Walt's blog

This post does not exist

OK, I have to say it somewhere. I wrote it as a comment on a blog posting, then deleted it. I included it as an offtopic paragraph in the final pre-Midwinter post at Walt at Random--then deleted it.

I was noting a post that said the person making the post welcomed discussion of a particular set of notions and a controversial name for that set of notions, with two exceptions: The person didn't welcome any objections to the controversial name, and the person didn't welcome key doubts about the notions.

In other words, it's a great discussion as long as it's entirely one-sided.

Glad we got that cleared up.

Anyone trying to connect the dots will be told that they're wrong, no matter how right they may be. After all, consider the title of this nonexistent post.

Semi-political Tuesday

I love this country. Really I do. On the other hand:

The Chilean election makes me wonder when someone like that would ever be elected President or even Vice President in the U.S.--or, for that matter, even to the Senate.

By "like that" I don't mean a woman (both of "my" senators have that distinction, and I think we'll see a female U.S. president before I die).

I don't even mean a free-market socialist, although that's wildly unlikely.

Nope. What I mean is: She's an avowed agnostic.

Are there even any "unbelievers" in the House of Representatives?

The joys of obsession

Can you imagine? Here I spent more than two weeks assembling, editing, revising, re-revising, re-editing, and finally preparing an oversize C&I about Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0"--and never once thought about Teleread.

Which, of course, didn't stop the inimitable David Rothman from assuming that my remark about national public library systems (based on Talis' white paper) must be an attack on Teleread, and proceeding to lambaste me not only on Teleread's blog but here as well--and somehow have me attacking ebooks, audiobooks, assistive technology, and who knows what else?

I've objected, of course, but I doubt that it will do much good. Geez, Rochelle, you drop by here: Could you maybe tell DR that some of us really don't think about Teleread 24 hours a day and don't find ways to insinuate opinions as coded messages?

I have not used any foul language in this post. That has been an effort.

Cites & Insights 6:2 - a special issue

Cites & Insights 6:2, Midwinter 2006 is now available for downloading.

This is a special issue, 32 pages long in PDF form, consisting of one essay:

Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0"

Included are quotes and comments from some three dozen sources, some of them new to the discussion.

While the essay is also available in HTML form from the home page, please don't use the HTML if you plan to print the issue--which, at 26,000 words, seems like a reasonable thing to do. The HTML version will take 42 pages to print (at least that's what I see in Firefox "print preview"), as compared to the 32-page PDF. (Since there's only one essay--albeit in five parts--there's only one HTML file.)

A more typical (and shorter!) February Cites & Insights should be available near the end of January (not before January 27) or early in February.

100?

I just noticed that last night's announcement of the new C&I was the 100th entry in this journal.

And my followup on a C&I get-together at ALA Midwinter was the 200th entry at Walt at Random.

Although that might not be quite accurate: There may have been one or two posts that never got posted, and they'd still get numbers.

Cosmic significance? None...except that, given my goal of "two posts a week" at W.a.R., I could stop posting altogether for the next 50 weeks or so. Not that it'll happen...

Cites & Insights 6:1 available

Cites & Insights 6:1, January 2006, is now available for downloading.

The 24-page issue is PDF as usual. Except for "My Back Pages"--a new section that's exclusively part of the complete issue--all sections are also available as HTML separates from the home page.

This issue includes:

  • Bibs & Blather - Interdependency, C&I at Midwinter, YBP at Midwinter, "no year's resolutions" and more.
  • Followup/Feedback Perspective: OCA and GLP Redux - Why I was partly wrong about Project Gutenberg (as explained by Bruce Albrecht), plus a little more about the Open Content Alliance and a lot more about Google Book Search and the Google Library Project.
  • Interesting & Peculiar Products - Eleven of them!
  • Following Up & Feedback - Sony BMG and DRM, and recognizing that Fiona Bradley writes Blisspix, not Explodedlibrary!
  • ©2 Perspective: Will Fair Use Survive? - Notes on the first-rate new report from the Free Expression Policy Project
  • Trends & Quick Takes - Eleven trends and quick takes and four quicker takes.
  • My Back Pages - Five easy pieces in this PDF-only section.

Cites & Insights 5:13 available (special issue)

A special Mid-Fall 2005 issue of Cites & Insights (5:13) is now available. (Well, Fall begins September 22 and ends December 20; November 1 is about as "mid" as you can get.)

This 20-page issue consists of two Perspectives:

  • Life Trumps Blogging (pp. 1-4), which is most definitely a pro-blogging essay, but recognizes priorities.
  • Library Futures, Media Futures (pp. 4-20), which combines my comments on Blake Carver's LISNews "Libraries and Librarians In A Digital Future: Where Do We Fit?" essay; excerpts and comments from and on "Jeremy, Dan, Luke, and Walt," a multiway e-conversation about the future (yes, the Perspective includes last names for everyone); and some notes about other voices on media and library futures.

