Books and bookman in blogs

There are many varied and stimulating paragraphs on a range of topics in this post by Michael Allen, the Grumpy Old Bookman. Here’s a taster:

Bloggers are firmly put in their place by… no. no. Must resist the temptation to say what I really think about this woman, especially after yesterday’s piece on libel. But one Sheila Kohler says this:

Occasionally someone may mention my books in a blog. I believe the dangers of this indiscriminate reporting on books is that people who have no knowledge of literature can air their views as though they were of value and may influence readers.

(Link from Galleycat.) God forbid, of course, that anyone should ever believe any of the crap that people put on blogs. This brilliant piece of analysis comes, by the way, from a woman who has just hired a publicist, who is, naturally, contacting lots of blogs….

As I have frequently said, the first requirement for working in the book world is a sense of humour.

Michael Allen’s blog is, as I am sure many would agree, as close to perfection as it is possible to get for a commenter on the book publishing and writing scene. I tend not to highlight his posts very often for two main reasons: first, because everyone else does (we all think he is great); and second, because his posts, like the one linked above, tend to be so long and varied, covering a vast range of topics, that one cannot provide a link as shorthand for a particular take on a subject, as one can do for so many other blogs. This habit has become more common since Michael had his "I’m not going to be blogging very often from now on" moment a month or two back. Irrespective of this tendency to write one long kaleidoscopic, wide-ranging post, I am very glad Michael does continue to blog , as I always enjoy reading his highly individual point of view.

Conflict resolution skills

I disagree with Scott Adams’s opinions as often as I agree with them, but he is master of the blog (and usually very funny). He knows just how to play his readers: sometimes he teases them, other times he genuinely asks their opinion on a question and posts about the answers. Most of his posts get more than a hundred comments, so I no longer make any (having done so on a couple of occasions when, as a nascent blogger, I first discovered his blog, but rapidly realising I would be forever lost in the noise).

How about this, from his post on global warming:

"recently I got dragged into the debate by a comment left by reader Bruce Harrison. He objected to a prior post in which I noted our President was ignoring the consensus of scientists on the question of global warming. I called this sort of behavior stupid.

Bruce countered by calling me arrogant and ignorant. So far, his opinion was spot on, so I figured it was worth seeing what else he had to say"

Well done to you, Scott — the perfect response.

The rest of the post shows, unfortunately, why I think climate scientists face an almost intolerable task in getting on with their research to try to identify global trends. (If you are interested to know what  I mean, read Scott’s post and associated links, in particular the update from Chris Graham at the end.  I am glad Chris made his comment, and glad Scott for picked up on it.  Yes, Scott is a blogger through and through:  he  listens as well as performs.)