When I got a commission to write about Japanese biblioblogs, there were a lot of things I didn't know because it's less than a year since I started blogging. So I asked for the cooperation of someone to write the article in my blog(http://d.hatena.ne.jp/min2-fly/). Then many bibliobloggers sent me comments and tracbacks, and katz3 offered to write Introduction. That's why I could write this article. I'm grateful to cooperators and proud of Japanese biblioblogosphere.
From time out of mind, Japanese generally like to write a diary. The Internet is certainly public. It may be out of your knowledge, many Japanese have published their diaries on the Internet before blog-tools become common in Japan. Japanese authors write everyday matters, and Japanese readers take reading them for granted.
For almost Japanese, personal website is like a place of daily conversation, not to discuss. Even today blog is not used as a discussion tool, but as a useful diary-writing tool. Of course blog is sometimes used for discussion or the other purposes.
When early Japanese bloggers began to use blog-tools, numerous diary-websites had already existed. Those diary-websites certainly had neither function of trackback nor comment-posting, but authors used linking by HTML and BBS. It may be also out of your knowledge, not a few Japanese learned HTML only to write a diary.
It is not clear how many diary-websites by librarians, library users and library scientists (bibliodiary?) existed before blog. As far as I remember, there are not so many. If this impression is correct, I could say that blog-tools well loosen the tongue of Japanese people concerned about library!
The first Japanese bibliobloger was Koichi Ojiro. He published blog named 学術出版と学術コミュニケーションブロッグ（ http://home.catv.ne.jp/rr/ojiro/scomm_blog.html ）in 2001 and reported news of scientific information distribution. (Unfortunately, the blog went under about six months.)
In 2003-2004, with a dissemination of blog tools and services some people started new biblioblogs or switched from HTML site to blog.
Liblog JAPAN(Liblog JAPAN) is blog about news of Library and Information Science. It was started by Shinji Mine(Handle Name:smine) who was a student of Keio University in 2003, based on his friends' idea. Today it stops updating, we can find past articles at the Internet Archive(Wayback Machine). Then Smine published the blog Open Access Japan (Open Access Japan) and provides trends of Open Access. And other two person who are related to the Liblog JAPAN establishment have looked back at that time in other blog (http://kamata.lib.teu.ac.jp/~tanabe/diary/20071226.html#p01).
Simirarly, Copy & Copyright Diary (Copy & Copyright Diary) was established in 2003. The author is Tsuneo Suehiro(HN:copyright). He writes mainly news or essays about copyright, and sometimes writes about relations of libraries and copyrights. Tsuneo Suehiro is leading biblioblogger in the field of copyright, and his comments on other biblioblogs are also important.
Early biblioblogs in Japan were almost academic and they were for LIS researcher or librarians. Its authors were researchers or academic librarians.
But since 2004, some librarians (including public librararians and school librarians) have established diary-blogs and they write about library's topic with their daily logs. Many of them wrote blog anonymously and used handle name. It has been a custom of continuing up to the present time (e.g I (min2-fly) and katz3 don't use our real name when we write blogs).
Moreover, in 2003 Yokoshibahikari Publiclibrary (マロニエの花咲く 横芝光町立図書館blog), in 2004 the YAMANAKAKO Library for the People's Creativity（指定管理者日誌 - 山中湖情報創造館にて -）established their official blogs. They were not for librarians but patrons. Official biblioblogs like these are increasing today in Japan.
And recently, as will later be described in detail, some people have established biblioblogs not for news or diary but mainly for discussion (You know it’s ordinary blog, but it’s in a minority in Japan).
Some exemplary blog
for Library Patrons
- Public Library
横芝光町立図書館ブログ(http://blog.goo.ne.jp/hikari_library) is most famous public library blog in Japan. The library was nominated for "Library of the Year 2007"in Japan because of its excellent services through Internet. The blog provides bibliography of books in the book review columns of newspapers everyday, and it gives some path finders.
