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BlogBib: Books on Blogging

Part 6 of BlogBib, An Annotated Bibliography on Weblogs and Blogging, with a Focus on Library/Librarian Blogs...

I'm Susan Herzog, Information Literacy Librarian @ Eastern Connecticut State University. This blog is part of my BlogBib, submitted to The Reference Librarian.

Part 1: Definitions & History
Part 2: Articles & Interviews About Blogs
Part 3: BlogBib: Blogging @Your Library
Part 4: BlogBib: Blogging Tools
Part 5: BlogBib: Select Librarian/Library Blogs
Part 7: BlogBib: Studies on Blogging
Part 8: BlogBib: Presentations on Blogging

Most of the books listed have a companion web site or blog; the URL is included in the citation.

Bausch, Paul, Matthew Haughey, and Meg Hourihan. We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing Inc., 2002. http://www.blogroots.com/book.blog.
Three members of the team that created Blogger provide a resource guide for veteran bloggers and newcomers. Hourihan writes a monthly column for O'Reilly <http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/ct/52>, as well as her blog, megnut <http://www.megnut.com>. Haughey started the popular community weblog, Metafilter <http://www.metafilter.com>, and Bausch’s blog is onfocus <http://www.onfocus.com>.

“We wanted to write a book that would appeal to both long-time bloggers and people just getting started. We also wanted to do more than document the technical workings of the various blogging systems since what really interests us about weblogs are the ways in which blogging has changed our social interactions online. Simply put, we wanted to write a book that would capture our passion for weblogs -- from the ways in which blogging has transformed our relationships with people both near and far to the technical workings of weblog tools like Movable Type and Radio Userland -- and allow us to share it with you… The full text of the book will eventually be online.”

Peppered with personal anecdotes, as well as advice on writing, this book is a comprehensive overview from blogging pioneers. Within the first few pages, we learn of the impact of September 11th on the blogging world and how bloggers often trump the traditional mass media. We Blog addresses why people blog, why people read blogs, navigating the blog universe, the building blocks of blogging, working with blog tools and services, understanding blog technology, connecting with your audience, using blogs in business, blog PR and syndication. It includes relevant screenshots, an appendix on HTML, another on Blog Tools, a glossary and an index. The web page currently contains chapters three, eight, and nine plus a long list of links to various resources.

Blood, Rebecca. The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002. http://www.rebeccablood.net/handbook/.

“Since starting Rebecca's Pocket <http://www.rebeccablood.net> in April 1999, Rebecca Blood has earned a reputation as an acute cultural observer. Her book, The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog, called ‘the Strunk & White of blogging books’ was chosen by Amazon as one of the 10 best books on digital culture for 2002. It has been translated into 4 languages.” This is not a how-to book; there are no screenshots. The emphasis is on writing and community with chapters such as “Finding Your Voice”, “Finding an Audience”, “Weblog Community and Etiquette” and “Living Online”. The Table of Contents, book reviews, referenced URLs, and the following excerpts: “weblog ethics”, “choosing the right blog tool”, and “there is a blog in your future”, are available on the web site.

___. We've Got Blog: How Weblogs are Changing our Culture. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002. http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/perseus/book_detail_redirect.do?imprintCid=BA&isbn=0738207411

Blood has gathered thirty-four essays by the best and brightest in the blogging world. Blood says it best: “The articles in this collection are early reflections on the weblog phenomenon….Not even the pioneers—some of whom contributed to this anthology—know where weblogs are going, or what place they will eventually fill….Most of the articles collected here appeared as real-time responses to the formation and expansion of the community as participants and observers attempted to make sense of the phenomenon that was growing around them. Like the weblogs that inspired them, they are thoughtful, brash, measured, pointed, enthusiastic, polished and blunt. I hope reading them will inspire you to log on to the Web and investigate this new and growing genre—and maybe to create one of your own.”

We've Got Blog includes links to all references, a glossary, and some background information on the authors. While all but three of these essays are still available online (search by title in your favorite search engine), this book will become a classic of web culture. The publisher’s web page for We've Got Blog <http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/perseus/book_detail_redirect.do?imprintCid=BA&isbn=0738207411> includes their Examination/Desk Copy policy.

Clyde, L. Anne. Weblogs and Libraries. Oxford, UK: Chandos, 2004.
Professor and Chair of the Library and Information Science Department at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík, where she teaches courses related to information technology in libraries and information agencies, Clyde is the most prolific European writer and presenter on blogging and libraries. This is the first book to be published on blogs and libraries, and the author’s credentials and blogging experience make it easy to recommend sight unseen. The following information is from the publisher’s web site:

This book discusses the topic of ‘weblogs and libraries’ from two main perspectives: weblogs as sources of information for libraries and librarians; and weblogs as tools that libraries can use to promote their services and to provide a means of communication with their clients. It begins with an overview of the whole weblog and blogging phenomenon and traces its development over the last six years. The many different kinds of weblogs are outlined (including personal weblogs, community weblogs, multimedia weblogs). The problem of locating weblogs is addressed through a discussion of weblog directories, search engines and other finding tools. Chapters include using weblogs as sources of information in the library or information service, the options for creating a weblog, and managing the library’s own weblog.

