Thursday, April 19, 2007

inspired by advice

...or Bewildering curiosity

Hm, one of the CIL2007 bloggers mentioned MyBlogLog ... so I took a peek and I'm curious (well who isn't?) so I signed up to that too. An email telling me I'd been automatically joined to a (n apparantly default) community today had me checking back to see that a few people had at least scanned my profile there. I wondered why - did they like my avatar or screen name or just randomly clicked (if you're ever this way jessica217, sevn, holiday, please see if you remember and tell me)? They don't appear to have checked out my blog though - which I don't mind seeing as I blog for me.

However my curiosity did take me further, so though the latest posts at sevn's The Wrong Advices weren't relevant for me, his most popular post: Blogging is harder than you think, prompted me to at least make a note about the post, because it was interesting.

He's writing about Successful blogging - which presumes an other-centered purpose for blogging. Some of us blog more for the log than the web, with readership a bonus if it happens. A really big bonus for me if people who want to hear from me actually subscribe to my blog feed rather than wait for a letter (yeah I know letters would contain somewhat different stuff but if one wants to know what I'm doing one would at least see part of that here)!

The point that prompted me to write?:

Writing regularly:
It’s not easy writing everyday, let alone writing something interesting and insightful, but you need to try. Even if it’s just a thought or an idea you had, or a comment on someone else’s blog. You want to get into the habit of writing, so that in time you can slowly build up your output. Even if you don’t end up posting what you write make sure to save it. I often go through my old notes and find ideas that are worth revisiting.
There's lots of other advice too: about being honest, open, yourself; learning from others; not obsessing; commenting; joining blogosphere; helping others.

Somewhat related (at least in relation to the hard work) is advice at problogger. It's curious I drifted by two blogs about successful blogging today, maybe my guardian is trying to tell me something.

Hm, oh yeah I'm mentioning problogger because of that journey: Darren's post How Google Blogsearch ranks your Posts... In their own words! popped in my google alert for and +blogger (hoping to find a hack for getting a daily post here). Now because I don't have a daily post yet, and possible future relevance is a rather unlikely purpose for having tagged it for my own sake, maybe someone (like Rachel) might find it useful sooner.

Like supermarkets or anything 2.0? You *have* to see this...

Thanks to Library COGs, via Chadwick (InfoSciPhi) and I'd have seen neither without feeding from a Bloglines search on "Carnival of the Infosciences"

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Little Dot
Uncredited. (1988). Little Dot in the dotted town. Harvey Comics Spotlite, 4, [17-21].
Originally uploaded by moonflowerdragon.

I've been using Blogger's Dark dots template for everything *but* the dots, and I've finally had enough of the dots. And I spent so much time messing with the column widths to ensure they didn't split dots... no I truly have had enough.

Blogger's page elements makes changing templates easy, although I should probably pick one for certain before I go trying to hack things like the in-post bookmarklets.

I'd really like to make my own style, but I'm not sure I want to spend the time and frustration trying to find simple enough instructions.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

In what direction am I growing?

Taking a LibraryByte before bed tonight has made me stop and think. Helene shared some quotes, the third of which was

"People grow in the direction of the questions they ask” — David Cooperrider, PhD

[She had tagged it from the What I learned today... blog where Nicole had spotted it in an email signature {I'd love to hear from anyone who claims that email signature}]

Anwering my desire to know more about the source, google suggested an article which has given me another reason to spend some thinking-time on this quote. While Bloom & Martin wrote of the value of Appreciative Inquiry in academic mentoring, their perspective reminded me of a piece of knowledge I hope I act upon in my parenting.

we are by nature “heliotropic,” meaning that, “just as plants of many varieties exhibit a tendency to grow in the direction of sunlight (symbolized by the Greek god Helios),” there is a human tendency to “evolve in the direction of positive anticipatory images of the future”

Did you wonder about my first reason to think on this quote? I'm curious what questions I'm asking myself and whether the directions I want to grow might be better served by re-designing my questions.

Tell me, what questions have you been asking yourself, and is that the direction you want to grow?

For the practice and fun of it:

Bloom, J. L. & Martin, N. A. (2002, August 29). Incorporating Appreciative Inquiry into Academic Advising. The Mentor. Retrieved April 8, 2007, from

Blowers, H. (2007, April 6). Quotables.
LibraryBytes. Retrieved April 8, 2007, from

Engard, N. (2007, January 4). Great Quote.
What I Learned Today. Retrieved April 8, 2007, from

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How does one cite a blog post in APA style?

Citing a blog post in APA style

Update: 5 Dec 2014
While I have closed comments to cut-off the spam, I still want to help puzzle through the query that led you here, so if this post is not enough, you're welcome to ask me through my new blog

Update 25 May 2010: APA's amended 6th edition example slightly better...

But it needs more explanation, particularly as there are likely to be cases where following their example could lead to the source becoming lost for lack of information. With corrections to the first printing of the 6th edition, APA have corrected faults in their earlier example of citing a blog post, and included an example for citing a comment to a blog post (APA, c2010, in pdf sorry, p. 6). Unfortunately three factors are still missing without explanation:
  1. Blog title. For the post, and comment from it, that have been chosen for examples, the blog title is contained the URL - however it must be remembered that not all blogs are hosted such that their titles show in the URL, and that sometimes blogs are moved. In such cases the title of the blog in which the post appeared might make it easier for other researchers to find the post (or comment) if the blog is moved after you have cited it. While in many cases author and post title might be sufficient, authors do write in different blogs, and over time might conceivably use the same post title in two or more different places.
    *By default I would encourage people to provide the Blog Title unless it would only duplicate information contained elsewhere in the reference (such as for this blog, where my name as author is the same as the blog's title).
  2. Retrieved date. Blog posts and sometimes blog comments are editable and removable, a retrieval date is advised when our source may be changed.
  3. Precise URL, the comment APA cite was one of a multitude, and I think that commenter did comment more than once on that date, the specific URL to the specific comment would be useful.

