Walt at Random

The last post (and a little oops)

I posted what was to be the last post on this blog yesterday. This morning, in clearing out archives (of stuff that originally appeared on the original site), I accidentally cleared out the most recent 25 posts instead of post 796-821. (Don’t ask.)

I’ll restore the other 23, maybe, at least to one of the two sites. Meanwhile, for anyone who didn’t get the message:

This version of Walt at Random is ending.

The original Walt at Random will continue (with, eventually, posts from this one added.)

Here’s most of what I said yesterday about reasons for this change:

As noted on what was, for a while, “the last Walt at Random post” at http://walt.lishost.org, I was invited by ScienceBlogs to join their newish Information Science channel, already populated by John Dupuis and Christina Pikas.

The invitation itself was an honor, particularly given the regard in which I hold John and Christina.

Even then, I was a little doubtful of my credentials as an information scientist. Quoting further from that post, under the heading “Information scientist? Moi?“:

I’ve never claimed that title and don’t intend to start now.

Still…

I believe I’ve done better (more comprehensive, more careful) research on liblogs and library blogs than I’ve seen elsewhere, even if I’ve deliberately stuck to meatball statistics rather than sophisticated analysis.

I’ve certainly written (and will continue to write) about open access and other topics that concern scientists.

My brother’s a chemist. Does that count?

So I moved here–and moved the archives as well. (I may delete those here, since they’re all available on the old/new site.)

I was delighted when Dorothea Salo started a new blog on ScienceBlogs, after closing her old one. The Book of Trogool is an important new blog, one that I believe will have a real impact on data curation.

And, of course, both Confessions of a Science Librarian and Christina’s LIS Rant continue to be fine blogs that enrich the liblog community and ScienceBlogs.

So why did I leave? It’s complicated. Some of the factors (from a message I sent to ScienceBlogs’ Erin Johnson):

  • To the extent that I was reaching a new audience, it’s outside of the library field–and, while it’s welcome, I felt the need to explain things that I wouldn’t explain to the few hundred people I know get my posts.
  • I find an internal pressure (a) to write more posts, (b) to make them a little more formal. Neither of these makes much sense within my overall scheme of things….
  • The split between old and new–in essence, between reviews of old flicks (and duplicated posts on new material in the Library Leadership Network)–seems artificial to me, at odds with the random theme of Walt at Random.
  • I’m really not an information scientist; in fact, I’ve historically made fun of the term.
  • I believe Dorothea Salo (whose star continues to rise), Christina Pikas and John Dupuis all make sense as ScienceBlog bloggers. I don’t believe I do; I think I’m decidedly the odd blogger out in that community. (Note: these are all at least virtual friends–I don’t know that I’ve met Christina in the flesh, but I have both of the others–and I think the world of all of them.)
  • Given everything else, I’d just as soon have complete control of my own space. (And, given everything else, my dislike of the MovableType editing platform as compared to WordPress becomes significant.)

One factor not mentioned there, but one I think may be more significant than all of these:

Walt at Random has always been a secondary outlet. Cites & Insights, my ejournal, has always been more important to me and, I think, to the community. I found it difficult to explain Cites & Insights within this space…

Based on the metrics, ScienceBlogs wasn’t gaining much from my presence, and they’ve been very gracious about letting me go.

The randomness continues

I’m not wild about managing multiple blogs in any case, and between work and other things, I was handling four. Maybe with only three (and only one open to all that randomness), I’ll do a better job. Maybe not.

In any case, you’ll now find me there–not only the LLN and C&I announcements and reviews of old flicks, but all my posts.

Explicit disclaimer

I haven’t been blogging all that much at either address. I’ll continue resist the urge to blog for the sake of blogging.

Note that I am not promising to take up the slack. I’m in the midst of doing another liblog research project, and I’ve seen a few too many cases where a blogger, after an absence, says “I’ll be writing a lot more…” and then is never heard from again.

I’ll say this: I’ll post when I have something to say that appears to suit the particular venue.