by Kathleen Robertson and Amy Saxton, IfA Librarians
Blogs, short for weblogs, are online journals, with entries displayed
in reverse chronological order, so the newest content is always seen first.
Although weblogs have been around since the late 1990s, many people had
never heard of them until weblog escapades reached the mainstream press.
An associate editor at Ladies Home Journal, an associate product manager
at Google, and a flight attendant were each fired after their employers
discovered their blogs, according to an August article in People magazine.
The same article estimated that one out of every 20 adults in the United
States is a blogger.
There are blogs on nearly any topic, and astronomy is no exception. Amateur
astronomy clubs can be found almost everywhere, and blogs give sky gazers
a chance to share their passion with a wider audience. Blogs also provide
a way for professional astronomers and amateurs to communicate. Some blogs
have a comments feature that allows readers to leave feedback, viewable
by everyone, that becomes part of the blog's archives.
Many blogs have lists of blogs, called blogrolls, to point readers to
other blogs of interest. Here's an astronomy blogroll to help get you started
if you wish to explore the world of astronomy blogs. It includes the IfA
Library blog, which we use to keep the Institute staff up to date on library-related
Bad Astronomy Blog: The Good, the Bad, the Astronomy
Observing the Sky
Space News Blog: Robotic Space Exploration
Institute for Astronomy Library Weblog
Einstein: What's the Big Idea?