Internet Anxiety Disorder

I’ve enjoyed reading Bibliotheke lately. Two posts have come up on a few PubSub subscriptions. William Melody has some pretty strong views on subjects that I am also interested in. We disagree on a few topics and that’s ok with me. In fact, it’s much more interesting these days to read blogs that make me think more about my own writings and theories about librarianship (Thanks Walt for making me see the light – you know, there is a reason why I consider you amy mentor)

Last week, William wrote about Internet Anxiety Disorder:

“Blogging is largely viewed as the act or writing about what going on now, as in right now. You’ve missed the train if you wait a day or two to comment on piece of news. I think this is where this whole “blog or die” attitude comes from. After all, the biggest proponents are bloggers.”

“What we are seeing is a continuation of the boom-era problem of internet/information anxiety. With librarians, however, it can seem worse for the reasons described above. Because of this, I think it’s important for librarians to realize that, contrary to popular belief, blogging isn’t God’s gift to libraries and not everyone should worry about it quite so much.”

So, I’m commenting on William’s post from last week to prove a point. I haven’t “missed the train” on his post and I’m commenting on it 5 days later. And for those that don’t think that William’s post isn’t a piece of news, think again. Every blog post, IMO, is a piece of news. This one is a commentary, which is also news, just not “breaking news”, to which William is probably referring. Many comments on my posts come many days (even weeks) after the initial post. It’s also not (for me) about ‘blog or die’. It’s about ‘blog and share.’ Recently, one of my “RSS Colleagues” IM’d me to share a new Bloglines tool that he created. He said, “this won’t help you because you’re not a Bloglines user.” My reply: “Tell me about it because many of the people that I help are Bloglines users.” I could care less that I broke a news story. I just want to make sure that my readers know about it. It’s not a pissing contest. This is one of the reasons why I always give attribution for content found in my posts. Let others have the credit for finding it. I’ll just share it. I would hope that my fellow librarian bloggers feel the same way.

I also should comment on his “G-d’s gift to libraries” comment. Blogs are definitely not G-d’s gift to libraries, and I don’t think that librarians should “worry” about blogs. I think that librarians should embrace blogs if they feel that they will help their library. I used to think that every library should have a blog and that every library employee should as well. I’ve since matured (a year of Internet time is about 30 years regular time, right?) and understand that you can lead a library/librarian to a blog, but you can’t make them post. So, maybe William is right: not everyone should worry about them. But at the very least they should know what blogs are and how they can possibly improve the way libraries/librarians communicate with their staff and patrons.

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