A little ways back, Meredith Farkas ran an article called “What Makes a Blog Successful?”
In it, she started a survey asking people to offer their three favorite blogs.
I love this idea just so long as Meredith reserves spot #22 on it for me. Please Meredith? Think of it as the 13th floor at a hotel. I know all that stuff about validity and all, but there’s a principle involved here.
A few points about measuring blogs from my view:
- Subscriptions are a hard thing. I may subscribe to a blog simply because I can read through it easily in my aggregator. Library Stuff is a good example — a perfectly RSS-able blog. Other blogs I won’t subscribe to or visit often because I want to pay some attention to the writing. Katherine Schneider, Dorothea Salo and Walt Crawford are good examples.
- I am definitely a critic of the OED survey (except for the me being #22 part), but I will say this. If you do not have any library blogs in your aggregator, that survey offers a decent cross-section of blog-types. In my view, an aggregator should have at least one of the following:
- A “Cool Look at This” blog, like Librarian in Black, Library Stuff, Stephen’s Lighthouse and a whole whack of link-based blogs flying around.
- A “Holy Mokers this Might be Close to Scientific” library blog. Info Tangle by Elyssa Kroski probably fits into this category. Walt Crawford is probably another one.
- A “OMG I can’t believe he/she just SAID THAT (if only I said it first)!” blog. Caveat Lector and Free Range Librarian are my categories for this.
- A OMG ROTFLWMPLFOMHTGFLT (o my god rolling on the floor laughing while my personal library falls on my head thank goodness for library thing) blog. Add Annoyed Librarian and Library Man Michael Porter to that list.
- A “CHANGE DAMMIT!” blog. Tame the Web, anyone? David Lee King, Helene Blowers and Emily Clasper probably fit into this category too.
- Then there are the blogs that are great simply because they have personality. It’s not so much what is said [which is mostly good], or even how its said [which is usually good too], but there’s a hipness to the way these folks blog. The key blogs here are Information Wants to be Free (Meredith Farkas) and Librarian.Net (Jessamyn West). These folks have serious blog charisma. Maybe its a Vermont thing.
- [ . . . ]
22. The Other Librarian. I don’t care about the rest of you, #22 is mine. It’s even more significant if you are into Numerology. See, it’s especially cool, because my life path number is 11, which is also a “master number.” Consider this: if you read the Other Librarian, you will be fulfilled spiritually (maybe only because I am good for the occasional laugh, but if that’s the case, I’ll take it).