I read with a great deal of interest the post on Archives Found about blogging archivists because I had asked a similar question (although not as eloquently) a few months back. I also wondered about the lack of archivists actively using Twitter, Facebook or any other social networking media to stay connected. I assume this lack of activity is probably because archivists are used to maintaining records and not creating them. Furthermore, archivists tend to deal with the “old” rather than the “new.” Blogging and social networking are new and using them would possibly force people out of their comfort zones. I am making a lot of assumptions here but I haven’t seen anything to the contrary. If I’m wrong, please tell me why.
Like Archives Next, I’ve noticed the abundance of librarians who are tearing up the blogosphere and creating a new pedagogy for library instruction. And, after some digging, I’ve found some archivists who are also paving the way for new archivists by sharing project information, helpful suggestions, etc. The problem is that these blogs are not getting the same publicity as library blogs. Archivists have to be more proactive in their marketing:
- Advertise your blog on twitter, facebook, friendfeed and the like
- Add your url to your signature on your email
- Comment on other archivist blogs and leave a link
- Share your problems and the solutions, talk about project ideas and post pictures of your archives
I’ve said before that I work at a small university where I don’t have the opportunity to attend a lot of workshops and conferences, so I rely heavily on blogs and tweets to keep current and learn more about my profession. I rely on the expertise of those who have been working in the field for longer than I have, but I also like being able to commiserate with those who are new to the field.
I know there are professional journals out there that offer the same professional support that I’m talking about but I like the instant gratification that comes from blogging and social networking. And I believe that we, as a profession, need to move forward by granting blogs and other web 2.0 technologies professional legitimacy.