Sunday, February 21, 2010

Interesting Feedback...

Thanks to Google Alerts* I was notified about a fairly unpleasant description of this blog, which appears to be written as a class exercise for Meredith Farkas's LIBR246-04/13 Web 2.0 course. The author's name is Marc Schatkun. You can read it here.

I'd like to respond.
1) "Judging by the few comments she receives, it appears that her blog is not very successful."

Wait, so the best measure of a 'successful' blog is by counting the number of comments? I guess I really should quit now then. I've been measuring success differently: I have really enjoyed maintaining a log of what I've been working on and thinking about in libraryland over the years. When I look back I can see where my thinking has developed and where I've improved. Also, I'm really glad to have a professional 'face' outside of my job where I can work through ideas and thinking. Anyone is welcome to comment, but worrying about how many people are leaving comments has certainly never been high on my priority list for this.

2) "I browsed through a few of her writings, and it seems that she is anti-Facebook, anti-Twitter, and anti-social software in general"

Hold up, I am not anti- any of those things! I am the administrator of our library's Facebook and Twitter accounts! Please Mr. Schatkun, do more than 'browse' next time! And give me a little credit for being a bit skeptical about social technologies, unlike many of my young peers.

3) "I like to read about professional topics, not personal diaries (as in the Librarian’s Commute)."

Wait, does this blog come across as a personal diary? Holy moley, I thought I was being really good about Avoiding Personal Topics, & writing about what I run into in higher education and librarianship. I do try and keep the tone light and friendly, but I really don't think this blog is any more personal than other well-respected library blogs, such as Jenica Rogers Urbank's delightful "Attempting Elegance," K.G. Schneider's "Free Range Librarian" and Meredith's own "Information Wants to be Free"

I really don't care whether Mr. Schatkun wants to read my blog or not, but I wish his criticism was accurate! (And yes, a part of me is thinking 'maybe the whole point of what he wrote was to get a reaction and encourage social media participation.' If so I blow a big raspberry to you, sir.)

Next week: Mission statement for the Librarian's Commute, for the next time there's confusion.

* Schatkun's post is marked as being from 2/10/10 -- would have been nice to know about it a little sooner, ahem Google.


  1. I agree with your sentiments re: comments. It's a bit harsh to have someone criticize your blog after only browsing it for a short while. I enjoy following you anyways, so keep up the good work!!

  2. I hope you saw all of the other posts that had very complimentary things to say about your blog too (you can click on the Exercise 2 tag under his post to see other blog posts from students that week)! The students last week were assigned to read your blog (and four others) to get a sense of the different styles of blogs. I thought yours is a great example of the more personal, more thoughtful essay-type blog post. Some people really enjoyed your style of posting, some loved In the Library with the Lead Pipe's more researched, peer-reviewed style, some liked blogs that had very brief posts, and some preferred the blogs that contained mostly links to useful articles and technologies.

    While I agree with you that some of his criticisms of your blog (especially the anti-social software and lack of comments=unsuccessful blog) are unfounded, I think what he was trying to say about "personal diaries" was not about you writing personal things but that your posts are more like personal essays than something from say the Distant Librarian or Mashable which are more about sharing cool resources. Some people like your style of posting (and mine, and Karen's, and Jenica's) and some people don't. Some people read blogs to find useful news and resources and some people like to read other people's thoughts on issues. That's a personal taste thing.

    If you want to communicate with Marc directly, you can comment on his post -- all you have to do is register for an account on the site (which I'll approve as soon as I see it) and then you can comment on any post in there.

  3. Actually you're better looking at the list of tags for the course to see the other posts as I notice that some tagged their post Exercise #2 and some Exercise 2 and others Exercise2. Clicking on each of those tags will give you the posts that used that tag.

  4. Meredith, I'm flattered :-)

    And I really should get on top of writing some kind of 'who I am and what I'm doing here' statement now that I know this is being assigned in a class!

  5. My "About Me" page is lame and woefully out of date, so I can relate. Your blog does exactly what I tell my students they need to do if they blog -- it perfectly captures your unique voice. To me, that's just the kind of blog that I want to read, because I get so much about hearing someone else's thoughts on things that interest me. There's a place for resource blogs (and I love those too), but it's blogs like yours, Jenica's, Karen's, etc. that really get me thinking and are always the ones whose posts I save for when I have time to really think about what I'm reading (rather than just skim like I usually do).

  6. I just took some time to read through the other reactions to the Librarian's Commute, and I'm heartened to see some positive reactions too!

    It's kinda funny how the only one that Google Alerts notified me about was Marc's!

  7. My apologies, Olivia, for reading just a few of your posts and coming to the wrong conclusions. When I read your Dec. 2008 blogs, "as i mentioned in the previous post, i have not always been a fan of twitter…i set up an account a while ago, but i never used it and concluded it was a waste of time,” I took it out of context and concluded that you were anti-social software. Unfortunately, with two jobs (one as a full-time middle school librarian and a second as a math/auto instructor at a community college), two courses at SJSU SLIS and long reading lists, about all I have time for is getting the jist of a site or article.

    It's also easy to forget that everything we write in Meredith's course is public, which is entirely new for me (all 10 of my previous SJSU SLIS courses were private). I never intended or expected to “get a reaction,” but the fact that you got a great review from Meredith and others is very positive. I’m sure that I will also have positive things to say about your ideas when I get a chance to fully read what you have to say (perhaps when my courses are over?).

    Best wishes,

  8. Thanks for commenting Marc -- I too was surprised to be able to peer into your course. It's a brave new world for everyone.

    Good luck with your studies and jobs, and maybe we'll have the opportunity to work together in the future!