The Trouble with Technical Services, Part II

I was contemplating a new blog post. It would be about analytics trackers for websites. The library is wrangling 3 analytics tools for various websites, all of which have their positives and negatives. I thought I would present briefs about each of the 3.

As I was thinking about this (at the moment) hypothetical blog post when I remembered an essay by one of my colleagues in Computer Science. His project is to write an essay per day. (He is rather prolific: he often writes more than one per day.) He writes about writing, about teaching, about information pertinent to incoming students, about information pertinent to faculty, and about computer science. Some of those computer science articles are for the strict layman – like why one should study computer science at a small liberal arts college. And then there are the much more heavily technical ones.

After writing a series of technical essays, he found that some of his more vocal readers called for him to return to less technical writing. He then wrote an essay about it.

And I find myself in a similar place. I like getting readership on my blog posts and, thanks to WordPress.com’s analytics, I can track that readership. I have found that certain topics get a lot of readership: the job-search and all it entails, as well as identity politics in the library world. Other topics can be hit or miss. But the more technical or nitty-gritty ones (my rare book stuff included) gets far fewer views than anything else.

So, would a blog post outlining Google Analytics, AWStats, and ClustrMaps get a lot of readers?

Probably not.

Which brings me to the question: do I write it? or do I hold off for something more popular with my readers?

I’m a tech services librarian, a systems librarian to be exact. I find a lot of these technical things interesting and relevant. The trouble with tech services is: it’s hard to write about it in an “exciting” way, in a way a general readership would like.

So, the next question is: who am I really writing for?

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