Posted by Brian Kelly on August 21st, 2009
Whenever there’s some slack in the schedules, TV broadcasters seem to have a habit of filling it up with the ‘top 100 xxx xxx’. For xxx xxx, insert war films, comedy films, action heroes, leading ladies, romantic moments, etc. it always seems to me to be a cheap filler programme. Do a quick survey, get hold of some film clips, have a few ‘celebrities’ do some soundbites, and you can fill an hour or two.
Well back in April 2009, there was a blog post on Top 50 Librarian Blogs.
The colleague who alerted me to this noted that all of the blogs listed were published by librarians in the US and wondered whether we should be doing our own list of top UK librarian blogs. Further, she wondered, if we did, who would we be putting at the top and why?
For example, how would we be rating them? I guess they’d need to be posting regularly – large time gaps between posts would not encourage people to revisit or add the blog to their blog reader. They’d need to be posting about relevant issues – more than a semi-official institutional news blog. And then, since there the blogosphere is undergoing a population explosion, I think people would be looking for that extra special factor – the specialist (working on an unusual archive), the experimenter (a public librarian supporting the housebound), the newshound/reviewer (finding the latest thing out there in Web 2.0 and giving it a go).
Should we be doing this for the Cultural Heritage Web site? Well, in a sense we’ve already been doing that ever since we set up the site. For example, there’s the Best Of section – which includes ‘best of blogs‘. Here we’ve listed exemplars of blogs – each with a different focus.
Then we also have a Blogs Directory, which lists a variety of blogs from the cultural heritage sector. We haven’t attempted to list every blog around but just those which focus primarily on aspects of digital technology. So, useful though they are to their institutions, we’re not listing straightforward news blogs in the directory itself.
And as well as main list of the directory, there is also an examples section. Here we have grouped together sets of blogs set up for specific purposes. For instance, a library might want to support its reading group(s) with a blog – so we’ve identified existing blogs set up for this. We’ve got another cluster where the blogs are for artists in residence at a museum or gallery – giving them a blog is a great way of publicising this in between actual events involving the artist and making contact with the public. And we have put together two clusters of news blogs, so if you’re thinking of doing this, take a look at these.
So, do we need a top 50 UK librarian blog list? (Or indeed, a top 50 Museum workers blog list or top 50 archivists blog list.) And who would you nominate to be on it?