Now that organizations are starting to get their own blogs, people are starting to have some of the blog-policy questions, which is something you get when trends becomes more institutionalized. Karen has been working on blog ethics for a while and her recent post discusses CLA’s new blog and their stated intent to make the blog feeds a CLA member benefit. She discusses the whole idea of member benefits which confront the more wired idea of getting and giving content for free. ALA has back issues of American Libraries as a member benefit. At my library we used to have nine public access computers but only one for non-patrons that could access email. The three other “email computers” were a patron benefit. Not only was this system not particularly useful to our patrons — many people who want Internet access at the library specifically want to check their email — but it made us, as librarians explaining the system, look like we didn’t “get technology” We had to make the computers do something that they wouldn’t do normally in order to put a barrier between what we wanted to give away for free, and what we wanted people to pay for. Similarly in the CLA case, blogs made with any current CMS have an RSS feed. Whether or not you link to it, it still exists, right?
CLA may have produced a great journal in the past; now it can produce a great blog. It will not be a great blog if only its members can access it, because what makes blogs great are their impact on society. CLA, the cluetrain has pulled into the station. Please, I beg of you: get on board.