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Iwr g mc-k-may2008

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  • 1. Bronx-born Gerry McKiernan is one of the most popular bloggers on the web. IWR finds out why he does it and if he has any time for anything else BLOGOSPHEREInformation professionals guiding you to the best bits of the blogosphere HTTP://BLOG.IWR.CO.UK23 WWW.IWR.CO.UK INFORMATION WORLD REVIEW MAY 2008 Q What do you do? A I’m a science and technology librarian at Iowa State University Library in Ames with primary responsibilities for collection development, instruction, and reference and research services in a variety of engineering disciplines. I’m into blogging, online social networking, drinking micro-brewed ales and beer, discussing the news of the day, listening to classic rock-n-roll, and travelling. Q Describe your blog. A My main blog, Friends (http:// onlinesocialnetworks.blogspot.com), is devoted to the use of online social networking sites for library-related programmes and services. Friends includes announcements and general news about online social networking sites and services within organisations, with a focus on their use by libraries and librarians. It also includes citations to significant articles, books, presentations and other publications, and links to the the full text of these items. Q How long have you been blogging? A I’ve been on Blogger since November 2003. Q What started you off? A My first personal blog, Theoretical Librarian (http://theoretical-librarian. blogspot.com), was intended to inform the wider information and library community of emerging developments that I believed were significant. Theoretical Librarian also included postings on personal, political and professional news. Q Which bloggers do you watch, link to and why? A I am a fan of a number of professional blogs, particularly Jenny Levine’s The Shifted Librarian (www.theshiftedlibrarian.com), Steven Cohen’s Library Stuff (www.librarystuff.net), Meredith Farkas’s Information Wants To Be Free (http://meredith.wolfwater.com), Karen Schneider’s Free Range Librarian (http://freerangelibrarian. com), Sarah Houghton’s Librarian In Black (http:// librarianinblack. typepad.com), Ellyssa Kroski’s InfoTangle (http://infotangle. blogsome.com), Jessamyn West’s Librarian.net (www.librarian. net), Brian Mathews’ The Ubiquitous Librarian (http://theubiquitouslibrarian. typepad.com), Stephen Abram’s Stephen’s Lighthouse (http:// stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com), and Michael Stevens’ Tame The Web (http://tametheweb.com), among many others. Q Do you comment on other blogs? A My posts are usually limited to related news or developments. Q Does your organisation benefit from your blogosphere presence? A Yes, I believe so. I am sincerely honoured by colleagues who link to my blogs noting that my initiatives are associated with Iowa State University or its library. Q What blogs in your sector do you trust? A I do not have absolute trust in any information or news source, although certain blogs are more credible than others. Trust but always verify is my motto. Q What do you get out of it? A I am very pleased that colleagues find my personal obsessions important [:-). Based on rankings generated by Technorati, the blog search engine, my blogs are among the top-ranked worldwide. All of my blogs are in the top 5% of the 112.8 million indexed by the service. My Friends blog, The Bioenergy Blog, The Geothermal Energy Blog, and Wind Energy Blog are all in the top 1%. Friends has over a thousand FeedBurner subscribers. By actively identifying significant content for these and other blogs, I have been able to keep abreast of current developments and emerging technologies with potential application for future library programmes and services. Q What good things have happened to you solely because of blogging? A Perhaps the greatest satisfaction comes from feedback from my colleagues who appreciate the professional value of my postings. As a result of my blog and electronic discussion list postings, I have received numerous invitations over the years to present at a variety of local, national and international conferences. Q Which blogs do you read for fun? A It all depends on the news of the day. I enjoy the New York Times blogs, such as Dick Cavett (Talk Show) as well as the Comedy Central blog (Comedy Central Insider). I also often pay visits to blogs with postings that I discover from web surfing which appeal to my eclectic tastes. ■ Where is your blog? I have several. I am currently most active in populating my Friends blog http://onlinesocialnetworks. blogspot.com My other active blogs include a Bioeconomy Blog, The Bioenergy Blog, The Geothermal Energy Blog, and Wind Energy Blog (all of which can be found at Blogspot.com). I also have a blog devoted to science and technology social networking services http://scitechnet.blogspot.com and another devoted to disruptive scholarship http://scholarship20.blogspot.com 023_IWR_May08.QXP 25/4/08 15:39 Page 23

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