One 20 page paper later, the blogging community has been top of mind form me over the last (expedited) semester, and I have a few but simple thoughts on how bloggers search and how information sources like libraries can meet them halfway.
Obviously, without the internet, a blogger would be a writer in the more traditional sense. We may all still be keeping a diary. But in a more general sense, bloggers depend on tools and the usability of interfaces to facilitate easy exchange of ideas. The harder a tool, the less likely it will be used. We seem to take that for granted, but blog platforms operate on the same Darwinian line of evolution; some just don’t survive. The bloggers of those failed platforms either pick up and leave or they too will perish.
There are 10,000 sites that might be helpful, but just as people find friends to give them recommendations, bloggers seek out other bloggers in an attempt to cut the bias and gather insight that is more honest than run of the mill advertisements. Bloggers can easily follow and share posts to make for a thriving community in terms of communication and participation.
Not only are bloggers content creators by definition, but the content they share is knowledge and makes information sharing as simple as giving a perspective. Their first hand experiences anchor their insights in reality, humanizing their content and allowing readers and other bloggers to join in their conversations. Bloggers are a source. Their wisdom rivals studies done in labs. They create and we read.
Librarians and information professionals can reach bloggers in the traditional means–of course– but they also must consider the impact o meeting bloggers where they choose to dwell on the internet. By having a blog of their own, libraries and librarians can become a part of blogger communities, sharing relevant information and forging valuable bonds. Bloggers in their own space can choose to follow libraries via RSS or email lists and join their information with their daily intake of information. In this way they become a source as well as a peer, emphasizing the benevolence of their intention to share knowledge and meeting bloggers they way bloggers prefer to interact.
These are the tidbits I have learned about bloggers and their information seeking behaviors. None of this is particularly earch-shattering but it was interesting to know my assumptions are in some way founded. Much more (recent) research needs to be done on blogs to see how this changes with new technology, but there are lots of new studies in the past few years making blogs a valid point of interest for information professionals to keep an eye on.
Here are the sources I reviewed for the paper I wrote! Feel free to do some of your own research and make your own assessment of bloggers (like yourselves!)
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