On joining the conversation again

I’m not much of a joiner.  I don’t like bandwagons and I am highly suspicious of fanaticism.  I was a late supporter of Obama – excuse me, President Obama! – for this reason: so many people were so into him.  For similar reasons, it took me a while to figure out that I really liked Ray LaMontagne’s music, and I felt very, very uncomfortable with the crowd when I saw him perform live.

When I was doing software implementation, my professional focus became rather more narrow than it had been previously.  I found myself with little time or inclination to read a lot of blogs, and because I was no longer in an academic library, I could no longer easily take advantage of free-to-me library lit, which I used to peruse occasionally.  I kept up with a few favorite blogs (T. Scott and Free Range Librarian, notably) and got my own subscription to Against the Grain, but that was about it.

Now that I’m back in an academic setting, I am trying to broaden my horizons once more, and the tenor of librar* blogging seems to have changed over the past two years. I’ve resubscribed to a number of blogs I had dropped and added some new favorites (Pegasus Librarian), but the overall pace of blogging seems to have slowed quite a bit and given way to new media such as Twitter, tools like FriendFeed, which aggregates a person’s online presence and provides for conversation on the site itself, and other forums.

The possible level of participation is much higher, the time delay sometimes nil.  To participate, though, in many cases means joining: making a declaration that you are part of the group.  It’s much different from subscribing to a blog feed and making a comment once in a while.  I’ve dipped my toe in the water by joining the Library Society of the World FriendFeed room, but not the LinkedIn group. I’m not sure why this should be an issue for me, but it is.*  By the same token, I’m sure I’ll join in more, because I’m too interested in what’s happening, in the things being said and the ideas being discussed, not to be there in some capacity.

__

*Facebook doesn’t present this problem – at all, even Groups. I could write a separate post about why that is.

Woe Is Me…

for I have returned from an offline vacation just as the NY Times article is making the rounds of the blogosphere, and it is standing between me and all the quality blog posts further down the page.  I have no further comment, except to say that things are looking pretty good for the American League tonight… now that’s important.

If you haven’t taken an offline vacation yourself recently, may I suggest one?  I don’t mean no work; I mean no e-mail, no blogs, no web surfing.  I didn’t log on – except to reserve a boat ride – from Tuesday morning to Sunday night.  I wish the trip could have been longer, but six days of walking, hiking, boating, and eating seafood is enough to put things in perspective and provide sustenance for, um, reading a dozen posts about thrifty, tattoed librarians.

G2G – it’s bottom of the 9th, 5-4 and 1 out left!

Blog Widgets… and the Daily Puppy

It’s arguably been a while since I posted any truly useful content. But never fear, because now there is… The Daily Puppy!!! I have added The Daily Puppy as a widget in my sidebar. Look today or you might miss Brandy the Saint Bernard. I’m more of a cat person myself, but I’ve always had a soft spot for big dogs that still manage to look cuddly.

I’m intrigued by the proliferation of blog widgets and other blog add ons, since I rarely hop over to blogs from my feed reader unless the author mentions changes to the site or I know that the design gets updated frequently (e.g. dooce). I fiddle with my blog design mostly for my own amusement, to try out new things, and to give people finding the blog for the first time something interesting to look at. But I hardly expect that most of you see my site on a regular basis.

fiveblogs

Rachel Singer Gordon asks, “What do people read outside the library field?”

  • dooce – “I’m Heather B. Armstrong. This is my website.”
  • A List Apart – “For people who make websites”
  • Church of the Customer – by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, authors of Citizen Marketers and Creating Customer Evangelists
  • National Geographic News – Jurassic crocodiles, interspecies mating, “Toyger” kitties.
  • desire to inspire – “This blog was started so that we could share our favourite inspirational design photos with you”