Blogging & Originality

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.


7 Responses to Blogging & Originality

  1. Mack says:

    I don’t have a problem with the apparent repetitiveness. There isn’t an abundance of “me tooism” and I like the different perspectives and the comments generated. Given the nature of our interests, there is going to be overlap.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Well said! That just about echoes my own thoughts – at the risk of being me-tooey 🙂

  3. Jason says:

    I’m not sure if “inbreeding” or forms of cronyism are actually prevealent in the biblioblogosphere, but I can see how someone could come to that conclusion. The comments made by Fiona in Singer’s blog seem to embody the concerns to which Singer alludes. (Personally, I would have been interested in seeing the comments made by the people who took the survey.) It’s too easy to agree with someone and to write a quick “me too” posting in one’s own blog; the standards are bit different for comments, though, since those should be more concise. Consequently, it also becomes too easy to tune out on a topic if too many people seem to say the same thing on multiple blogs. That’s the reason why I stayed away from blogs for so long (both reading them and writing my own), and why I have a select list of bloggers who delve into issues with more nuanced thought. But then, there’s that pesky confirmation bias with which to contend…

  4. […] usually try not to participate in the library blog echo chamber too much, but I loved the idea behind effective library signs from Rochelle and […]

  5. If I agree with you, is that contributing to the echo chamber, or the other way around, since you’re debating Rachel’s point? Ouch, my head hurts!

  6. Lora Cowell says:

    Reading (and maybe re-reading) various points in the blogs of other library professionals provides me with a psuedo-professional support group/learning community, working as I do, as the library media specialist in a school district of “one.” It take the isolation out of practice and helps me stay abreast.

  7. […] read an older post on “Blogging and Originality” put forth by Jennifer Macaulay, a recent grad student responding to Rachel Singer Gordon’s […]

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