, actually – if you add comment writing etc., it actually sucks less time.
The other thing is that I am less likely to consider “librar*” topics on Twitter, because I know the audience there is much more diverse. On my blog I am speaking largely to librarians, particularly library students. On twitter, I am speaking to the “customer” or potential customer.
It’s almost like the library 2.0 has gotten boring now, so it’s being implemented en masse. So, my blog has gone from RSS-traffic conscious to google-traffic conscious now. It still gets quite a bit of traffic besides.
Having just started a blog I found all this really interesting; I too have eschewed Twitter so far, and I’m fairly determined to keep things that way.
Emily said: “sometimes I feel like blogs are just too much to read” – I feel like things lose their value if you are too overloaded. Blogs I can cope with – I can manage it in such a way that they enrich my existence in some small way… but microblogging too adds yet another layer and I just don’t want it.
Plus, I signed up to Twitter a while back under a mande up name, to see what it was all about. I’ve never tweeted, but I randomly have 5 followers already! Discernment is clearly low on their list of attributes.
Hey Meredith. You may have missed the hottest part of the Blog Salon this year–the Shanachies came and made a movie, which totally amped the energy level. http://www.vimeo.com/5613603
Totally agree with you on the parenting thing–it’s a lot harder to fit in all the things you want to do professionally and personally while you have a baby. It gets easier, but for me it means the things I love to do but aren’t immediate needs–like blogging–get backburnered more than they used to.
I’ve found that Twitter has been a great resource for drawing people to blog posts rather than a wholesale blogging replacement. Services like Technorati have tried with varying degrees of success to draw people to subjects that they’re interested in, but trending topics and hash marks on Twitter provide a perfect way to target your blog posts to people interested in reading them in a way that wasn’t easy before microblogging.
I think calling the death of blogging is a bit premature. It seems more like a natural process of separating the wheat from the chaff in the blogosphere is playing out right now with worthwhile and regular writers still shining while others without much to say are falling by the wayside. I suppose only time will tell for sure though.
Good post Meredith. I think this is an issue that a lot of people are struggling with lately. Microblogging and macroblogging I think can have a good symbiotic relationship. What are people going to link to in Twitter if there aren’t still bloggers out there ruminating and creating thoughtful content.
In my opinion Twitter enhances the conversation in that it can drive people to your blog, but also bring the conversation outside of the confines of your personal blog space and into the community. Instead of people just discussing ideas in the comments they can be shared with the twitterverse.
This is very important for the cross-pollination of ideas. Maybe something you post is library related, but perhaps someone in the business world or the world of anthropology comes across your idea on twitter and starts thinking about it. This is what allows innovation to happen and to get people thinking outside of their own discipline.
Twitter is another larger community where people can share ideas. I find a lot of great stuff there that’s not library related but applies directly to my career and gives me a fresh perspective.
You probably follow most of the blogs I follow, but I do blog regularly about things mostly library related — its a bit medical skewed, but feel free to take a look –theadlibrarian.wordpress.com
I agree…100%! Some days I feel that Twitter/FriendFeed is just a time waster. Other days I feel that there are some really great ideas being thrown around…but to keep up with it all is impossible!
I can’t speak for others. For me, Twitter, etc feels like brain poison to me. I much prefer the slow food movement of a good hearty blog post. In The Library With a Lead Pipe was a breath of fresh air and for me, a welcome addition to professional writings in library land. I know that each post will be an interesting, well thought out and fairly thorough tackling of a library issue. I understand the conversational appeal of Twitter and I think the folks that benefit from it are just wired a bit different from me.
[…] I think my decision to cover it in more depth also reflected a change in my own view of Twitter over the past year. […]
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