Earlier this week, Meredith Farkas created a survey to ask people to name their three favorite library-related blogs. In part, this survey is an addendum to her earlier survey of the biblioblogosphere. I think the results will be quite interesting, especially in light of the recent OEDb Top 25 Librarian Bloggers list. In one of her followup posts, Meredith addressed a comment that was critical of the survey. In that same post, she asks her readers “What is your goal for blogging? How do you measure the success of your blog?” While I did leave a comment on this post, I thought that I needed a bit more time – and space – to address these questions.
What is my goal for blogging?
This is a tough question to answer. I think that I have more than one goal and I know that they change over time. My blog is very different than it was when I started it two years ago. I initially envisioned this blog as a way to annotate my library school assignments. It worked fine for that purpose. However, I quickly discovered that such a narrow focus was extremely limiting – and more importantly, was rather boring (I’m sure it was boring to any readers, but I am specifically saying that the topic bored me). Once I discovered how many library-related blogs were out there, I was hooked. Reading and enjoying other blogs gave me more confidence to play a bit and expand my horizons. Currently, library school and how library school is impacting my thoughts and beliefs about librarianship are my major foci. However, I do not limit myself to these topics. This blog is also a venue for me to think about, formulate and discuss any and all library-related thoughts that hold some importance to me. It has become on of the most important parts of my library education and one of the most important tools for my professional development. It has become way more than I every expected to be.
I think it is important to note that I blog for myself. I did not start this blog to get readers or to influence others. I never read any of those articles about how to expand one’s readership or increase one’s hit count. I simply continued to write about what was important or interesting to me. The establishment of a library community is another story. I have been amazed at the community that has formed around blogging amongst the library community – and at the extent to which I have become involved in it.
How do you measure the success of your blog?
I guess the quick and easy answer is that I don’t consciously do this. I blog for myself. It took me a while to get comfortable with the medium, but once I did I found that I was hooked. I have been utterly and truly amazed that others would want to read anything that I have to say. I feel as if I have found a good niche and a voice in the blogosphere. This means that this blog is successful to me. I do not aspire to have a massive readership or thousands of visits a day. I don’t need to be on anyone’s list of top library-related blogs. I’ve gotten comfortable with my blog, with its readership and with those people that I have developed relationships. It has been a wonderful and extremely successful experience for me.