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David Lee King

Working Your Community’s Blogosphere



Recently, Darren Rowse at ProBlogger posted Five Reasons Why Mom Blogs Are the Blogs to Watch. Darren says “Mom blogs are poised to become the next big “It” when it comes to the internet–they’re gathering power like no other blogging niche and will only get bigger and better.” Then he lists some reasons why – go read the article to get that list.

And now, a thought (that I’m swiping from more than one presenter at PLA) that continues to swirl through my head weeks after PLA is over: what local community blogs are you reading? Sure – you read 800 library technology blogs, and another 500 non-library tech blogs (no, I don’t read that many blogs). But how about some local blogs?

The gist of what I heard at PLA goes something like this: subscribe to some blogs in your local community and start participating on them via commenting. What does that look like? Here are some initial thoughts:

  • answer questions they ask – even link to library content in your comment
  • answer those questions they needed to ask, but didn’t – you know what I mean…
  • Make normal, interested-sounding comments… that is, if you’re really interested
  • Supply useful additional details when you see them – again, linking to the library’s stuff in the process
  • Friend some locals on twitter/facebook/myspace/etc
  • Set up some vanity searches in technorati and Google alerts, and thank people when they mention your library! How cool would that be?

So yes – this is a bit more “active” than what librarians tend to be used to… but if you want to make an impact in your local [digital] community, you need to be participating. Because if you aren’t participating, you don’t exist.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.menashalibrary.org/ Tasha

    I do read all of the local blogs I am aware of, and this post has pushed me to seek out others. You are right that we need to have voices in our local digital worlds. Thanks for reminding me that I need to be on the look-out for opportunities to make our libraries shine online locally.

  • http://www.menashalibrary.org Tasha

    I do read all of the local blogs I am aware of, and this post has pushed me to seek out others. You are right that we need to have voices in our local digital worlds. Thanks for reminding me that I need to be on the look-out for opportunities to make our libraries shine online locally.

  • http://mmbetter.wordpress.com DaleA

    As a community gets smaller, it gets harder to sustain an online community, I think. Example: the Craigslist site for Manhattan is a wan, thin thing.

    I took the time to start a local blog (mmbetter.wordpress.com), and actually have collaborators whom I have never met. Now if we only could post reliably, we might actually get somewhere. Most librarians I know are more civically minded than the typical resident of any community, so it makes sense for us to take the time to lead a bit of a push.

  • http://shelftalk.spl.org/ David Wright

    I couldn’t agree more w/ this, although it is tempting to go after the biggest fishes in one’s community blogosphere. (For instance, our own library blog is having record traffic today off of mentions in a few influential local blogs, which feels great, although ultimately it is the NORMAL conversations that really build bonds and establish a library/librarian/library blog as a legitimate presence in the online community.

  • http://shelftalk.spl.org David Wright

    I couldn’t agree more w/ this, although it is tempting to go after the biggest fishes in one’s community blogosphere. (For instance, our own library blog is having record traffic today off of mentions in a few influential local blogs, which feels great, although ultimately it is the NORMAL conversations that really build bonds and establish a library/librarian/library blog as a legitimate presence in the online community.

  • Kelley

    Local blogs are some of the best places to find out what the community is thinking about, expecting, whining about and praising! The library can really customize programs and collections by paying close attention to the most popular local blogs – in Pittsburgh – it’s BurghGirl. I’d be interested to see if a library hosted some ‘burghgirl-inspired’ event (she’s never appeared in public as herself however!) how many non-library-users it would attract! In addition to that, I hear about new restaurants, reviews of local theatre, projects local government is planning – that somehow our local news didn’t get the scoop on. Local blogs are invaluable to any librarian!

  • Kelley

    Local blogs are some of the best places to find out what the community is thinking about, expecting, whining about and praising! The library can really customize programs and collections by paying close attention to the most popular local blogs – in Pittsburgh – it’s BurghGirl. I’d be interested to see if a library hosted some ‘burghgirl-inspired’ event (she’s never appeared in public as herself however!) how many non-library-users it would attract! In addition to that, I hear about new restaurants, reviews of local theatre, projects local government is planning – that somehow our local news didn’t get the scoop on. Local blogs are invaluable to any librarian!

  • http://gathernodust.blogspot.com/ Jeff

    I mostly follow locally through twitterwhere for my community. Very interesting posts. I found the only person who has an iphone in my community (or at least claims that). Most posts are not relating to the community, just snarky locations such as cow town, bumpkin, and the like.

    However, I did discover a blogger through a technorati search who trashed the library because of its poor collection (didn’t have all of the Hitchikers guide to the galaxy series, and a librarian was rude to her for eating in the library.)

    Many don’t reveal their location though. Furthermore, the more they identify their location, the less likely they are going to talk about anything specific (at least from what I know.)

  • http://gathernodust.blogspot.com Jeff

    I mostly follow locally through twitterwhere for my community. Very interesting posts. I found the only person who has an iphone in my community (or at least claims that). Most posts are not relating to the community, just snarky locations such as cow town, bumpkin, and the like.

    However, I did discover a blogger through a technorati search who trashed the library because of its poor collection (didn’t have all of the Hitchikers guide to the galaxy series, and a librarian was rude to her for eating in the library.)

    Many don’t reveal their location though. Furthermore, the more they identify their location, the less likely they are going to talk about anything specific (at least from what I know.)

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  • http://kimradcliffsmith.com/ KimRadcliffSmith

    I liked what you said at the end the best – “Because if you aren’t participating, you don’t exist.” May I quote you on my blog?

  • http://kimradcliffsmith.com KimRadcliffSmith

    I liked what you said at the end the best – “Because if you aren’t participating, you don’t exist.” May I quote you on my blog?

  • davidleeking

    KimRadcliffSmith – yes, you can quote me… I picked that sentence up from somewhere… the idea stuck in my head, but the originator didn’t (I think it was a report on MySpace or something similar).

  • davidleeking

    KimRadcliffSmith – yes, you can quote me… I picked that sentence up from somewhere… the idea stuck in my head, but the originator didn’t (I think it was a report on MySpace or something similar).

  • http://mmbetter.wordpress.com/ DaleA

    As a community gets smaller, it gets harder to sustain an online community, I think. Example: the Craigslist site for Manhattan is a wan, thin thing.

    I took the time to start a local blog (mmbetter.wordpress.com), and actually have collaborators whom I have never met. Now if we only could post reliably, we might actually get somewhere. Most librarians I know are more civically minded than the typical resident of any community, so it makes sense for us to take the time to lead a bit of a push.