- Academic Library
fromKYOTO（http://johokan.kyoto-seika.ac.jp/index.php?fromkyoto ）is written by staffs of Kyoto Seika Univ. Library and Information Center. It gives information of books, music, movies, events and even bars in Kyoto for the university students.
for Librarians, LIS Researchers and Students
- Library and LIS News
ACADEMIC RESOURCE GUIDE (ARG) - ブログ版(http://d.hatena.ne.jp/arg/)(for librarian and researchers), SENTOKYOブログ (http://blog.goo.ne.jp/sentokyo/)(for special library), Current Awareness Portal (http://www.dap.ndl.go.jp/ca/) (written by National Diet Library) are Library and LIS News blogs. Especially ARG and CA-P gives not only latest news but also essays and theses about libraries and information science, and they are important information resources for Japanese librarians and LIS students.
- Personal blogs
I introduce many biblioblogs above, but I think the most interesting biblioblogs in Japan are personal blogs.
図書館退屈男(http://toshokan.weblogs.jp/blog/ )is written by AFFRIC(http://ss.cc.affrc.go.jp/ric/home.html) 's staff tzh. He is the leading Library2.0 in Japan, and reviews library systems in the blog. The article about NDL new portal service PORTA became hot entry and made many other blogers(not only biblioblogers) to see PORTA.
Myrmecoleon is another famous web2.0 librarian. （Myrmecoleon in Paradoxical Library. はてな新館http://d.hatena.ne.jp/myrmecoleon/）. Using his library2.0 tool "Library Map", people can see where are libraries which have the book he/she is searching. He is also famous because of using bibliometrics to analyze web tools, but recently he has got hooked on ニコニコ動画(http://www.nicovideo.jp) and twitter(http://twitter.com/)
katz3 （図書館断想 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/katz3/） (a university librarian and co-writer of this article) is a clever speaker and sharp debater. For example, he referred to recent Japanese biblioblogs’ discussion about “Can public library charge users the charge?”and said “Your cultural level are low...”（”民度が低い”http://d.hatena.ne.jp/katz3/20071226）. His article is always stimulative and provocative, so sometimes it stirs up an argument in biblioblogosphere.
And today, many LIS students'(undergraduates and graduates) blogs are established.
I(LIS undergraduate student) write blog "かたつむりは電子図書館の夢をみるか"(http://d.hatena.ne.jp/min2-fly), communicate and discussion with other students, librarians and other bloggers. Before blog tools spread, it was difficult for Japanese LIS students to talk with who are doing the actual library work, but now it is very easy because of blogs.
Trends of biblioblogs
Today the main usage of personal blog is switched to discussion. This is biblioblogger to biblioblogger discussion, and we talk "Can public library charge users the charge?", "Can we call librarians professional in Japan?", "Why does the National Diet Library not have some comics for adult?" and etc... But sometimes the biblioblogs’ topic spreads to people who are not librarian or LIS student, it become a large controversy in Japanese blogosphere. For instance, "Public Libraries are really necessary?" issue has occurred from a quarrel with two bloggers (one is biblioblogger and the other is not). Finally over 30 unique bloggers referred to the issue (one is most famous Japanese blogger Dan Kogai), 60 articles are written in 3weeks.
One of the reason that situation happened is social bookmarking service "hatena-bookmark". "Hatena Bookmark is a social bookmarking service. The user can save the specific URL as a bookmark and tag it. They are able to interact with the other users through the tags, and can leave comments of up to 100 double-byte characters in length."(Wikipedia, 2007-12-26) Many Japanese bloggers (especially bibliobloggers) use this SBM service. Hatena Bookmark recommends many bookmarked-articles as "hot entry". Once an article becomes hot entry, it catches more and more attention.
So sometimes a biblioblog becomes hot entry, many bloggers read the article and referred to library issues. Hatena Bookmark also has function of showing "articles which refers this article", so we can scan blogs refer to one issue easily, and leave comments on articles. Japanese biblioblogers use "library" tag to recommend interesting article each other, and communicate with others using bookmark-comment. SBM service is as important for us as blog itself as the means of communication.
Today increase of number of Japanese blog has calmed down. But official blogs of University/Public libraries is increasing. And pioneering bibliobloggers are trying new communication tool like twitter, before long Japanese biblioblogs may change greatly.