Well, okay, it’s been open for awhile. Details details! But that was all soft launch 🙂
I know a fair amount of people have already heard about this here and there. Maybe you saw a link to a post of yours from the Blog Library site and scratched your head a bit, or maybe you saw the Twitter account or Facebook page. Maybe you’ve been to the site itself!
Whatever the case may be, I wanted to take a brief moment to explain a bit about this project of mine and let you know what some of my goals and objectives are.
Why A Blog Library?
I was skimming through TedX talks a few weeks ago and came across a presentation by the man who helped create Google’s museum of museums. I had recently also written a post of my own about how librarianship could really serve the online world by helping to organize and categorize the masses of information and content out there. The two ideas crashed and collided in my head, and lo, the idea for The Blog Library was born.
See, here’s my thinking. Every day, millions of people are writing blog posts. Some are writing more than one a day. People are writing on almost any topic you can think of, from kids in sports to the more recent Google Plus creation. Nearly everyone is complaining that their Google Readers or RSS feeds are filled to the brim, and I also know, from my own experience, that as much as we want to read blogs by people we don’t know, we end up continuing to support blogs that we know and love, and others get lost on the side of the road.
The Blog Library is curating blog posts by category and by author so that reading them “on time” is not an issue, but reading them when you need or want them is achievable. Because posts are categorized based on subject matter, you can also do something that’s much harder to do right now – you can get multiple takes on the same issue. For example, there are currently 18 posts that talk about Google Plus in the Blog Library. In perusing through these posts, you can see that some people provide very detailed but basic “how to” information. Others treat the issue in a more abstract way, and others express their skepticism about the new social network.
Instead of going to 18 different blog sites to see what different people are saying, you can just skim through that category and read the posts you want to read in full.
The other goal of The Blog Library is to promote promotion of others, if you will. The Blog Library will not have a blog of its own. The whole foundation of the site is to offer a brief abstract of the post and then send you to the blogger’s own site. Although there are areas to comment after each post in the Library, my hope is that you will really converse with the author him or herself.
All of this is to preserve this moment in time when anyone can be a self-publisher. That is a grand state of affairs, but it also necessitates a way to sort and preserve that massive amount of content. That is what The Blog Library is hoping to do.
How posts are chosen
I am doing my best to have as wide a variety of authors in the library as possible. Really, I don’t pick posts based on who the blogger is but rather on how well a post on any given subject is. Now it’s true that because I’m the librarian I get to choose what goes in there. If your post is primarily selling something or if there are tons of grammatical and/or spelling errors, I probably won’t put it in the library. That may be harsh – but it’s the truth.
That being said, I am open to being introduced to other posts and other bloggers that you think are really good. This is not an invitation to merely promote your own posts, by the way. That is not the spirit of The Blog Library 🙂
What kind of stuff is in there?
I’m also doing my best to cover a wide variety of topics. I have a few posts so far in a “Health and Fitness” category. I have a handful of posts on parenting. And then there are posts that cover the social media spectrum. The Blog Library has only been in operation for about 3 weeks, so a lot of these categories are not nearly as full as I want them to be, but they are there.
What can the Blog Library do for you?
I’m hoping that the Blog Library becomes a resource for you in a few different ways. Eventually, as I get enough posts in there, I hope it can become an online research destination – kind of like Wikipedia, except that the content is blog posts from other sites instead of random encyclopedia-like entries. The point is not always to offer fact, but rather to offer a range of information and opinions. So, for example, if you are thinking about migrating from Blogger to WordPress, I have some posts available for you all in one place.
Another wish of mine is that this can help people from across the Blogosphere get to know each other. Bloggers who primarily blog about food could maybe learn about people who blog about, well, blogging. If you’re hearing a lot about a blogger and want to know what or how they write, you can look them up at the Library and see what they’re up to.
To this end I’ll also have monthly featured bloggers. Nancy Davis is our featured blogger for July.
Finally, I hope the Blog Library becomes a place of enjoyment, like a brick & mortar library, where you can go to learn and read at your leisure.
How can you get involved?
This is still a very very new project, so there is a lot of room for growth. You can follow The Blog Library on Twitter at @bloglibrary or fan the Facebook page. In either place, let me know about categories or authors I should take a look at. Let me know about ways I could help make the Blog Library more useful for you.
And if you like the idea – the biggest help would be to help me spread the word, however you see fit. Brandon Duncan has led this charge with a very very kind review, which was not asked for but beyond appreciated.
I’d like to offer sincere thanks to Kat Caverly, Brandon Duncan, Chase Adams, Rufus the Dog, Sandy Hubbard, Raul Colon, and Cheri Allbritton, who have been particularly supportive and helpful as I’ve gotten things ready to show everyone.
Thanks for listening! If you have any questions, please let me know!
2nd Image by Ted Cabanes. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/_TekToNik