Is Your Blog A Periodical?

ISSN for Weblogs:

With an ISSN, your Weblog indisputably qualifies as a serial or periodical, putting you in the same category as Stern and the New Yorker (and Hustler, of course).

ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number, used to uniquely identify magazines and periodicals, similar to a book’s ISBN.

Are they really compatible? And what’s the point? Compatibility of Weblogs and ISSN points out that:

Weblogs are a powerful and democratic medium of expression. They merit due and serious acknowledgement from registrars.

Well, that depends on the weblogs, of course; and I’d guess that most are NOT of that type. If every blogger discovers this method to make their blog “official”, the ISSN will be inundated with applications, possibly discrediting the use of an ISSN altogether.

If ISSN registrars choose to deny registration to Weblog authors merely because too many are attempting to register, authors will view that decision as indistinguishable from the belief that it was OK to register “real” publications before the Web came along, but the little people aren’t what ISSN registrars had in mind.

The ISSN registrars didn’t have blogs in mind, but they will soon.

ISSN application confirmation

I applied for an ISSN today. I’ll post updates as I receive them.

Update (90 minutes after I submitted the application): I received the following email from Canada’s ISSN folks:

Thank you for your application. Weblogs are no longer assigned ISSN. There are millions of weblogs and ISSN Centres do not have the resources to register them.

I added the emphasize. I wonder what weblogs received an ISSN.

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One Response to Is Your Blog A Periodical?

  1. Rebecca says:

    What this also means is that your blog can be added to a library catalogue: “Your Weblog will be indexed in the international database of publications. It will then be possible for a would-be reader to ask a librarian to locate your Weblog via the ISSN database.” Once they locate it, they can download the record and add it to the collection. Just think, SWT will be coming to a library near you someday!

    And this is funny (to me) because it’s true: “Remember, as far as librarians are concerned, if it doesn’t have some kind of number, it doesn’t exist.” Heh.

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