Do you have a voice?: thoughts on MySpace and blogging

One of my best friends just e-mailed me saying she has a page on MySpace and asking me to be her “friend.”  Unfortunately, I don’t have a MySpace page and am not planning to have one.  I told her that managing two blogs has taken up all my online free time but I’ll definitely stay tuned with her MySpace.

 That evening, I read her posts and profile on MySpace and those of all her friends.  She is the kind of persons who rarely speak in front of a group but I always enjoy listening to what she says for she is very well read.  I asked her the next day whether she would write more posts; she said she was “working” on one.  I felt happy that she had a voice and I was glad to listen to her on MySpace.  It dawned on me that I just experienced one of the powers of blogging.

When I was first introduced the technology of blogging, I was excited about the technology and ready to try it, not because I knew how wonderful it was, but because it was new to me, I could see its applications on some things we do and all the cool “librarians”  were doing it.  One of the reasons I started Library Tech Talk was hoping that I would find some people to collaborate with online.  After all, it’s impossible to “network” if you are the only person on the grid.

After one month of blogging on Library Tech Talk, I gradually understand, not just on an intellectual level but also in my heart, that blogging is a powerful tool for building communities.  I can see many who would have been left out, unheard in a face-to-face world, due to either their personality or lack of time, now find their voices online by blogging. 

To sum up, here is what I learned:

1.  When it comes to technology, try it yourself first.  You will be more convincing when it’s time to persuade your management why we need to adopt it.

2.  Blogging and other social software allow conversations to take place and it is through conversations that we connect with people and build communities.

3.  Blogging gives people a tool to allow their voices to be heard. 

4.  Library people like to communicate, very often in silence (that’s how we read other people’s thoughts in print), therefore, blogging is a perfect tool for library people. 

Have I convinced you to try blogging yet?  Start with the Library Tech Talk blog.  This blog belongs to everyone in the library community.  Don’t feel your are not nerdy or geeky enough to post on this blog.  Sign up for a WordPress account, send me the e-mail address you use for signing-up and I will add you to be one of the authors of this blog.  Use this blog as a sandbox — I’ll play with you!

Or you can post your comments to any of the blog posts.  By the way, is anybody there?

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~ by Roseline on February 21, 2007.

5 Responses to “Do you have a voice?: thoughts on MySpace and blogging”

  1. “Blogging and other social software allow conversations to take place and it is through conversations that we connect with people and build communities.”

    Well said, and when you can write a post about tags and LibraryThing, and get a response directly from Tim Spalding, you have proved the point. Wow. I’m in.

  2. Roseline, I think we need to look at ways to market this blog, what do you think? I think once it catches on it will be a great forum for all local library staff to post thoughts and comments about technology.

  3. From The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil:

    When Microsoft head blogger Robert Scoble was asked if it mattered if he only had a handful of readers, he replied “If you know Bill Gates and Steve Jobs read you every morning, wouldn’t that be a trip?” The important thing is not how many people make comments, but who is reading and are they people who will make change. You’re already there.

  4. You are quite right, Wendy! WordPress has this great feature for me to track whether people are linking to our post, how many RSS readers and views Library Tech Talk blog receives every day. To be honest with you, I am quite obsessed with those figures right now (but will soon get over with it) and am happy to report, without marketing Tech Talk, the numbers look good.

    Lately, I have got into a habit of analysing people’s blog posts — the writing styles, the purposes of posts, the kinds of comments and the volume of traffic, etc. It is an interesting exercise. I encourage you to try it sometimes. It is one way to learn how online communities are formed, stayed together and behave.

    To answer Mary’s question, we will start marketing this blog as soon as we present our official “About” page and blogging guidelines to our sponsor — MCLC Continuing Education Committee. With their approval, we will get the words out, including e-mailing Jenny Levine at ALA, who is very interested in what we are doing.

  5. Then, too, there a great number of avid blog READERS that very rarely post comments – there’s even an official blog “de-lurking” day, to encourage those readers who lurk to come out and post a little comment.

    The point is, that a blog may be very widely read, and just because only a few people comment doesn’t mean that the community still isn’t there.

    I’ve mentioned before that I read a fairly large number of blogs – only a couple of which I’ve ever commented on.

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