Monday, August 07, 2006

Housekeeping: Writing, Library, Blogroll

Haven't done any blog writing this weekend because I've been hard at work substantially rewriting this because I've been invited to submit a reworked version here -- it's always nice to have a chance to get something into print, especially since my current focus of work doesn't allow it to happen several times a month the way it used to, but I do tend to get a little stressed when I'm called away from my main project regardless of the reason. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with how I've reworked it, now I just need to focus on getting the length down substantially (never my strongest suit).

On an unrelated note, I'd invite folks to check out LibraryThing, an online resource for cataloguing your own personal library that I discovered through this post at Queering The Apparatus. You can use LibraryThing in a number of ways: as a simple tool for keeping track of your own collection; as a way of generating recommendations from a non-commercial source as to what other books are owned by people who own specific books that you own or a similar profile of books; or as a social networking tool. I've entered in a fair proportion of my newer acquisitions, though I'm not sure I'm going to bother with all the novels I've owned since forever. Unfortunately, the books I am most interested in at the moment tend to be owned by few or no other participants in the project, so it isn't as useful for getting recommendations as I'd hoped, and I'm not sure I have the time or energy to really pursue it as a social networking tool. But I'm always nosey about what other people are reading, and it provides a place on the communal book pages to write or link to reviews of books that you own, so hopefully some folks will click on the links I've added and then read some of the reviews I've sweated over and published on this site over the last two years. Anyway, I think it's a pretty cool site, even if one could argue that it is on the pointless side, and I encourage others to participate as well! (Entering your books is easy...just type in the ISBN or other identifying feature and the site can search a couple of dozen databases from around the world to locate all the necessary details.)

And finally, I've been wondering about the etiquette and ethics of blogroll maintenance. Blogs, believe it or not, do not go on forever. Among the residents of the blogroll in my sidebar, the maintainers of Brown Rab Girl Fish, Blac(k)ademic, and Women of Colour Blog have all talked about quitting at one time or another. Those who write One Tenacious Baby Mama, Seminalson, Impetus Java House, and most recently Super Babymama, all actually seem to have taken permanent or at least indefinite leaves from blogging. As well, them what runs The Killing Train, Paul Street, Vegankid, and Empire Notes have significantly decreased their posting frequency since I originally linked to them (though Comeuppance updates a little more often than previously) and Direland's focus seems to have narrowed for the time being and is of less immediate interest to me (though no less political importance) than the broad range he used to cover (and may return to). What should be done with dormant blogs? Erasure? Their own separate blogroll? I hate to let 'em go if they're still up because they have good stuff on 'em, and right now it's not an issue because it's only four, but what happens in a few years time when it's several times that number?

Okay, so that's not such an urgent issue, and I'm not actually soliciting suggestions, but the personal and dynamic nature of the blogging medium does lead to issues that one does not face with other sorts of published material.

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