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

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LIBR 200: Blog-Writer Information Community

Information Community: Self Published Blog Writers & Poets

This week we are choosing the groups we will be delving into for our large assignment in LIBR 200. In a definition compiled by Fisher and Durance in Encyclopedia of community: From the village to the virtual world, Information Communities are characterized by their use of information and technology to bridge gaps in communities.

I am interested in looking into the Information Community of writers (poets and fiction specifically) who make their work available for free on blogging sites like WordPress (like my own) and Blogger.

Information Communities are:

collaborative groups which immerse themselves in technology to share content, break boundaries, congregate around a need and facilitate connection to a larger community of people participating in the information they care about. Content is linked and made relevant through hypertext and shared widely via opt-in subscriptions.

According to Fisher and Durance (2003) these groups have not been studied specifically because the data is new and the social aspect of technology now is just getting to the point where we can easily see the connectivity between groups, especially those that are geographically challenged. In their introduction they name the internet maybe “an information community’s only communication medium” siting chats and mailing lists as a means to connect with others of a shared interest. Today the chat rooms are comments and the mailing lists are email subscriptions, but the blog-writer community thrives with technology as its only connector.

I have not met many of you and yet we are connected by a shared interest in writing (in my case poetry) and the connectivity is our mini websites (blogs) which keep us updated on the broader picture (tagged posts) that apply to our needs. We are part of a living breathing network of writers who look to technology to broaden our scope of the world.

I know without this website I would still be filling notebooks and sharing a few lines at a time. My work may not be anthology-worthy yet but it exists as part of a larger conversation (a literary conversation with centuries of content in the making just now being digitizes and shared among interested groups) and therefore what we all share is valuable and worthy of existing in the ether.

I am very excited to look into this group (of which I am a contributing member!) and find the webbing between all of us!

Keep Writing!

–ECW

(or for LIBR 200, Emilee Wirshing)

Read On:

Fisher, K., & Durrance, J. (2003). Information communities. In K. Christensen, & D. Levinson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of community: From the village to the virtual world. (pp. 658-661). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.