Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Some quick thoughts on Life and Blogging

I recently read Walt Crawford's essay "Life Trumps Blogging" that he publishes in the latest Cites and Insights (get the PDF here, the actual page in html to the essay here). These are just some quick thoughts I had as I was reading it. I am in the middle of drafting my "why do I blog" post, which for some reason keeps getting more complicated, but we'll see on that later. At any rate, my thoughts.

It seems to me that the title of the essay and what it says is common sense. For instance, Walt writes "that a vacation works better if the notebook stays at home (or at least stays off the internet as much as possible)." I know I would make a lousy conference or travel blogger because I would not be carrying a laptop. Travel for me is time to disconnect. I have plenty of internet time at home and especially at work. Sure, if I got the inclination to check e-mail on some freely available terminal, I might send the better half a note, but otherwise, I have not seen the need to carry a laptop. Does not mean I may not at some future if work were to require it, but as I know this is slim, I am pretty comfortable. I do however carry my personal journal for notes, so I would be able to post things when I get back, which has the added advantage that I can reflect on things. Anyhow, just my philosophy. For those who are always connected, I am sure it works for them.

When I discovered the essay, I was a bit sceptical. Not because of Walt's writing, which I know is among the most brilliant, but because I figured why would anyone need to write an essay about something that seems so common sense, well, to me at least. However, Walt's essay was interesting. I particularly liked seeing the various examples from other bloggers and writers that he presented, and I liked the little advice he gives at the end. I actually saw some of the posts he mentioned from people either taking a hiatus or leaving the blogosphere. Those who are gone for good I will miss, but I know that they have to do what they have to do: pure and simple. As Walt says, for those who may be taking a break, no explanation is required or needed. Having said that, odds are I may do such if I take a hiatus. I am funny that way. I don't need others to explain, yet I expect it of myself. Go figure. As for writing, I do need to write, and blogging has been and continues to be a nice extension of that. I do so for various reasons, which I am trying to explore in my other draft, but such reasons include seeking a little meaning and explaining things to myself.

At any rate, go read that great essay, and the rest of the issue of Cites and Insights is great as well. Walt has a reply to an essay by Blake of LISNews on the future of libraries which is worth reading. Walt recommends reading Blake's work first. If asked, I agree more with the way Walt took Blake's ideas apart and explained them. What disturbed me about the Blake piece was the fact that it seemed to leave behind those who could not afford the technological future he envisions. This was pointed out by some of the commenters in Blake's piece. Reading both makes for an interesting conversation. I won't add much here since I think what needed to be said in that regard has already been said by people who are more eloquent and knowledgeable than I could ever be. But hey, someone leaves me a comment, I may reply.


walt said...

Thanks for the kind words. I seem to have struck a nerve with that essay--maybe because it would not have been obvious, say, a year ago, when library bloggers seemed to feel that they had to post frequently no matter the circumstances.

Your post strikes me as being said at least as well as mine and others...

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Walt: You are most welcome. It does seem like you have struck a nerve if the posts I am seeing from various bloggers referring to your essay are an indication. I will say I did not see that detail of the situation about a year ago. I do get the impression that at some moment in time librarians felt a pressure to have blogs and jump into them and then continue posting and working on them. Like it was the thing to do, for good or not. By now, I think librarians are a bit more relaxed. They may still feel the need to experiment, but I think some now can see if it is for them or not without any guilt. Do keep in mind I have been blogging myself for less than a year. I am going by what I have seen so far. Thanks for stopping by, and best.