Blogging & Originality

March 19, 2007

Rachel Singer Gordon’s Oroberosity post over at The Liminal Librarian got me thinking today. Recently, people have been expressing the belief that the world of library bloggers is a bit too repetitive with little originality. Rachel Singer Gordon wrote that some respondents to her alternative career survey “find the well-known blog/bloggers to be too inbred, too repetitive, and too busy patting each other on the back.” Personally, I’ve never really noticed this – and I think that I subscribe to many of the big name blogs – The Shifted Librarian,, Information Wants To Be Free, Free Range Librarian, Walt at Random and several others (FYI, I’m not entirely clear on the criteria for big name blogs). Yes, certainly when something like Twitter or the Library 2.0 group on Ning starts to get noticed, there are many posts (that can be somewhat repetitive) about it. However, I’ve always found this to be a good gauge about how something gets used or gets picked up. To me, it is also a good way to know when I should start paying attention to something (or at least look into it).

But more importantly, I want to ask – isn’t this repetitiveness an important part of the community building that blogging affords people? It seems to me that this is one of the ways that bloggers have conversations about things that are important to them or that interest them. I’m not terribly interested in Twitter. I’m fairly apathetic to IM, so I didn’t even want to play around with it. However, I took note of those who were playing with – those who liked it, those who didn’t and those who found some real uses for it. I admit that I didn’t read all of the posts about it, but I definitely don’t read all of the posts that show up in my aggregator either. Bottom line, I guess that I don’t particularly find the world of library blogs to be inbred or overly repetitive.  I find plenty of disagreement or disparity among big name bloggers – although certainly not on every subject.