Monday, March 24, 2008

Thinking it doesn't matter

I'm a pessimist by nature. I can't help it. So this morning I was starting to think about what to write about today, and wondering if it really matters because I don't have many readers. Not even my librarian friends read this regularly (okay, I admit I write too much to be read every day).

A new professor thought my blog was so neat that he set up two of his own, one for personal news and the other for professional stuff. He write to me last week asking why Google wasn't finding his blog. I admit I took several days to respond because I got really into some library survey results and ignored everything else during that time. So I wrote back and told him that Blogger has settings that give search engines permission to scan the blog.

I knew I had set up mine to be found by search engines, and went to look up "Reflections from a Small College Library" in Google. Strangely, I had to go to the "Include omitted results" to even find my profile, I never did find a link directly into my blog. However, I set up a Google Alert for the same search and it daily sends me a link to my own blog... I don't get the technology difference.

However, in my regular Google search I found that others have found my blog. There was a link to it on a site that listed blogs that included info on library marketing, and one person copied an entire post I wrote on the J.K. Rowling suing the HP Lexicon guy among other blogger's opinions (BTW we all seem to be against her). This was all, but I assume that more people read bits and pieces when they do a keyword search for something that interests them, and that only a tiny fraction are going to leave evidence of having been there. This is exciting. And since I am still a novice blogger, I can only assume this will grow.

I don't consider myself a particularly good writer, so I was very happy when I got quoted that it was a (surprisingly) intelligent post... thank goodness.

Now if I can build a ring of librarian bloggers from similar libraries so we can share ideas...


Iris said...

I know the feeling. I know it well. I used to worry that I wasn't writing enough, or that I was writing too much. I'd check my readership stats often (sometimes multiple times per day). I'd compare my stats to other people's stats (see this for evidence, written when my blog was just a little younger than your blog is now) and wonder a) if this meant I wasn't contributing and b) if I should care if I wasn't contributing.

Then all of a sudden I got more readers, and surprise of surprises, it freaked me out to the point that I now can't seem to write with the same openness or frequency. I'm starting to get over that shock now, so maybe I'll get back to writing more... we'll see.

In the mean time, I read your blog. And I'm from an institution of just under 2000 students, which, if I remember right, is not too far distant from the number of students you serve. :-)

supernumerarypa said...

Thank you so much, Iris! I had seen your blog and thought it was really good... I'm in the blog-adjustment stage of realizing I've been spending way too much time on blogs and newsletters and not enough time getting real work done. I'm slowly finding balance!

I still can't figure out how to check readership stats... now you've got me obsessed!

Now that I realize you're at a place so close in size to mine, I'll be one more person reading you closely!