Librarians working in user services or in IT units in academic and public libraries, school librarians and students of library and information science

Key features
No other book currently available specifically addresses this highly topical subject

Weblogs are becoming more important as sources of up-to-date information on many different topics, and so librarians need to be aware of these resources, how they are created and by whom. Weblogs are already important as sources of news and current professional information in the field of library and information science; this book helps librarians to become familiar with the best weblogs in this field

While relatively few libraries have created their own weblogs, the use of weblogs has been recommended in the library/information press as a way of providing information for library patrons; this book helps library managers to make decisions about a weblog for their library
  • Content An overview of the weblog and blogging phenomenon - what are weblogs?, history, who creates weblogs?; types of weblogs; common features; moblogging; RSS and its use in weblogs
  • Weblogs as sources of current information - how useful are weblogs as sources of information?; evaluating weblogs as sources of information; some examples of quality weblogs (in social sciences, books and reading, news and current events, technology)
  • Finding weblogs - it’s not easy!; directories of weblogs; search engines for weblogs; other strategies
  • Weblogs in the field of library and information science - overview; weblogs dealing with library and information science as a topic; weblogs covering specialist topics in library and information science; weblogs created by professional associations and organisations; weblogs created by library and information schools; weblogs created by individual librarians (the ‘blogging librarian’); finding weblogs in this field Weblogs created by libraries: the state of the art - library weblogs; investigating library weblogs; what kinds of libraries are creating weblogs?; purposes for which libraries are creating weblogs; content of the weblogs created by libraries; how libraries are creating and maintaining their weblogs; some examples of library weblogs; evaluation of the library weblogs
  • Creating a weblog: the options - overview of the options; free weblog software options; commercial weblog software options; ‘roll your own’; weblog hosting - free services; weblog hosting - commercial services; weblog hosting - the library’s own web server; add-ons to spice up a weblog; moblogging; RSS feeds
  • Managing the library weblog - an overview of management issues associated with a library weblog; planning for the implementation of a library weblog; making the technical decisions; identifying the potential users of the library weblog; making decisions about and managing content and other features; making decisions about and managing interactivity; allocating staff time for weblog development and maintenance; budgeting for the weblog; promoting the weblog; evaluating the weblog project
  • Sources of information about weblogs - printed sources; web-based sources; weblogs about weblogs and blogging”

Doctorow, Cory, Rael Dornfest, J. Scott Johnson, Shelley Powers, Benjamin Trott, and Mena G. Trott. Essential Blogging. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 2002. http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/essblogging/.

Doctorow <http://www.craphound.com>, co-editor of Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things and outreach coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a regular contributor to Wired magazine and a columnist for the O'Reilly Network. Rael Dornfest, Chief Technology Officer at O’Reilly Media, is Series Editor of the O’Reilly Hacks series. Dornfest creator of the Blosxom weblog software, is Editor in Chief of MobileWhack <http://www.mobilewhack.com>; his blog is raelity bytes <http://www.raelity.org>. Shelley Powers wrote Developing ASP Components, Unix Power Tools, 3rd edition, and Practical RDF. Shelley's blog is Burningbird <http://weblog.burningbird.net>. Benjamin and Mena G. Trott are co-creators of Movable Type blogging software and partners and co-founders of Six Apart. Mena’s blog is dollarshort.org <http://dollarshort.org>. This expert team has put together a comprehensive guide to blogging and RSS.

This book is for the person who is ready to start blogging and needs guidance on the best tool for the job. Following a brief introduction, Essential Blogging focuses on blogging software and devotes a chapter each to the four most popular blogging tools, Blogger, Radio Userland, Movable Type, and Blosxom. The authors provide detailed installation, configuration and operation instructions. For each blogging tool they cover how to post; edit and delete entries; add pictures; syndicate your stories with RSS; change the appearance of your blog; and manage archives. Essential Blogging includes screenshots for each step, “Blogging Voices”, a chapter of inspirational advice from a wide range of bloggers, and an index. The publisher’s web page for Essential Blogging <http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/essblogging> includes the Table of Contents, Index, a sample chapter, Errata, their Examination/Desk Copy policy and Media and Reader Reviews.

Stauffer, Todd. Blog on: the essential guide to building dynamic weblogs. Berkeley, CA: McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2002.

Stauffer, author or co-author of more than twenty-five computing books, has written a very accessible “how-to book” for beginning to intermediate bloggers. The strength of this book is the focus on software. Stauffer provides an in-depth chapter on “Choosing Your Weblog Software and Server” with a chapter each on the following blogging software: Greymatter, Movable Type and pMachine. His chapter on Add-Ons for Your Weblog outlines tools to extend your blog. His chapter on “Using Weblogs in Organizations” focuses on the collaborative power of blogs. Stauffer includes screenshots, an index and an appendix full of links. The book’s web page link no longer works.

Stone, Biz. Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders, 2002. http://www.blogging.biz/index.html.

Biz Stone, Blogger Senior Specialist at Google Inc. and former Creative Director Of the popular weblog community, Xanga.com <http://www.xanga.com>, has written an excellent handbook, especially if you use Blogger software. [According to Clyde’s research (see <http://www.hi.is/~anne/lib-weblog.ppt>), as of September 2003, 43.6% of bloggers used Blogger software]. Stone is behind the expanded “how-to” articles on the Blogger site and has a second book, Who Let the Blogs Out?: A Hyperconnected Peek at the World of Weblogs, due out in November 2004. Find Stone’s blog, Biz Stone, Genius, at <http://www.bizstone.com>.

While this book is particularly useful for those just learning to blog (who want to use Blogger), Stone also briefly covers MovableType, Diaryland, GrokSoup, Radio Userland, Greymatter, Xanga and LiveJournal. His helpful section, “Who Should Use…”, points beginning bloggers toward blogger (if they want a free tool) or Radio (if they’re willing to pay) and expert users toward Greymatter.

Of all the blogging books, Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content, contains the most screenshots and the most specific directions on all aspects of blogging. Sections helpful for advanced bloggers include “Blogging with Style”, “Blogging for Dollars”, Working with Blogger Archives”, “Group Blogging”, Corporate Blogging” and “Adding Dynamic Features” such as a search feature, breaking news headlines, and e-mail subscriptions. The book includes an index; the web site includes the Table of Contents, reviews, and sample code that you can cut and paste into your blog.