Monday, 1 September 2008

Ozlit Blogs of note, my A list

In my day job as an arts and humanities librarian I’ve been gathering links to Australian literary blogs, so we can recommend some of these blogs to students and link to them from our library website.

Of course there is a wide range of literary blogs: blogs about Australian literature and writers, book reviewing blogs, newspaper literary blogs, writer’s blogs, group blogs, and blogs devoted to particular authors, or types of literature: poetry, young adult literature etc.

I have come up with my A list of the most influential Australian literary blogs.

Matilda, maintained by the indefatigable Perry Middlemiss. Perry should be your first port of call for the latest news on all aspects of Australian literature. He also posts regularly, so your RSS feed reader will pop up a constant supply of posts. Perry gathers together online literature sources from a wide range of sites. I’m currently enjoying his series of “Tim Winton Watch” posts, tracking the worldwide reception of this Western Australian writer's latest novel, “Breath”. Matilda blog has a Technorati authority* rating of 68. (More about Technorati authority below)

Sarsaparilla is a group blog covering Australian literature media and culture. This blog is:
“devoted to discussing books, writing, film and television, theatre and the performing arts, music, publishing, the humanities, reading, cultural studies, and… other things, from a distinctively Australian perspective “. The quality of the content is high and some of the Sarsaparilla bloggers maintain their own individual blogs or websites. The idea of a group blog has huge benefits as the posting load can be spread around. The Sarsaparilla blog's Technorati authority* rating is 47.

Kerryn Goldsworthy has several blogs including Australian Literature Diary which has a Technorati authority* rating of 11.

Kerryn taught literature at Melbourne University, is a former editor of Australian Book Review and a former member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. She works now as a freelance writer and has written about blogging and community in the latest issue of Heat, published by giramondo publishing. Heat is not freely available online, so you will need to subscribe, or ask your library for a Document Delivery copy.

One of Kerryn other blogs, Pavlov's Cat, is a chatty blog which attracts a large amount of reader interaction and comments. Pavlov's Cat is “a mixture of political, cultural and personal observations, opinions and facts … about literature, movies, current events, ideas and anything that seems interesting at the time”. And yes, there's more than a few funny cat pictures there too. Pavlov's Cat has a Technorati authority* rating of 69.

Genevieve Tucker keeps a blog on writing and books: reeling and writhing and she also blogs for Sarsaparilla. Reeling and writhing is well set out and interesting reading. I've only recently discovered this blog, but am returning often now. In December 2006, in The Australian, Genevieve had an interesting article on book blogs: Online, everyone's a critic.
Reeling and writhing has a Technorati authority* rating of 10. Check out Genevieve’s post here for a list of Australian literature blogs

Speakeasy is a blog for writing and publishing news, events and markets, published by the Australian Writer’s Marketplace for the
Australian and New Zealand writing industry. Australian Writer’s Marketplace also put out the subscription database "AWM online" which ECU Library makes available for staff and students to use. Speakeasy's Technorati authority* rating is 7.

So what is
Technorati authority all about, and who decides?

*Technorati is a site devoted to collecting and evaluating blogs and making them available for searching. They are tracking over 112.8 million blogs now.

Technorati assigns an “authority” number rating to blogs. But, you may wonder, how is this so called
“authority” worked out? The “authority” rating is based on the number of blogs linking to your website/blog in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has. This is a typical "wisdom of the crowd", Web 2.0 measure of authority.

It’s noteworthy that the more serious blog of Kerryn Goldsworthy, Australian Literature Diary, has a lower Technorati rating than the more popular Pavlov's Cat. I guess this is because more people comment on and link to Pavlov's Cat and the blog really does create an online community. But we have put a link to Australian Literature Diary on our library website, as we think it is the more useful in the academic setting. However, Kerryn has not been too active on this blog lately.

My own blog, the JayGee library log, has a Technorati authority rating of just 2 :( Not many people linking in, yet....

Most of these Australian blogs have been archived by the National Library of Australia's Pandora digital archive which is a wonderful resource, preserving our online culture. Good on you NLA.

My literature links gathered for this post are stored on Delicious under my tag “literature” . I’ll post my B list soon.

I'd be pleased to hear of more literary/literature blogs to add to this list. If you disagree with my list let me know. What is your favourite Aussie lit blog and why?


8 comments:

genevieve said...

Very kind of you to include me, JG - I have been left off a few lists this week here and there :-( so now I feel great! and thank you for linking to my article.
-Genevieve

Anonymous said...

Did you notice that Pavlov's Cat has been replaced by a new blog - Still Life with Cat?
Derek Smith
deskhermit.com

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Jacky Goldberg said...

Well I think every reader and writer has their own choice to accept or to deny what they are used to of. I love writing because I can do it perfectly and no one will be teach me how to do that till I respect them. Well being used cars dealer I doesn't get that much of time to write but I am missing my days for sure. :(

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