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Two interesting pieces of news came out yesterday with the sale of 3M library systems to Bibliotecha http://www.blibliotecha.com and then the news that Proquest were buying ExLibris. For an industry take on the latter news look at http://www.sr.ithaka.org/blog/what-are-the-larger-implications-of-proquests-acquisition-of-exlibris/
From the comments on twitter yesterday it was a big surprise to people, but it seems to make some sense. And it is a sector that has always gone through major shifts and consolidations. Library systems vendors always seem to change hands frequently. Have a look at Marshall Breeding’s graphic of the various LMS vendors over the years to see that change is pretty much a constant feature. http://librarytechnology.org/mergers/
There are some big crossovers in the product range, especially around discovery systems and the underlying knowledge bases. Building and maintaining those vast metadata indexes must be a significant undertaking and maybe we will see some consolidation. Primo and Summon fed from the same knowledge base in the future maybe?
Does it help with the conundrum of getting all the metadata in all the knowledge bases? Maybe it puts Proquest/ExLibris in a place where they have their own metadata to trade? But maybe it also opens up another competitive front.
It will be intersting to see what the medium term impact will be on plans and roadmaps. Will products start to merge, will there be less choice in the marketplace when libraries come round to chosing future systems?
Finishing off a blog post the other day, wordpress flagged up that it was post number 85. I hadn’t really been keeping track of exactly how many blog posts I’d written or ever had a particular number of posts in mind, never really aiming for a certain number a week or month. I’ve been running the blog since June 2009, so 85 posts work out at around 2 and three quarter posts a month. But looking in a bit more detail I’ve noticed that I’m blogging more frequently this year with nearly twice as many posts per month this year.
That made me wonder about the topics that I’ve been blogging about and whether there was any particular pattern to the topics. Taking out the more generic post categories such as libraries and reflections gives the set of words that make up the wordle on the right. So I’ve most frequently blogged about the website, not surprising as a lot of my work revolves around the new library website that we’ve built over the last couple of years.
The next most frequent topics have been about ipads and activity data, followed by analytics and digital libraries. I’ve also blogged a bit about kindles and ebooks but only a couple of times about linked data or discovery systems which slightly surprised me as both have featured quite a lot in my work. On reflection, I’ve also written a few posts about search, which includes some elements of comment on discovery systems, but largely has been about how library search is presented within library websites rather than about discovery systems per se.
Blog post statistics
Having looked at the topics I’ve written about I thought I’d also look at which topics got most views to see if there were any patterns. My feeling is that posts about search and ipads seem to get most views. But when I investigated the wordpress statistics in a bit more detail I realised pretty quickly that they weren’t really going to provide an answer. Although they do show in the list the number of views each post received, the biggest number of views have been of the home page. So people going directly to the home page to view the latest blog post aren’t going to show up in the statistics for a particular blog post unfortunately.
It’s always going to be the case I suppose that a lot of the views of a new blog post are going to be from the home page of the blog, and there would generally be several blog posts on the home page. But it does make it difficult to work out which are the most popular topics. WordPress.com’s statistics for their free blogs give you the basic idea of traffic to the blog but aren’t in any way an equivalent to something like Google Analytics. Unfortunately you aren’t able to add Google Analytics to a wordpress.com hosted blog.
WordPress blog statistics do show you search terms used to access your blog and where users are being referred from. The most popular search terms I’m seeing are: refworks api, ipad screen, library search, mendeley ios5 (a bit of a strange combination) and shared services. The list of search terms does throw up some really strange mispellings of search terms though: lidray search; libariy surch; libreary serch; library shearch; and library surch, all appear in the list. Google’s ‘did you mean’ feature must be doing its stuff.
Referrers are quite an interesting set of statistics. Unsurprisingly search engines, largely Google, provide most of the referrrals, but I was surprised that a largely text-based blog had nearly as many referrals from Google Images as Google search. Next along was twitter, not too surprising as I generally tweet any new blog posts and benefit from a few retweets by people. There’s quite a wide range of referrers which was quite a surprise and even some from facebook which is interesting as I know I’ve not promoted any blog post from facebook.
Overall, the wordpress.com statistics give you a reasonable indication of how many visits you are getting for your blog and some information about how people are finding your blog and where they are coming from. If you want the full features of an analytics package you’d have to move to an alternative or paid-for blog host, but the statistics are OK for a free blog host.