Posts Tagged ‘blogging’
This post was prompted by this blog post at Booking Through Thursday. I should note that I wrote this before I heard the news that GoodReads was selling out to Amazon, so I will probably have more to say on that topic later on.
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I keep lists of books I want to read in a few places. I have a large folder of clippings and handwritten lists. I started it as a reader’s advisory tool, and I still review it and add items to it now and then. In addition, now and then I jot down titles in the personal journal or in my small pocket notebook (one I carry to use for when I can’t get my hands on my personal journal). Those then I move to the folder, or I put them in GoodReads.
Once I discovered GoodReads, it became a great tool for me. I use it quite a bit to track books I want to read. I also use it to keep a record of books I have read. I even went back through old journals to find notes on books I’ve read and added them to GoodReads as well. I still make notes on books I’ve read in my personal journal, but this has always been for books I really want to remember. Now with GoodReads, I record every book I read, then I expand any brief review I think is worth noting into a larger review and note for one of my blogs or for my personal journal.
Finally, I keep another running tally of books I want to read here in Alchemical Thoughts. I basically make the lists from reviews that come in on my RSS feeds. I do include links to the reviews on the blog posts here.
Now, this may seem fragmented, but it gives me different places to browse for ideas when I need to find the next book to read.
This post was inspired a bit by this post on “5 Reasons Why You Should Comment on Blogs” from the Journal Addict blog.
I was recently rereading this post, which I had saved in my feed reader’s cue, and I got a moment to ponder on my own practice on how I comment on other people’s blogs. It also made me consider when I choose not to comment on other folks’ blogs. While I would not say that I have a consistent pattern to how I comment, I can say that there are some small informal rules or reasons in how I comment or not on blogs.
For starters, I do not bother commenting on large, famous blogs with tons of traffic. The idea of adding yet another comment on a thread that may already contain hundreds of replies seems a bit futile to me. This goes along with my blogging philosophy in librarianship (and to some extent in my casual and personal blogging too), that if a topic in the profession has been beaten to death by the celebrity librarian bloggers then I don’t see a point in adding a blog post or commenting. This may lead to my next point: I don’t care for drama or less than bright arguments in the blogosphere.
My four readers may notice that in my blogs I keep politics to a minimum. I may have started to address some issues of concern recently, but the current climate of misinformation, repression, ignorance, and regressive attitudes mean that I can’t really stay quiet. However, I write about such things in my personal blog, The Itinerant Librarian. I never bring such things up in my professional blog, The Gypsy Librarian. By the way, for me, this blog here is more of a commonplace book and a place for half-baked ideas not quite ready for prime time. So, this is where the topic of comments returns: I never really comment on blogs related to politics or religion. In other words, I don’t really comment on blogs that deal in topics not discussed in polite company. People on those blogs are more interested in parroting their agendas, simply spreading talking points from some pundit who likely knows less than they do, and all this regardless of actual facts, evidence, or reasonable argumentation. Such places tend to be examples of the worst in people, and I would rather stay out of such muck.
So I usually comment in smaller blogs where the odds are better that the actual blogger will read the comment. I do like showing some appreciation when a blogger wrote something I found useful or insightful. If they visit my blogs, it’s nice, but I certainly do not expect it nor feel entitled to such reciprocity. For me, commenting on a blog is about thanking someone for sharing some good writing and maybe responding to something they said if I am so moved.
I guess in the end there’s not much to it for me.
Here goes another link post of my semi-regular (as in when I get enough clips together to make a post) series of post collecting clips about blogging and writing. My small way of keeping track of things that inspire me or just give me ideas for things to try out in my blogging and writing.
Though I do not blog professionally, or at least with the intention of making money, I always find many of Darren Rowse’s posts to be useful and informative. I always find myself clipping them to look at later for ideas on how to improve my blogging. And who knows, maybe someday, I might make a penny or two from my blogging. In the meantime, hear are some items from ProBlogger blog,
- “How to Write in a More Personal and Engaging Tone.”
