A Matter of Word Usage: The Post

Snow Field by Chris Ford
Snow Field by Chris Ford

Today, a rant for you.

I am a word person. I like words. I love the way some words roll off your tongue, like fisticuffs. I love what some words imply, like shenanigans. Words are important.

I admit, I might be a word person, but I am not a spelling person. You can’t have it all.

I want to take up the matter of what has become a common word usage that bothers me. Very few of you probably care or have noticed. I want to discuss the blog post.

This website is a blog. A blog is a website with entries that are chronological, usually with the newest appearing first. There are video blogs (also called vlogs) picture blogs, word blogs, and music blogs.

The individual entries on a blog are called posts. Their long name is a blog post. This entry you are reading is a blog post.

The problem is that I have noticed with annoying frequency that people refer to a post as a blog. They say, “I wrote a blog.” or “I posted a blog.”

I know why this had come about. Most of us are, at heart, very lazy and blog post is two words. People have just started saying blog when they really meant blog post or simply post.

The problem is that calling a post a blog means something entirely different than the way it is being used. “I wrote a blog” means you wrote an entire website which, in your defense, you may have done. It’s like a journalist saying “I wrote a newspaper.” They did not write a newspaper, they wrote an article for the newspaper.

It is more appropriate and correct to say “I wrote a post” or “I posted on my blog” or even “I wrote a blog post.”

I know this makes me a word snob, but the words we use have meaning. We argue over the use of certain words we find offensive because words matter.

Blog post, blog, and post matter very little in the grand scheme of things, but all words matter, no matter how small. Please, I beg you, stop using the word blog incorrectly.

Thanks for reading my blog post and rant. Have a fabulous Friday.


Crowdfunding and Libraries

I am over at the ITI Books Blog today talking about crowdfunding and libraries.

Budgets continue to be a major issue for most libraries. Lack of funding for programs, books, and staff has caused many libraries to make major cuts. As librarians, we know that the worse the economic times, the more people need the resources we offer. How do we bridge the funding gap?

Do you have a success story to share involving crowdfunding? Is there a project you would love to put into motion in your library but you just need some cash? Consider crowdfunding as an option.

–Jane, Happy Monday!

Filtering Gets an Epic Fail

There is a new post on Library Garden that sums up every reason why filters in our public schools (and often in public libraries) get an epic fail. Epic. Fail.

Most of the stories I have heard from school librarians involving filtering have absolutely nothing to do with protecting children against things obscene and everything to do with filtering things that are simply unknown. WordPress = unknown, bad. Search engines in general = unknown, bad. flickr – unknown, bad.

The best line from the post is from a survey:

Teaching students about internet safety in a highly filtered environment is like teaching kids to swim in a pool without water.

–Jane, is filtered

New Theme, a bit broken

I found I new theme which I really like and added some fun plugins. Alas, my page tabs are now broken. I am trying to locate the problem.

The latstest WP 2.7.1 is very slick and easy to use. In comparing the .org with the .com versions, I am pleased that the .com version offers many of the customizations that used to make the .org version better. I use .com for the Rochester family blog and have never lamented not going with a more robust .org WP with a separate domain.  I think that WP has made a wise choice in keeping their open source and hosted version very similar and both free. Their developer community seems much more active than the communities that surround other similar platforms. *cough* Movable Type *cough*

–Jane, will tinker again tomorrow

An Unconference for the People

It is time to be the presentation topic you want to be.

Do you have a topic you want to discuss with others but can find no outlet? Have a new idea or project you want to share?

At ALA Annual 2009, I (along with my frequent partner in crime Meredith Farkas) am helping to plan and run an Unconference as part of Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives. 75 people will be able to participate in an all day event where they can be presenter, discussion leader, and participant. The attendees will choose the topics for discussion and presentation. It is going to be a fun and new way to interact at ALA.

Be the change you want to see and come play with us Friday, July 10th from 9-5. All you have to do is add your name to the list. I promise that you will have fun and learn something exciting in the process.

This is a unique opportunity to not only be part of something new at ALA but it is also a way to connect with your fellow librarians while discussing the topics of the day chosen by you and not the talking heads.

–Jane, looking forward to seeing who wants to play and what they want to talk about

Babies, Babies Everywhere and Not a Thought to Think

I am convinced that the more pregnant you are, the more your brain can only focus on babies. I think, biologically, this prepares you for having to concentrate on a wee person’s survival for weeks. I mean years and years. What was I thinking?!

