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Of Bloggers and "Blog People"

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Weblogs—or blogs, for short—started out as online diaries: entries arranged according to date. But now they've become alternative sources of information—as well as a means for communication—that librarians cannot and should not ignore.

I will not re-write what has already been written—and written better—about blogs. Below are links to articles, websites and blogs that can give you an idea of what can be done and what has been done with blogs. In addition, I have also provided a short introduction to a controversial reference to "Blog People."

To find out more about the blogging phenomenon, read "The Blogging Revolution" by Andrew Sullivan (Wired, May 2002) and the entry on "weblog" in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. You should also know that the "blogosphere" (a term coined by William Quick in 2001), is all around you.

To see the best blogs last year, check out the 2005 Bloggies. (Awards will be announced in Texas today, so the list of winners should be up by the time you read this or soon after.) To see the best Filipino blogs, check out the Philippine Blog Awards.

To know more about how blogs are being used in other libraries, check out Why and How to Use Blogs to Promote Your Library's Services by Darlene Fichter (InfoToday, Nov/Dec 2003). For a list of librarians' and libraries' blogs by country, see Library Weblogs. For all kinds of library-related blogs, see the blogs listed in the Open Directory Project.

To understand why librarian-bloggers are up in arms over comments made by Michael Gorman, editor of AACR2 and president-elect of the American Library Association, see "Revenge of the Blog People!" (Library Journal, 15 February 2005), where he calls bloggers "Blog People" and says that "A blog is a species of interactive electronic diary by means of which the unpublishable, untrammeled by editors or the rules of grammar, can communicate their thoughts via the web."

Librarian-bloggers—and even author Neil Gaiman—did not take this ad hominem attack sitting down. For a summary of what bloggers have said about "Gormangate," check out "An Accumulation of Random Facts and Paragraphs from the Blog People on Michael Gorman" by Blake Carver (LISNews, 4 March 2005). For a list of some of the best library-related blogs—enumerated for Gorman's benefit—see "Family Feud" by Marylaine Block (Ex Libris, 4-11 March 2005).

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