Update 28 April 2009: a.k.a screen-name

For my original post I could not find a word from APA on how to cite an author who uses a screen-name. Apparently since the 2007 update we are to use the author's real name if it is available, but if not then to use the screen-name as given (APA, 2007, p23).

Is this consistent with the APA style principle to provide enough information for the reader to find the source? Land (1998) proposed inclusion of an [a.k.a screen-name] sub-element... which would allow the source-checker to properly identify the item written under a screen-name. I'd prefer something like [as: screen-name] because it indicates how the author named themselves in the cited instance. To me "also known as" confusingly suggests that the author identified themselves by their real name when they are potentially better known by their screen-name. I'm curious how an [a.k.a] or [as: ] author sub-element might be handled by automated referencing tools.

Update 10 April 2009: APA's faulty example

See more recent update above. I have since discovered that APA (2007) has published a revised and updated version of section 4.16 (Electronic References). APA's example for a weblog post is a fail... for a start their citation is for a comment to a post, not to the post itself... In a new post I'll explain and encourage APA to edit their new guide as soon as possible. I encourage people citing blogs to use APA principles and guidelines rather than the failed if an example might be insufficient.

Original post 4 April 2007:

Clancy (2003) proposed one method for citing a blog post:
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2003). Universities, RIAA, and academic freedom. Siva Vaidhyanathan's weblog. Retrieved April 26, 2003, from /2003_04_23_blogarchive.html#200187673.
which I would only alter so that the publication date is in full, periodical (blog) title appears in italics and the whole thing not end in a period (fullstop):
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2003, April 23). Universities, RIAA, and academic freedom. Siva Vaidhyanathan's weblog. Retrieved April 26, 2003, from /2003_04_23_blogarchive.html#200187673
I'd have commented with my humble opinion to his post but I don't want to register to do so, having never been by Kairosnews before, and only stopping by today via my own google search for answers about referencing blog posts in APA style.
Citing similarly to Clancy is Scheidt [a.k.a prolurkr] (2004):
alan (Nov. 4, 2003). BlogWondering (what the heck is a blog?). BlogShop. Retrieved Nov. 22, 2004 from
It has been a vexing question for me in preparing my TAFE assignments. I have been working on a variety of assumptions:
When the blog has a distinct title I start from the Online periodical form (American Psychological Association [APA], 2001, p. 223):
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (2000). Title of article. Title of Periodical, xx, xxx-xxx. Retrieved month day, year, from source.
but provide the exact date on the publication (APA, 2001, p. 225; cel4145, 2003,), the title or subject line of the blog post as the article, the name of the blog as the periodical and as most blogs do not have volume or issue numbers xx, xxx-xxx would be omitted. Also, according to the examples (APA, 2001, pp 272-281) and instruction (APA, 2001, p. 231) the citation would, after the source being a URL, not end in a full-stop (period, dot).
For example:
Shirky, C. (2005, January 27). Folksonomies + controlled vocabularies. MANY 2 MANY. Retrieved 14 March, 2007, from
The issue of volumes and issues does remind me of situations where blogs have moved from one place to another and the original site may stay up indefinitely. If one has referenced either site that shouldn't be a problem I guess. What if the whole blog is not moved, that is, what if the first few years of the blog remain in the first place, and the new place only contains from the moving date on? Then I guess that whichever I reference, so long as I do so precisely, will remain relevant.
When the blog is more a tool within a larger website (and doesn't have a clearly designated title) I've started with the online document form (APA, 2001, p. 223):
Author, A. A. (2000). Title of work. Retrieved month day, year, from source.
using subject line of the blog post for the title of the work, and giving name of the organisation (APA, 2001, p. 274) and section of their website in case the URL becomes irrelevant if the organisation restructures their website.
For example:
Blyberg, J. (2007). New website enhancements. Retrieved 22 January, 2007 from Ann Arbor District Library, Library News weblog:
It looks like I've followed instructions without realising it, because I've just discovered the instruction to look over the general forms and follow the format of the example most like my source and when in doubt "provide more information rather than less" (APA, 2001, p. 232).


American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

American Psychological Association. (2007). APA Style Guide to Electronic References. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
American Psychological Association. (c2010). Corrections to the First Printing of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (July 2009) [online document]. Retrieved 5 May, 2010 from

cel4145. (2003, April 27). Comment posted to blog post by Clancy. (2003, April 26). How do you cite a blog post in your bibliography? Kairosnews. Retrieved 3 April, 2007, from

Clancy. (2003, April 26). How do you cite a blog post in your bibliography? Kairosnews. Retrieved 3 April, 2007, from

Land, T. [a.k.a Beads] (1998, October 15). Web Extension to American Psychological Association Style (WEAPAS) (Rev. 1.6). Retrieved 10 April, 2009, from
Scheidt, L. [a.k.a. prolurkr] (2004, December 12). Blog citation when found in an intervening blog. Professional-Lurker: Comments by an academic in cyberspace. Retrieved 4 April, 2007, from


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