Wait – was that – it almost looked like . . .

Ok, having said yesterday, based on objective evidence, that there was no archivo-blogosphere (again, I don’t like that term–come up with a better one and post it in a comment), I spent part of today looking more closely at the content of some of the blogs I liked as I was adding them to my blogroll.

Well, it looks like around SAA 2006 (in DC) there was a small and hardy band of archival bloggers (all, I am sure, extremely good-looking) and if it hadn’t been for the lack of connectivity in the Hilton (and maybe the extreme heat–I was there too) they might have gotten more momentum. But it looks like they kind of lost steam–many of them altogether–shortly after that meeting.

This next post was supposed to try to discuss why we don’t have a blogosphere of archivists. In thinking about what to write, I was coming up with a lot of possibilities that ended up sounding like a list of gripes about our profession. And I said was going to try not to be negative in my blog, so I think I’m going to skip that topic. I will say that I think perhaps one of our problems is that we have a lot of ground to cover. We could use good blogs on many different issues, for example–different aspects of electronic records, EAD (for those who use it), nuts and bolts issues about processing, copyright, advocacy issues, developments in available software, etc. Just a thought. I’ll try to follow up with that in a future post of why I think archivists need to get more involved in their own blogosphere.

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3 thoughts on “Wait – was that – it almost looked like . . .”

  1. I don’t know how much they are still used with any influence, but all the rage a few years ago (equal to centuries in web world) were webrings. I think I have seen some blog rings out there somewhere, but the blogroll and the aggregators are pulling away from those.

    I don’t think there is an easy solution to all of this. Your research has shown that many bloggers are transient and come and go with no regularity whatsoever. As you know, I started my own blog primarily out of boredom combined with not having enough time to do anything else, so what does that show?

    How long will I be around? Perhaps the next best technological thing is around the corner and all of this will be moot. One never knows. And for a moment look at the irony of a profession that hates change, deals with really old stuf (for the most part), is typically older (see the recent American Archivist for the ACensus results), that communicates on a technological medium that many still shun.

  2. Actually, I just wrote a long post that’s somewhat related to this, but my editor is looking over it to try to make sure I haven’t said anything too offensive to the world at large. It’s all about the A*CENSUS results.

    I think the stat is that most blogs don’t last longer than 2 months, so you’ve beat the odds already. Blogging isn’t for everyone clearly–it takes someone who thinks they have something to say, with enough time to write, and perhaps enough of an ego to think what they say has some value. I think it also probably helps if you know people are reading it. And it may turn out that most of these blogs are ephemeral–but the knowledge people have gained by reading them or the communication that people have had because of them may have value after the blogs themselves are gone. And I don’t really care if it’s blogs per se, all I’m saying is archivists need to embrace new technologies.

    And actually, about 38% or so of the survey responders were under 44 years old. And the greatest number of responders (39%) identified electronic records as the most important issue archival organizations should address in the next five years. So, I agree that it’s an uphill road, but I think it’s possible to get enough momentum to make a change. I think we can try to turn some of those anti-technology people around. But, I’m an optimist, what can I say?

  3. Here’s a blog you probably didn’t find in your search. http://iassistblog.org/

    It’s one of the more useful professional blogs, but still kind of quiet. I hate to admit it, but I tend to read blogs about my hobbies more regularly than I read any professionally-related blogs. Maybe you can change that. 🙂

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