Friday, February 25, 2005

ALA President goes after blogging

Michael Gorman goes after blogs in this post to LibraryJournal. I think he is right in many ways especially with the google-cut-and-paste-a-link crowd who consider this to be "research."

Quote: "It is obvious that the Blog People read what they want to read rather than what is in front of them and judge me to be wrong on the basis of what they think rather than what I actually wrote. Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs. In that case, their rejection of my view is quite understandable."

I am a graduate student and I blog. OK. This is the refutation of his premise. I have to do enormous amounts of sustained complex reading. I treat my blog as a way to blow off steam or post a funny thing or to air out a thought. It is not authoritative in any way. But, there are many, many people who consider what is posted to a blog to be the God's Honest Truth(tm). It isn't. I know through a friend who works a Google that Google has really had to deal with bloggers and cross-linking because it seems to give authority by placing posts, which may be some wacko spewing vitriol, higher than more relevant status. This has devalued Google to some degree. This has been addressed, I think, by Google Scholar.

Still, there is no subsitute for going to the library and really digging in resources that will never be on the internet because the costs are so high to digitize and store it. Ask any librarian if they would like to digitize and make everything available to everybody and the answer would be "Yes!" The reality is much different.
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