in General, Libraries/Info Sci

Taking aim

Blake Carver’s CiL2k5 wrapup makes for great reading. He claims it isn’t a well polished essay, but the writing style and content is still beyond anything I’ve managed to toss together.

I think I’m still in “kid in the candy store” mode; something new keeps catching my eye, and the conference had an abundance of shiny things to distract me.

For example I’d completely forgotten to mention the inside jokes. As is their nature, there’s probably no way to recount the hilarity here. Suffice it to say that Stephen Abram is indeed The Man, and an inspiration to us all.

I also somehow forgot about the Core Bloggers/Non-Core “split”. It’s a bunch of hooey if you ask me. The core people all earned it in some way or another. I wasn’t made one, nor do I have any illusion that I should have been. ITI has the right to present what they feel will be best written coverage of the conference. And its not like the rest of us were totally excluded either, the blogdigger group allowed for exposure, and in fact I’m really surprised there weren’t more bloggers on the list. All I had to do was send a nice e-mail asking to be added – no credentials required.

I was a bit overwhelmed by the presence and intelligence of everyone, being the new kid on the block. As a result I was probably a bit quieter than I should have been, especially the first day or so. Having read a bunch of the library world’s blogs for months beforehand, it was like meeting a whole bunch of celebrities all at once. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was gracious and welcoming! It was just a lot to take in at first. I’d love the chance to make a wider impression either at next year’s CiL, or at Internet Librarian this fall.

Going back to Blake’s writings, he brings up the need for librarian bloggers to “…look at how we did things and look for the next step.” So I got thinking:

What about the idea of a collaborative blog somewhere as a conference journal of sorts? Imagine something like dedicated solely to a single event or series of events. I think the concentration level of bloggers at CiL this year had enough critical mass to make such a site worth reading. It might even be possible to use RSS to auto-harvest relevant posts from everybody’s blogs. (Structured Blogging might help here) I realize the blogdigger group already did this to a degree, but it had the flaw of capturing every post every member made, CiL related or not. And it will continue to capture posts from now on, making it less useful as an archive. As a side effect of the modified system, you’d get one RSS feed compiling all conference-related postings, Core and not. Take it a step further and put out a bi-monthly regular e-journal. It could go a long way towards combating attitudes such as Gorman’s rejection of blogging as too non-scholarly.

Or how about implementing our own tagging system, separate from Technorati? It could be more specialized and topical to the LIS world. Since Technorati still doesn’t seem to be parsing my links right for tags, I’d be 110% behind such an idea… If the fractionalization of that idea bothers you, then why not isntead set up an agreed upon controlled vocabulary of tags to use for the more common topics?

I’m not an idea man, so if even I can come up with basic stuff like that in a few quick minutes, I’m sure the LIS blogosphere as a whole can outdo them. Let’s get cracking!