- Written by Kole McCrae as a guest post, the title itself is already provocative. This does give me some food for thought. The blog post title is “Why I Deleted All of My Blogs.” I do have to admit that the thought of deleting my main blogs has crossed my mind. McCrae does give some food for thought here on how to erase and start anew.
- Another guest post, this time on “15 Blogger Resources Not Previously Featured in Problogger.” Not so much about writing as more about things that can make the blogging experience easier.
- This is an exercise I definitely have to complete sometime soon. I think my blogging, at least my professional/librarianship-related blogging, is due for a bit of an assessment. The post that is inspiring me to some reflection is “What Do You Want Your Blog to be Known For?” That is a good question.
- I certainly liked this post, especially due to the idea it mentions of keeping a fresh list of blog prompt ideas. It is something I have tried to do my personal journal, and in some old notes, but I really need to do some cleaning so to speak so I can maintain a better list. It may help me streamline my blogging, plus if I apply it to the library blog at work, it may be helpful as well. The post in question is “How to Run Two Blogs in the Midst of a Busy Life.”
- In a guest post, Arsene Hodali tells us “7 Good Things that Blogging Brings.” I liked this post and found it inspirational in its simplicity. I am also thinking I could write a similar post later on some of the good things blogging has brought me, mostly as reflective exercise.
- “How Your About Page Can Make or Break Your Blog.”
- “Ten Questions Will Always Make You Better.”
- “You Have a Niche! You Just Don’t Know it Yet.“
Write to Done is another blog I find useful when it comes to writing advice. From Write to Done,
- Katie Tallo in a guest post on “How to Win Friends and Influence Readers.”
- Barrie Davenport in a guest post on “6 Key Steps to Finding Your Passion as a Writer.”
- “How to Slash Your Writing Time in Half.”
The folks at Dumb Little Man do more than just blog about writing and blogging. I always find something interesting there. From Dumb Little Man,
- “10 Hard Truths About Blogging.” A few important reminders that I think, as a blogger, I need to hear once in a while.
- “Five Reasons to Keep a Journal.” Even when I take long breaks from blogging (voluntary or otherwise), I always go back to my personal journal. And though I do not write in it as often as I would like, I do write in it, and I always know I have it there.
From On Techies,
CW, at Ruminations,
- Wondering how to increase her professional blogging. I know I am wondering that question right now, up to and even considering whether I want to increase it at all (or decrease it). Some food for thought and useful links.
- A short exercise I would like to try out sometime. I may even consider using the result for my About page in the blog, which I am considering how to redo. She writes “Life in 100 Words.” Writing it may not be as easy as it sounds.
(This is cross-posted from The Gypsy Librarian)
“We’ve made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther!” –Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, from the film Star Trek: First Contact.
I have been attentive to what has been going on with the recent suicides of gay youths due to bullying up to and including the incident of the bigoted school board member in Arkansas. I have written some things in response, but so far, I kept them in my personal journal. The more I listen and watch and ponder, the more difficult I find it to stay silent, to not stand up, to not say anything. So my three readers can consider this post the one where I draw the line because bullies and bigots come and think they can get away with their crimes and uncivilized behavior. Well, no more. Not if this librarian has anything to say about it, and I do have a thing or two to say. What follows are two small items I wrote earlier that I am ready to share.
From my personal journal, October 6, 2010:
I’ve been wanting to blog about the recent bullying and suicide stories, but I am not sure what approach to take. Jeff Jarvis, in discussing the tragedy at Rutgers University, summarized it well: “It is a story of human tragedy.” What we have here is not just an individual failure. We have a community failure from the parents of those bullies who very likely failed to instill good values like common decency to a society that pretty much is willing to accept bullying. That we had more than one suicide due to bullies in less than a month was probably enough for the media to cover it. But if it had been just one suicide in some small town, no one else would have heard about it, and people in that small town, with the exception of the victim’s relatives, would have likely chalked it up to “boys will be boys” or some similar line. A line such as “kids in school will always be kids” should never be an acceptable cover or excuse for bullying, hazing, harassment, or other kind of anti-social behavior. That adults consistently use that excuse reflects a serious lack of character and compassion.
