Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'll Tell You Where You Can File Your Authority...

Ok, I am not even going to comment on the Gorman thing. Seriously, he's like a message board troll. I think dumbasses are sometimes best dealt with by not giving them the satisfaction of knowing they riled you up. I won't even link to his recent remarks, you can read about them here and here and here and here and here if you like.

In fact, the only reason I bring this up at all is because the whole issue is being brought to my attention right after a conversation about writing I had yesterday. I was talking to a friend about how I am interested in foraying into the world of academic publication, why I enjoy blogging, and how I think my blogging has actually made me a better writer in general.

You see, I love electronic publishing in general for the ability it affords to provide instant clarification, background or support for what you are saying (through hyperlinks.) I loved this idea from the very first time I read Vannevar Bush's "As We May Think" where he expounded upon the idea of hypertext. To me, this allows authors the ability to add so much more value to their writing, linking to relevant definition, sites, audio and video. (Man, there are some books that I would love to be re-published online with hypertext, so I could get all the author's allusions and references.)

Not to mention, publishing on the internet gives us the ability to instantly fact check... and that makes me strive to be more accurate, not less. Now I'm not saying that the internet is not rife with crap, of course it is, but without leaving my computer I can more easily distinguish between fact and fiction. This leads me to evaluate content based on its own accuracy and reasonability, rather than just based on the reputation of the author and the publication.

In fact, it is this desire to be accurate and back up my statements that has made me a much better scholarly writer, because it has taught me how to recognize vague or opinionated statements when I make them, so I know when I need to cite my sources or provide additional information, a skill that is not always so easy as it sounds.

And the truth is, I have two separate blogs, a personal one and a professional one, and I do in fact treat them differently. For example, in casual writing, I tend not to use capital letters (yes, I know this can be annoying, but it's been a habit of mine for years now...) My writing style here is a little more formal, and I hardly ever mention personal issues that don't deal with librarianship, my career, my education, or my job. (Not that there is anything wrong with mixing the two, my personal life is just a little too personal for general public consumption.)

I honestly don't know what's up the Gormster's bum (besides his head, of course...) If you don't like blogs, don't read them. If you want to get your information elsewhere, well, then, um... get it elsewhere. I don't see how you can feel so strongly against blogging in a world full of war and poverty and suffering. Ok, now I've resorted to commenting on the issue, which I said I wouldn't do... But hey, I'm just a lowly blogger, so you can't trust anything I say anyway...

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