Thursday, October 08, 2009

Blurbs from bloggers 

Rob Riemen’s Nobility of Spirit: A Forgotten Ideal (which I haven't read and know nothing about), like many books, has blurbs and reviews on the covers. The only blurb on the front cover, however, is by Mark Sarvas, who maintains the blog The Elegant Variation, where I found this entry. Brian Sholis notes on his own blog the format of the citation is interesting:

::text of comment::
- Mark Sarvas, The Elegant Variation

Sholis writes that this is the first time he's seen a blog quoted on the front of a book. He then questions the format used for referencing a blog. "The Elegant Variation" is printed in italics, just like a magazine or book or other publication. He seems to be asking if a blog really deserves that kind of respect or recognition.

I wondered instead why the blog is referenced by its title and not its URL.

I also wonder how rare it really is to quote a blog on the cover of a book. I assume blurbs rely on an appeal to authority in trying to convince people to buy or read the book, so a quote from a famous blogger or blog would certainly be appropriate. Without getting into whether certain bloggers are famous for their blogs, for writings for online magazines, or for offline work they publish online, I looked at the covers of a few books I had in my library.

Those were the books I found that actually cite blogs. I found more that cite people I know as bloggers (they have day jobs, but I know them first and primarily from their blogs), like Tyler Cowen, Lawrence Lessig, Mike Adams, Walter Williams, and Virginia Postrel. Maybe that's just because I'm not as print-literate as I'd like to be. And of the books I have that I bought based on the authors' reputations as bloggers, only Glenn Reynolds' actually includes his URL on the cover.

Just a few thoughts.

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)
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