As a result of having what my more experienced friends call “Mommy Brain,” I have been unable to do much of anything interesting. Couple that with the fact that it takes me twice as long and about twice the energy to do even the simplest tasks and you have a Jane who has energy only for nesting.

I am pulling the life trumps blogging card now and taking my maternity leave from this site for a few weeks. I will pop in occasionally with a quip. There will be very big news here on Friday. Not baby news, but actual library related news. Keep your RSS readers ready for that because I think it is fabulous stuff. Would I lead you astray? Never!

There will be an announcement and picture here of Baby Rochester once he decides it is time to join the land of the living, breathing people. He is officially one day late today.

I expect to be back annoying you with inane commentary later in May. Until then, I will be posting ridiculous updates and pictures of the most. wonderful. baby. ever on our family blog.

–Jane, expects to be less round by late May

Spring Cleaning at WE

I know many of you are pondering this title. It is not Spring yet, you may say. I am still shoulder deep in snow!

I have sad news for you Northern folks; It is Spring here in Texas. We have a “cold” front coming in later today and it will get as low as the 40’s, but it pops back up to the 60’s during the day. The birds are out, the flowers are blooming, and the grass has started growing. Mr. Rochester has mow and edge the lawn on his To Do list for the weekend. Spring has sprung.

The growing smells in the air, coupled with my own daily growing, had reminded me it is time for updates and changes to this space. I have updated the Presentations and About pages and I have added a page listing Writing.

–Jane, updates her status to “very round”

I’m Being Repressed!

All of the recent Gorman discussion smacks of the elite feeling scared that the peasants are gaining control of the system. (and no, I will not link to the tripe that Gorman wrote) I think the authorities had the same things to say about Gutenberg as Gorman has to say about the internet.We all know how well that argument went.

As an explanation, and example, of oppression by the ruling classes, here is a woman, Dennis, and King Arthur, of the Britons:

WOMAN: Order, eh — who does he think he is?
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn’t vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don’t vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, ‘ow did you become king then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake, [angels sing] her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [singing stops] That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen — strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an Emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
DENNIS: Oh, what a give away! Did you here that, did you here that, eh? That’s what I’m on about — did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn’t you?

–Jane, ALA is the tart that gave Michael Gorman a sword

Out of Context or Being a Hypocrite

Either way, you look like an ass hat.

On Being a Hypocrite

Two things recently popped up that make my want to wash my hands of the constant hand wringing and “I am better then the common man” librarianship that seems to be the common backlash against innovation and free thought. One involves me personally.

I believe Michael Gorman was sad that we were not talking about him anymore and thus wrote the most ridiculous thing he could imagine. Jason Griffey firmly slams many of Gorman’s arguments. I would only add two things.

There is this sentence:

The task before us is to extend into the digital world the virtues of authenticity, expertise, and scholarly apparatus that have evolved over the 500 years of print, virtues often absent in the manuscript age that preceded print.

It made me wonder if Mr. Gorman ever studied coterie writing and if he found that too to be lacking. I wonder if all of the minority scholars, many of them unable to publish for years because of their gender or race, are less valuable because they were not readily accepted into the Authority of Print.

Secondly, Mr. Gorman managed to insult my belief structure as well as lambaste a form of communication which he himself used to publish this ridiculous tripe. Good Job.

On Taking Things Out of Context to Make a Scholarly Point and Thus Making Yourself Look Less Than Scholarly

This bothers me more because I was used as an example of why blogs are bad at the most recent NASIG conference. In a presentation at NASIG, the speaker was bashing blogs because of our trivial writing and cited, of all things, this post I wrote after CiL.

Updated: Here is the link to the presentation summary from NASIG. And another. (thanks to kgs and Kathryn).

I find it amusing that the speaker would use me as an example at all. There are more trivial blogs out there. My blog is semi-professional to begin with and I never claim to have any authority except over myself. But for a scholar, to use that post, instead of this one, or this, or this, in a presentation at a national conference to say that all librarian bloggers are trivial is harmful and wrong. A lie one might say.

Taking things out of context and making them more important than they truly are does nothing to prove your point. That CiL post was trivial. I wrote it that way and I do not claim to have any authority because of it. What it does prove is that you are afraid.

You are afraid that I have been given a voice. You are afraid that people actually read what I have to say. You are afraid because I am young and do not buy into your pedagogy of librarianship. You are afraid that I am stealing some power you believe you hold. You are afraid of change and the turning of the seasons. You are made of fear and you think that your fear can hurt me.

I am not afraid. You can not take away my ability to write what I choose and give it voice in a place where people can read it and respond. Your fear is what gives me authority.

–Jane, “I will not be moved.”