But there is another reason I find it difficult to blog about it. It means making my views more public in a fairly hostile environment. But if I don’t stand up and speak, then who will? For me, this is the right thing to do, and yet I have my fears. As a librarian, I struggle with the illusion many in the profession hold of neutrality against the belief that we should help educate, that we should not only provide information but use our best professional judgment in providing good, accurate, and reliable information. Taking a stand breaks that illusion. It raises a flag stating that this is what I stand for and what I will defend or oppose. Yet, if I remain silent, it would not be right. I don’t think anyone said this profession would be without some risk. Then again, every time I blog, or even post a shared link online, there is the risk of offending somebody, somewhere, maybe even a future potential employer. A lot of librarianship is about image, and it is a pretty small profession where the wrong blog post can get you shunned. I try not to let it bother me. I try not to self-censor more than is necessary. But I am finding it harder and harder to stay silent. The truth needs to be spoken. We have to take a stand for what is right. In my case, writing and blogging are my ways to do so.
Today is National Coming Out Day. I think it has a special significance this year given the series of LGBT youth suicides due to bullying. As Jeff Jarvis said in a post I read a few days back, those deaths are a human tragedy.
What I am thinking about today is the bravery of those LGBT folks who do choose to come out, whether today or any other day. Maybe that is just what moves me to be an ally. Maybe it’s that I think everybody should be able to love whomever they like and not be discriminated against on that basis. That civil rights should be rights for all, not just for some. That if you choose to live in a committed relationship of marriage, the gender of those involved should not be an issue for receiving the rights and responsibilities of marriage.
But what does it have to do with me? I am a straight male (at least I was last time I looked, haha!), so one would think I have nothing to gain or lose. In fact, I may have more to lose–from folks suddenly thinking I may be gay to workplace concerns; East Texas is not a particularly friendly place if you do not fall within its norms and parameters. I do it because it is the right thing to do. I do it because I look forward to the day where coming out won’t matter because it will not be an issue. Just like I hope for a day when no one is judged by race, handicap, so on, I look to the day no one is judged by their sexual orientation. I don’t think I will live to see that day given how much work and education this nation needs before it truly embraces diversity. But I hope that some day, maybe in the days of my daughter’s grandchildren, they will look back at our society and say things like “what the fuck were they thinking?” or “discriminating because someone is gay? How quaint.” Maybe some day, and I hope that day arrives sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, coming out (as an ally) is the small part I can do to bring about better days. It is my small way of saying to those in the LGBT community and the rest of the allies that they are not alone. It is my way of saying that as a librarian my skills and knowledge are at the community’s disposal, and if I can’t find a resource, I know someone who does know. I am here for those who may need a supportive person.
Do I want to be “that” librarian? I sure do. It’s the decent thing to do, and I cannot do anything less. And if certain coworkers don’t like it, then let them stew in their bigotry. They will either see the error of their ways and do the right thing, or history will simply pass them over.
I thought I could remain silent, but I can’t. Not anymore. I am coming out, and I am letting others know.
- Emily Lloyd, on “Being Visibly Queer-Friendly: Please Consider It.“
- Jen McCreight introducing and commenting on the “It Gets Better Project.”
- And because I am a librarian, I feel that I should provide some books to help out. So here is a list of “10 LGBT Books for Teens That Tackle Suicide and Bullying.” Via Lambda Literary. We probably should acquire one or all for our library, but between the tight budget and, well, the usual barriers, I am not sure it will be possible (at the moment).
Update Note: (11/1/10): Wayne Bivens-Tatum, the Academic Librarian, picked up on this post, and he wrote a very detailed, thoughtful, and reasoned response on librarians and our neutral (or not) stances. It is worth reading it in its entirety.