Reasons To Like Team Blogging

There’s a good read in the Wall Street Journal today (free access – yeah!) that will catch the attention of any blogger – and I know we’ve got a fair number of bloggers among our readers. It’s about the vacation dilemma. What do you do when it’s time to get away for a week or two? Do you just tell the readers to forget about your blog for a while? Do you get a guest blogger?

I faced this dilemma back in July with my other blog that is a solo effort. I definitely did not want to post while I was going to be away for the week (my decision had absolutely nothing to do with my spouse’s threats to do bodily harm if a laptop was spotted hidden away in my luggage), but I did have some worries about how that might affect readership. When I vacationed for a longer period in 2005 I enlisted fellow ACRLog blogger Marc Meola to fill in for me, which I think helped during that longer absence. So I decided just to post an announcement that I was taking off from posting for the week. Readership was certainly low that week, but it did bounce back after two weeks or so. I guess the lesson is that none of us library bloggers is so crucial to anyone’s reading regimen that we’ll be missed (but that’s not necessarily the case with some bloggers according to the WSJ article), and that when we do take off we’ll eventually get the readers back – or we’ll gain some new ones to replace any that are lost.

All that aside, being part of a blogging team such as ACRLog is really nice because any of the bloggers can take some time off and the rest of the team can keep the posts coming. That’s not the only reason to like it – it also gives the reader a better mix and variety of perspectives, subject coverage, opinions, and writing styles. It’s also rewarding to share the development of the blog with great colleagues. While ACRLog is still a few months away from completing our first year of blogging, we will be giving thought to some sort of survey to learn more about how we are doing and to get your thoughts on how we can improve this blog (more posts, fewer posts, shorter posts, more guest blogging, more special features, more visuals, better conference blogging, don’t change a thing, etc.). If you would like to share any thoughts at this time though – leave a comment – they are always appreciated.

2 thoughts on “Reasons To Like Team Blogging”

  1. This is an interesting and timely post. I have blogs for the university and a personal blog (vacation time? no worries … readership is beyond low) and have just this summer started a professional blog with another academic librarian. Though in its infancy, we are already noticing good things from collaboration/group blogging. Most importantly, our job differences mean we are busy during different times of the year. I am traditionally swamped at the end of the term. She is swamped at the begging of the term. We will each be able to carry on with the blog as time permits.

    Before beginning, we spent a lot of time with our ground rules and discussing the importance of different writing styles, topics, and job reflections. We hope this will keep the blog from getting stale. In response to your question about special features, right now I am blog widget happy; ZoomCloud, WorldCat Beta, LibraryThing, and others. Why? It’s just fun.

  2. Steve:
    I maintained a weekly email list (in the pre-blog world) and then weekly web site (before Web 2.0 “existed”). The content was time sensitive and also cummulative so if I missed something, I would need to go back and include it later (it was a concert calendar). Vacations were often a challenging time on the home front. However, I found that the readership of my email list, and later the web site, were very sympathetic and it was often at these times that I received the most kudos for my work. Needless to say, after doing this weekly for 7 years, I finally sold the domain name and stopped doing it in any form. I enjoyed the time but am also happy to not being doing it anymore.

    Hope this helps someone.

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