LIBR 200: Let’s Get Technical – Information Sources for Writer Bloggers

Information Sources for Writer Bloggers (and bloggers in general)

Blogging as a writing form implies that there is a semi public space which to place one’s thoughts. Unlike social networks (like Facebook) or micro-share sites (like Twitter or Instagram), the space must offer customable manipulation and personality to be considered one’s own territory.

For bloggers, the information service is the space. It offers the platform to share content and also the means to measure and quantify subsequent views and participation via likes and comments.

The information service is beyond the blogger. We are able to control the face but not the organs of the operation. The site itself, rife with buggy upgrades and unpredictable changes is the compromise we make as bloggers. Of course we could go and pay for a website, a design and the metrics behind our followers, but many of us would rather save the time, money and hassle that comes with being the true sole owner. So in a way we rent an information service, which may be free in theory but comes with adds, alterations and the occasional spam.

For this post I looked into two sources describing the options for a blogger looking to join and create content. Though neither of these articles were explicitly for Writer Bloggers—which may be too small and unstudied to write a term paper on after all—the theories would help a new blogger make an informed decision when settling on a platform.

The first article was a peer-reviewed journal on the differences between Blogger, WordPress and some other Pseudoblogs (though still viable options) to consider when joining the blogosphere (Lackey & LeMasney, 2007). While the content was thorough, and in some places too much so, the facts were a whopping 8 years behind. The peer-review process takes time and much of the up-to-date current need-it-now information is caught up in the cogs. Though much of the content was relevant, many things have upgraded in the past few years.

Their conclusion that Blogger is best for the basic user and WordPress is preferred for “anything even remotely out of the ordinary” still felt true, though the evidence was dated (Lackey & LeMasney, 2007).

The second article, posted by Craig Grannel on a website called CreativeBloq.com was a detailed but brief website post on 10 ideal blogging platforms and their differences. This listing was as up to date as anyone could ask for, having been published just last month—May 2015. Exposition was coupled by inviting images of blog layouts and a short but poignant suggestion of who the platform would best support. They listed WordPress at the top and Blogger at number three. The information had less tutorial and very little criticism. Though it fell short of the technical aspect of the other forty page article, the information was clear and simple.

On the fly, someone looking to break into blogging would likely launch a quick query and find this link rather than sift through a dry scientific exposé.

While the content of the two examples of blogger information services were oriented toward  a similar audience, the content made by bloggers for bloggers was much more approachable. It seems fitting, being that bloggers are content creators themselves, that they would first seek the advice of their own content.

Hope that opened your eyes a little to the not so secret world of blogs.

Keep Writing!

–ECW

Read On:

Lackie, R. J., & LeMasney, J. W. (2007). Blogger, WorldPress.com, and their pseudoblog alternatives: a comparison of focus, features, and feel. Journal Of Library Administration, 46(3/4), 139-180. doi:10.1300/J111v46n03_11

Grannel, C. (2015). The 10 best blogging platforms available for free. Creative Bloq. Retrieved from: http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/best-blogging-platforms-121413634

LIBR 200 – Information Seeking Behavior of Blog Writers

LIBR 200 – Information Seeking Behavior of Blog Writers

Bloggers have a unique space in the ether, especially those creating original literary content. Not only are they usually regular consumers of media and social networks (as evident in their tech savvy) but they are invested in connecting with others who share their interests and craft. When I first started this blog it was part of my Honors Thesis for Undergrad. I was a regular user of other social media, but thought that blogging would be wildly different; that the people who used this media would be looking for something else. What that was, I couldn’t have told you, but I was three years deep in my studies and I assumed I could just study bloggers like any other subject. I was mistaken.

As I learned over the years, blogging is much like other means of social media. Because it can be tailored to the user, it becomes a lovely blend of extemporaneous conversations, announcements, soap boxing and testimonials tied up with a heavy dose of self-awareness. But what makes it most important are the small boxes at the bottom of (most) posts: like, comment, share. Unlike the voting role these take on other media like Facebook and Twitter, bloggers tend to get involved, writing comments and liking to show support rather than acknowledge. Bloggers I have seen seem to seek connection, reaffirmation that others are writing similar pieces and where to find community information like journals or publication opportunities.

We are generally casual users, posting and browsing others to see what else is happening in our field around us. I estimate (though more research is needed of course) that most of us encounter information rather than directly seeking it. According to Erdelez (1999) information can come in the form of “unexpected discovery” which is useful now, later or in the past. Because blogging is so connected via hyperlinks, participation and tags, information can come from any direction and most of us follow a chain of interest with no necessary goal simply because it is entertaining. I am reminded of the site StumbleUpon.com which depowered much of my college time. I don’t stumble anymore, but I do thumb through other writer blogs all the time, which is pretty close.

A little dated, I reviewed the 2011 Technorati State of the Blogosphere, which informed my original project but now helps inform my digital life. I no longer try to pin-down the bloggers I connect with; that would be presumptuous. Instead I participate in the same current of information that drew me in the first place. Writer Bloggers are a fun bunch!

We seek to connect, share work, take the temperature of the larger literary world and remind ourselves why we take the time to write for the public in the first place. On a personal level, this blog has been the best part of my poetry experience, writing for people, even if I don’t know you, has made writing meaningful.

Thanks!

Keep Writing

–ECW

(Emilee Wirshing for LIBR 200 kids!)

Read on:

State of the Blogosphere – http://technorati.com/state-of-the-blogosphere-2011/

Erdelez, S. (1999). Information encountering: It’s more than just bumping into information. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science 25(3). Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bult.118