what if you’re blogging in a void?

One of the most emphatic rules of blogging is that it should build community. That’s one of its hallmarks, and one reason it qualifies as a Web 2.0 phenomenon. If people aren’t talking back (or perhaps at least linking to a post now and then), then you could be blogging in a void.

I have just looked at over 50 academic library blogs and the range of frequency of comments varies widely. The entire exploration is here.

The prize for most comments on any one specific post goes to the Pensacola Junior College Library blog. The posting, which attracted 21 comments, was to an article at Surfline.com about the top ten “surf colleges” in America. The Pensacola Junior College Library blog also gets top honors for overall interaction. I examined the 50 libraries for their overall interaction in the months of March 2008, 2009, 2010. Pensacola posted 46 entries and had 186 comments.

Back to “blogging in a void”: of course there is no way to know if anyone is reading your blog if you turn the comments off. I realize there are reasons for doing this, but you certainly will get no idea of your blog’s success nor will you build any community in so doing. Who does this? Well, my census was random, but here are a few libraries that turn comments off on their blogs:

Auburn University Libraries “What’s New”
Lawrence University Library in Wisconsin
Mulford Library Blog (Toledo, Ohio)
There were a few others.

Again, back to blogging in a void: What if you post almost every day of every month, but attract no discussion, and your comments are turned on? It could be that you really aren’t blogging in a void — Chuck Jones at New York University’s “AWOL” Blog (The Ancient World Online) writes frequently, and leverages technology to promote the blog. I hope to be corresponding with him soon to get some of the specifics on how he uses Atom, Twitter, and Facebook to disseminate his blog content.

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One Comment on “what if you’re blogging in a void?”

  1. Anita says:

    Perhaps, with the popularity of facebook and Twitter today, many of those online are focused on themselves and their social networking. These folks are not blogging, not reading blogs and not commenting on blogs. And yet they’re online for vast amounts of time and have a million ‘friends’. My only point being, that this narrows down the pool of those online from those participating in any type of blogging activity. On the other hand, perhaps some blogs are just dull.


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