metablog

Yes, I have entered the land of meta — blogging about blogging. Or, at least, about some blogging.

If you’re reading this, you have at least some idea of what a blog is. But I’ve noticed in a lot of my classes that when blogs come up there are a fair number of blank faces in the room. Fear not! You too can enter the land of blog-awareness. I was going to compile a nice big post about blogs and RSS and aggregators and so forth — but then I discovered that the indefatigable Jessamyn west, of librarian.net fame, had beat me to it with her talk Staying Current Using Blogs and RSS. The notes from her talk include numerous links to definitions, tutorials, examples, the works. If you feel a little lost out here in the blogosphere, check it out. And take a look even if you feel like an expert, just so you can see what a fabulous job Jessamyn does of breaking stuff down into understandable units. Okay, I admit, I’m a fan.

But much as I love librarian.net, it is but one of the blogs I read. As you can see, I’ve added an LIS blogroll over on the right. It contains all of the library-related blogs and feeds that I currently read (or at least skim). It is by no means comprehensive — there are a lot of library-related blogs out there — but it’s a start. I use Bloglines to read all of these and like it pretty well, but I haven’t tried the other aggregators out there, so I can’t really give any educated recommendations.

Why, you may be asking, do I plow through all this stuff? Mostly I do it because these blogs are, of all the things I’ve consumed during library school, the place where I have learned the most about actual libraries and the actual issues they face and how actual people are dealing with them. In fact, it’s gotten to the point that when I’m doing research for a paper, my first thought is usually, “Hey, mp3s in libraries — I wonder who’s written about that.” Still don’t believe me on the value of blogs for research? Here, for your reading pleasure, is a paragraph from my section of the final paper for a group project on digital rights management for 770, with its footnote:

When a library buys — or, more often, leases — a digital resource, however, its rights over that resource are determined not by the library but by the seller. The copyright statement at the beginnning of a traditional book will explain that the book many not be reproduced in whole or part, by any means, except in certain instances, such as a reviewer or student quoting a brief passage in the course of her work. The digital rights management statement at the beginning of an e-book, though, reads more like this example:
———————————————————
DRM Rights:
Copy 25 selections every 1 day(s)
Print 25 pages every 1 day(s)
Reading aloud allowed
Book expires 150 day(s) after download
Note that Adobe eBooks cannot be shared.5
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5. Jason Griffey, “Reading aloud allowed,” post on Pattern Recognition blog (March 30, 2005):

Happy reading!