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
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
in a variety of
drinking micro-brewed ales and beer,
discussing the news of the day,
listening to classic rock-n-roll, and
Q Describe your blog.
A My main blog, Friends (http://
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
Q What started you off?
A My first personal blog, Theoretical
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
Steven Cohen’s Library Stuff
Farkas’s Information Wants To Be
Karen Schneider’s Free Range
com), Sarah Houghton’s Librarian In
net), Brian Mathews’ The Ubiquitous
typepad.com), Stephen Abram’s
Stephen’s Lighthouse (http://
and Michael Stevens’ Tame The Web
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
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
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
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
I also often pay
visits to blogs with
postings that I discover
from web surfing
which appeal to my
eclectic tastes. ■
I have several. I am currently
most active in populating my
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
and another devoted to disruptive
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