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The thing about blogging is that not only do you have to decide on the content of your blog, as I talked about in my earlier post, but also you need to decide on your audience.

Who are you writing your blog for? Is it for yourself alone? In that case, you can make it private, since you will be the only one to access it. You might think in that case, why bother with a blog, why not just write a diary in a Word document on the computer? But there are advantages to posting a blog online, even if it’s just for you. You might be at a different computer – say at work (in your lunch hour, of course!) or overseas at an internet cafe. You can still have access to on online blog anywhere, any time. Also, if you had a diary just on the computer, you are at risk of losing everything if your computer blows up or gets stolen. It does happen. Another point is that your computer may be a shared computer, and you might not want other people to have the opportunity to access your private reflections. With a private online blog you can restrict access by password.

However, I should think that most blogs are intended for an audience. And if you are writing your blog for an audience, you want them to see the posts you have written for them. If that intended audience is only people you know – friends and family, for example – it is easy enough to let people know your blog address and invite them to visit.

But what if your blog is intended for a wider audience, which doesn’t know you personally?  You don’t know them either, but you want them to be able to access your blog. How do you get your blog out there to your intended audience? In what ways do you publicise your blog?

These thoughts came to me recently when I was creating my first blog post. I mentioned two library blogs in that post, the blog of Christchurch City Libraries, and the Arts blog at the University of Auckland Library. Now I would like to challenge you to find these two blogs.

I will give you a start: the home page of Christchurch City Libraries is here, and the home page of the University of Auckland Library is here.  Ready, set, go!

Now, I’m pretty sure that, like me, you were able to find the blog of Christchurch City Libraries almost instantly. The website of Christchurch City Libraries is a shining example to other libraries around the country. It is well set out and its blog is a valuable marketing tool for the library which is easy to find on the front page of the libraries’ website.

But did you find the Arts blog of the University of Auckland Library? If you did, congratulations. You are much better at finding blogs than I am.

If you didn’t find it, the link is here. Take a look at this blog. It is a pretty good blog, isn’t it? Quite a bit of thought has gone into creating and maintaining this blog. So it seems a pity that it is buried under layers of pages. Many people will not even realise it exists. And if they do think there might be a blog, they are likely to give up the chase before they locate it. And all the work that had gone into the blog will be of no avail.

I am not picking on the Arts blog in order to criticise it. I just want to show that if a library wants to realise the full potential of its blog, it needs to put more thought into how to get it out there to its audience.

My point is that as librarians, we need to be aware of the publicity value of our blogs. We need to make sure that our blogs are clearly evident and easy to find. Otherwise, why are we doing it?

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More on Google

For another view on the influence of Google in the sphere of digital media,  check out this comment by Lynley Hood on the impact of the Google Book Settlement on New Zealand taonga and intellectual property. This comment was posted on Beattie’s Book Blog on the 18th of August, and it’s worth reading the comments underneath the blog to get a sense of the debate in New Zealand over this Google enterprise.

 Although we live in a global village in terms of accessibility to digtitised media, it seems that the rights of New Zealanders over their intellectual property are harder to enforce away from our shores. My take on this is that the New Zealand Government should make every effort to protect our taonga and the intellectual property of New Zealanders in the world marketplace.

What do you think?

Here is the first part of a talk by David Rumsey about  the transformation of his library of historical maps into digital format. This is a great example of someone tapping into the huge potential of digital media.

It is exciting to see Rumsey’s engagement with Second Life. Here in New Zealand there are a number of initiatives to use Second Life in tertiary education, and I think there is a great (as yet largely untapped) opportunity for libraries to participate in Second Life learning projects as well.

This is my first blog post for the INFO525 blog assignment.

My first decision in creating this blog is: What kind of blog will this be?  Although the original term for blogs, Web Logs, seems to indicate that a blog is somewhat like a diary (think Samuel Pepys)  the first thing I noticed about blogs is that, unlike a diary, they usually cover a specific subject area or theme. This might be political commentary, musings on the meaning of life, or the record of a project to cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s classic work on French cooking.

Even library-related blogs can vary wildly. Among other approaches there is serious commentary on the profession, aggregating news blogs giving library-related updates, and satire.

New Zealand-based blogs for librarians include comment and news updates about the world of books, thoughts on being a librarian, and commentary on information-related issues.

As well as all these blogs for librarians, there are the blogs created by librarians to inform their audience, giving updates on news of the library and interesting new acquisitions.

However, this blog is related to the INFO525 paper so I’ll try and keep it reasonably focussed. Watch this space!

Career Librarian

But before I get down to the serious stuff . . .

Here’s a job interview for librarians, Monty Python style.