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An Annotated Bibliography on Weblogs and Blogging, with a Focus on Library/Librarian Blogs...

While reading the news recently I stumbled upon a business which attributes blogging as a critical contributor to the phenomenal growth of their brand. Admittedly I had never heard of the brand before reading the article and like many I assumed Deckers Corporation’s UGG Australia to be the only offering in the industry. Over the past 5 years Deckers have become one of the world’s most recognised brands largely through celebrity endorsement and advertising in traditional mediums like magazines. Historically speaking establishing market share when one brand is so overpowering is virtually impossible. Customers don’t know to seek you out and the cost of mass media is not within reach of start-ups. It is for this reason the blogosphere and now social media platforms offer the budding entrepreneur something quite unique. The ability to communicate a message to millions for the cost of creativity or a moderate marketing budget provides the leverage new ideas and businesses need to compete with the multi-million dollar budgets of major brands.

Whooga the sheepskin footwear start-up like many recognised this opportunity and contacted influential fashion bloggers with readers numbering in the hundreds of thousands. The campaign began simply as an effort to educate bloggers that an alternative brand of ugg boots existed. It seems this was done in a sequence which caused enough ‘viral buzz’ among the network. Bloggers now began spreading their message and while it is difficult to ascertain just how broad a reach they achieved it is clear it has worked. Comparatively speaking Whooga could continue to double in popularity and still not touch the worldwide reach of UGG Australia but the brand has had an opportunity to launch which may not have been possible via traditional mediums without a large amount of financial risk.

Can blogging compare to mainstream media publications? A large fashion blog may have 100,000 readers per day. Assuming a post lasts for a week a single advertisement might receive close to 1 million views which is certainly comparative to regional TV advertising. Beyond the obvious cost advantages advertisers also have the luxury of knowing that the 1 million visitors are likely fashion minded or at least moderately interested in the theme of the blog. Blogs often allow feedback and a click through tracking which provides businesses with a means of measuring the effectiveness of their advertisements.
Blogbib's New Direction
Over the coming months it is my intention to bring this blog up to speed on what Susan has appropriately termed the explosion of blogs and blogging. First I must offer a word of thanks. Recently I managed to convince Susan to let me continue the tremendous amount of effort and dedication she applied to this blog. I realize this decision would not have been an easy one so I wish to offer my sincere thanks for both the effort she has donated into developing this blog and her kindness in letting me continue to operate it. It is my intention to review the growth and evolution of blogging over the previous years as well as touch on the emergence of trends and technologies which have heavily influenced the blogosphere. I do not and could not consider removing any content from this blog but I will reorganize in order to provide a concise location for my updates. All of the information previously accessible on this page is now viewable by clicking the link at the bottom of the post.

Since early 2007 a number of emerging trends and technologies have dramatically changed the landscape of the blogosphere. The even greater explosion of social networking and micro blogging has heralded a new dawn of personal, professional and commercial online expression. How have these platforms influenced the blogosphere and what does the future hold for the internet’s first form of personal expression, the web log?

Evolving definition and scope of blogs
Over the course of the last 2 years both the frequency and prominence of commercial blogs also exploded. Popular blogging platforms like Wordpress and Google’s Blogger are used for an increasing variety of purposes by both individuals and businesses. Business advertising has evolved to leverage the massive potential and influence of the blogosphere. Modern brand building now often incorporates initiatives that utilize the phenomenal amount of followers that popular blogs command. This can be as simple as the following Jewelry business promoting humorous ‘blog badges’ or the launch of hugely popular blog icon such as icanhascheesburger into one of the most frequently visited sites on the web. Not so long ago an online Jewelry stores pages would be filled with only earrings and necklaces but now many modern online retailers are offering bloggers marketing resources and also devoting a great deal of time to developing well followed commercial blogs.

A glimpse into the future
The last 2 years of blogging have seen more changes than the previous 10. What direction are blogs likely to take in the foreseeable future? Is there enough space in our ever shrinking attention spans when platforms like Facebook offer blog like features? What will micro blogging do the blogosphere? How will marketers like the aforementioned Jewelry site continue to leverage and influence bloggers?

by Susan Herzog, Information Literacy Librarian @ Eastern Connecticut State University

The blogosphere, the worldwide community of blogs, has rapidly evolved into a phenomenon to be taken seriously, with many librarians at the forefront of this publishing revolution. Blogs are an easy, cost-effective PR tool for savvy librarians and have been implemented, for various purposes, in every type of library. This annotated bibliography includes definitions, articles about blogging and about library blogs, books, studies, links to samples of the myriad library blogs, tools for creating and using blogs, and links to presentations on blogging. An update of my first blog, BlogBib, presented as a poster session at the American Library Association Annual Conference in 2002, the bibliography is organized by categories, then alphabetically within categories, and is available online at http://blog-bib.blogspot.com/. While most entries are from the United States of America, BlogBib includes blogs and commentary from Canada, Europe, and Australia as well. Coverage includes academic, public, school, and special libraries. Due to the scope and size of the bibliography, articles focusing on RSS have deliberately been ignored.

To see part 1 and archived posts: