Friday, October 05, 2007

Why we have library blogs

[The following story has been embellished but it was based on a true encounter.]

"Why do we (the library) need to have blogs?" a colleague asked.

All eyes in the room looked at me expectantly.

It was a logical, valid and innocuous question. It swept me off my feet. I felt my credibility at stake. It was a fundamental question that determined the outcome of the rest of the meeting (I was trying to show them that their blogging efforts -- for the library blogs -- was making a difference).

I mumbled a few words but shut-up almost immediately. Their eyes told me I was losing them.

Went over to the laptop on the meeting room table. Fired up Google. Typed in "spicy chicken broth". Hit 'Search'. Mentally crossed my fingers. Wasn't quite sure what to expect.

There was a noticeable tension in the room. It got so quiet that I could hear the soft mechanical whine of the laptop fan.

"Come on Google, don't let me down," I prayed.

Then Google spoke.

It displayed the first ten results (of the one million eight hundred and sixty thousand items it found, in zero point four seconds).
screenshot - "spicy chicken broth"

The fifth item. The link brought me to our blog.
Blog header - ASK! weblog

I turned around and faced the room.

"That's why."


  1. that is an excellent 3 word answer! :D
    "That is why" haha let the evidence do the talking!

  2. Oooh, because of the spicy chicken broth. [joking!]

  3. I think blogs serve as an important community reference tool to bring the library closer to people, more than just another platform to boost search rankings that fluctuate according to the whims and fancies of Google. They can alter their search algorithm anytime and take you out of their top ten rankings easily. It's a platform that new generation of users are familiar with. I think it also extends the community aspect of libraries into the online world.

  4. Excellent way to make a point. That's why nowadays, don't need office and fax etc. still not too worried that my clients cannot find me.

  5. Wow! That sounded a little risky. It's like you're an explorer about to be boiled alive in a cauldron by cannibals, when a solar eclipse happens at the same time you tell them you're a wizard... :-)

    Sometimes, it's much harder to convince one's peers and colleagues.

  6. Great answer. I will use this, when I speak to the California Association of Librarians, with attribution to you, of course.

  7. Simply Outstanding Ivan.


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