Glacial Erratics

Blogs: Moving the Bait

May 01, 2005

SB received her copy the SLIS Network alumni magazine today. I suspect they've lost me somehow (off the hook for now, but see below).    (PIF)

It opens with a note from the Dean, Blaise Cronin, lovingly entitled: BLOG: see also Bathetically Ludicrous Online Gossip.    (PIG)

Blaise has a strong reputation as someone who loves to stir controversy. It helps him support his persistent belief that citation is a greater indicator of academic importance than content. Blaise is a brilliant strategist on a fishing trip so I find myself reluctant to write in response, but his last paragraph compels:    (PIH)

One wonders for whom these hapless souls blog. Why do they chose to they expose their unremarkable opinions, sententious drivel and unedifying private lives to the potential gaze of total strangers? What prompts this particular kind of digital exhibitionism? The present generation of bloggers seems to imagine that such crassly egotistical behavior is socially acceptable and that time-honored editorial and filtering functions have no place in cyberspace. Undoubtedly, these are the same individuals who believe that the free-for-all, communitarian approach of Wikipedia is the way forward. Librarians, of course, know better. ps    (PII)

Under some circumstances, I might be willing to agree with Blaise. Ross reports back from Les Blogs:    (PIJ)

Barak from 6A noted that focus groups show people consistently think of bloggers are people who are self-important and have too much time on their hands.    (PIK)

thoughts I've had myself on a rainy day.    (PIL)

But there are two things:    (PIM)

Blaise is the dean of a major site for information science education and research. He's showing a, um, bias here that's inappropriate for a place that should be pushing the boundaries of communication and knowledge enhancement forward, not holding them back. He's also playing political games with his own faculty that are too ridiculous to mention further.    (PIN)

And that bit about Wikipedia certainly brushes up against my chosen lines of work. Blaise speaks there as if he is the voice for all librarians. The librarians I know and cherish, of course, know better than Blaise.    (PIO)

Where I am in life today has a great deal to do with what I was able to milk out of my SLIS education. It came from my own assiduous exploration and the support of some very special people. It had very little to do with the policies and programs overseen by Blaise, and if he continues with these blinders the school will be unable to produce the sort of graduates the world needs.    (PIP)

Update: Blaise has posted a response to all the static he's received.    (PMH)


On May 1, 2005 01:51 AM BobTheSLISGrad said:

My first reaction to reading that article this month was "What a pompous windbag."    (PIQ)

His opinion on things means about as much to me as most people's - i.e. not much. I never cared for the man and thought he was a bit self-aggrandizing and not really in touch with the things going on around him in the school.    (PIR)

He strikes me much like McRobbie? - he goes for big name, high recognition projects regardless of whether they are the best direction to take. To me, that's irresponsible. Why they rehired him I'll never know.    (PIS)

On May 1, 2005 02:10 AM Dave! said:

Actually, Blaise is asking the wrong question. I post my "unremarkable opinions, sententious drivel and unedifying private [life]" for a dozen or so people I know/knew. Blogging (for me) is a means of keeping in touch with the lives of friends that is simply more convenient than the phone. Sharing the mundane is what we do in "real life" each and every day; the technology of the Internet (such as blogging) simply breaks down the barrier of distance. There's obviously no need to go into the advantages of professional blogging here.    (PIT)

The real question is why are pompous windbags like Blaise compelled to read blog drivel? The blogging phenomenon is as much about voyeurism as it is exhibitionism. And with a penchant for hyperbolic statements that reek of unchecked egoism and misinformed opinion, I think Blaise is in desperate need of a blog of his own!    (PIU)

On May 3, 2005 12:08 AM mike said:

Brilliant!    (PK3)