The Liblog Landscape: 2007-2008 – Walt Crawford

December 30, 2008

Boy, how time flies. I’ve had Walt Crawford’s Liblog Landscapesince the day before Thanksgiving – which, coincidentally, is actually when I read the book. I took notes intending to write a blog post. Then, I guess, that life happened, andhere I am over a month later going through my notes to put together a post. It would have been much easier to just do it then. Oh well!

My first reaction to the book was “Wow, there is tons of data here.” Having done a statistical research paper last spring, I was impressed with all of the work that must of gone into analyzing the 607  liblogs that Walt Crawford included in the study. The data is a bit overwhelming, as the author noted. I admit to skimming over some of the more statistical portions of the book, preferring to spendtime reading the analytical sections withmore depth.

Because there is so much data, there is a great deal of explanation of the research, the algorithms used and the research methodology. This information is important in order to understand how the research was done – and what data really means. There is no way that I would have understood the quartiles or the methodology without supporting documentation. So, I understand the importance of the information even if it threatened to give me a headache.

Walt Crawford has explained why there is little in the way of personal commentary and evaluation in The Liblog Landscape. His reasoning makes sense, and the book would have been way too long if such commentary were included. I admit that I was bit disappointed that the commentary was missing. Crawford’s commentary is one of the reasons that I enjoy reading his work. To answer Walt’s question, I would love to see “Walt’s Big Book of Liblogs.”

To me, the most valuable parts of the book were the chapters on “Patterns of Change”, “Subgroups”, “Liblogs and the Larger Blogosphere,” and “Liblog Profiles”. I found these four chapters to the be the heart of the book. I hadn’t expected to read about liblogs in relation to the blogosphere in general, but I think that might be the part that I enjoyed most. I can’t say that I read the “Liblog Profiles” from start to finish. It is definitely more a reference section.

Anyway, I found this book to be a valuable read – and would think this would be the case for anyone interested in the liblog universe. And, now I know how many posts I wrote during the 2007 timeframe as compared to the 2008 one; along with how many words per post I wrote; and how many comments I received. Believe me, there is no way that I was going to count, but I was interested in knowing.

Lastly, I want to note that using Lulu to buy this book was a very easy and quick experience. I ordered the book on November 22nd. In the descriptive information, I read that it could take 3-5 days to actually print and ship the book. I choose to have the book shipped USPS Priority Mail, which might take 2-3 business days. I generally dislike parcel post (which was the least expensive option) and was in no way interested in the faster options. If I remember correctly, the most expensive shipping option brought the total for the book (the book itself was $22.50) to just under $100.00. So, I was rather impressed when I received an email late in the day on November24th indicating that the book had been shipped. It arrived that Wednesday. So, I was impressed with Lulu’s service.

It’s Feeling Like Christmas

December 20, 2008

The Day After the Snow Storm

Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf.

Well, the big storm that has been crossing the country finally made its way to Massachusetts yesterday afternoon. We definitely have about a foot of snow – and it is still snowing. I think we were very lucky though. The storm hit us on a Friday afternoon – and everyone knew it was coming. In fact, a couple of people commented that it felt like the end of the world was coming. Many people didn’t come to work; and many businesses had simply closed for the day.

The college where I work closed at noon, even though it didn’t start snowing until about 2PM. I am definitely glad that I was home before it started. It was wonderful to be home, warmly ensconced in my comfortable clothes, curled up on my couch with a book. There hasn’t been any real need to go out – and I’m getting a good handle on trying to get my house clean before I have family over next weekend. One caveat, my husband’s work Christmas party is tonight, at least an hour away (in good driving conditions). I’m not too keen on having to get dressed up and venture out, but we do what we must.

The best part about snow before the holidays is that it definitely helps to put me in the Christmas spirit. All of the holiday decorations look amazing in the snow. The down side, however, is that I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping or errands. Time is growing short, and I won’t be able to do those things that I had planned to do this weekend. I guess I will just have to stop worrying about it – and enjoy the day!