SansBlogue  
Friday, November 25, 2005
 
Why I am not a biblioblogger ::

I've been uneasy with the identification "biblioblogger" since it first appeared. At first I thought it was just the name. Then I wondered if it was the insistence by some that properly "professional" blogs should eschew other topics and cleave only to professional matters. But at the SBL "Biblioblogger Session" (which I thoroughly enjoyed, and in which I was highly honoured to be invited to participate before several more worthy bloggers who helped form the gratifyingly large audience) I learned the real reason for my unease...

Well I did with the help of a coffee later with Paul Nikkel who had put it into words, at the session Paul spoke about identity formation, and naming, and of interesting parallels between ethnic naming and naming bibliobloggers. Despite Jim's rejection of the notion (backed up by a great photo), and AKMA and Pilgrim at First and Lake's preference for fears of academic prejudice in job search, tenure and promotion among a group vulnerable to marginalisation as an explanation of exclusivity, the naming of a "group" with a shared identity seems to me dangerous. But then I've never been "clubbable". I suspect I share Marx's sentiment (I wouldn't want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member! - of course it's a quote from Groucho not Karl ;)

Seriously, by naming we create a group, by discussing who is in (and therefore by implication who is out!) we create exclusivity. This is no longer the spirit of Blogaria, and I regret my phrase at the session about a virtual common-room, because one of the things I've greatly valued about the virtual one (an advantage that all the "real" ones, even those that seek to be more open, fail to realise) is its openness, that you can chat to anyone there. In the blog "common room" prof and grad student can chat with the undergraduate fresher and status (almost) disappears. But not if we name and create boundaries.

So, I'm sorry friends. I resign, I'll still read and comment on your blogs and I hope you may still read and comment on mine, but I'm just another citizen of Blogaria and not a member of the gated community of Biblioblogdom.

PS I have just read yasminfinch's thoughtful post "biblioblogs and all that" apart from more food for reflection it does not make me want to change what I've written above, but read it for yourself - especially if "you" are a male biblioblogger!



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