I have a formatting question about this issue, specifically the monster essay. In order to make it fit, I used 9.5-on-11.5 point Berkeley Book for quoted excerpts instead of the 10-on-12 point that I usually use (body text is 11 on 13). Is this too small for comfortable readability? If people generally say it's OK, I may leave it that way...

[Yes, you can pick up either Perspective as an HTML separate from the home page--but if you plan to print at all, please use the PDF. The second Perspective in HTML form requires more paper all by itself than the whole issue in PDF, and it's nowhere near as readable, in my opinion. Hey, I paid good money for Berkeley Book...]

Predicted arrival date for what should be a slightly more "normal" December issue: No earlier than November 17, no later than December 1. How's that for precision?

Nineteen, maybe

By now you've heard about the Time 100 Novels list and probably seen lots of blog entries noting which novels the blogger has read.

I can swear to 16. I think I've read 19, but there are three cases where it was so long ago that I might have just seen the movie...

No list. Surprisingly, my list doesn't include all of the (few) SF novels...e.g., I should get around to Snowcrash in about 10 years at the rate I'm catching up with SF novels.

Also no comment on the overall quality of the list. I just don't have a broad enough "quality literature" reading background to comment.

Cites & Insights 5:12 (November 2005) available

Cites & Insights 5:12, November 2005 is now available for downloading.

This 22-page issue (PDF, but HTML versions of each essay are available from the home page) includes:

  • Bibs & Blather - five little essays, including a new email address for publishable feedback.
  • Net Media Perspective: Analogies, Gatekeepers and Blogging - some notes about net media and analogies, more comments on Civilities' "New Gatekeepers" series (and a related essay on citizen journalism), notes on seven other blogging essays and papers, and a few notes on Meredith Farkas' first-rate demographic survey of the biblioblogosphere.
  • The Library Stuff - five cited items
  • Library Access to Scholarship - general notes on sources, events and comments on "building the archives" (NIH, RCUK, and Wellcome, and six cited articles. OCA is too new and too important to squeeze into this essay.
  • Interesting & Peculiar Products - eleven products and services.
  • The Good Stuff - four cited items

Me too

I noticed something odd in my Bloglines scan this morning: Seems like one out of three updated library blogs had updates consisting of either:

"I'm giving up on blogging for awhile, until real life settles down a bit"

or

"I'm out of here for X days; blogging will return upon my return."

Since this journal is reduced to pitiful leftovers anyway, neither such message would make any sense--and I haven't given up on blogging (at Walt at Random), since the frequency there has always been unpredictable.

On the other hand, the second statement is true. I'm delighted that so many people are going on trips and just not thinking about blogging while they're gone; breaking the everyday routine is part of taking a break.

So the same here: Don't expect to hear much from me, at any venue, until about a week from now. Or longer: That "real life" thing has been crazy for a few months, and isn't quite ready to let up just yet.

Cites & Insights 5:11 available

Cites & Insights 5:11, October 2005 is now available for downloading.

I like to think of this as a nice short 20-page issue accompanied by feedback and followups on "Investigating the Biblioblogosphere," but that brings the actual issue up to 26 pages.

Here's what's there--and those who detest PDF can reach each essay separately, in HTML form, from the C&I home page.

  • Net Media: Google, Wikis and Media Hacks: Lots on Google (and Yahoo!), less on Wikipedia, Meredith Farkas' remarkable ALA wiki, and more.
  • The Censorware Chronicles: Because it's been more than a year.
  • Perspective: Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness & Reality, 10 Years Later: The "self-review" I promised earlier this year.
  • PC Progress, March-September 2005: 30 reviews in a dozen categories.
  • Trends & Quick Takes: Five brief essays and five really brief Quicker Takes.
  • Followups & Feedback: A summary of what's been said about "Investigating the Biblioblogosphere," with some notes on likely changes "If There Is A Next Time"--and a couple of entirely separate items.

Another post unposted

I wrote a whole entry here about why I just unsubbed from one of the many excess Bloglines subs I've had recently--mostly because the blogger claimed a societal bias against religion, and used as evidence an article that said not one word about religion, but did discuss efforts to fight homophobia. Given the seeming equation of religion and homophobia (and the absurd idea that America is somehow anti-religious, I guess because non-believers still aren't burned at the stake or "deported" immediately), I just gave up on the blog.

This is what's left of it. Oh, and Mdoneil, if you're reading, I don't have appropriate skills to volunteer directly in what's left of NOLA, but we did send total amount at this point not relevant and our business to the only non-religious charity that seemed to be accepting web donations, the American Red Cross. And will probably send more later.

Political Wednesday?

My response to NBruce's response to my comment on her journal posting, here,
[quick time out to catch breath over that chain], should probably have been posted here instead.

Anyone who thinks all liberals are on a single "team" hasn't paid much attention to the Democratic Party. Anyone who puts me on that "team" is doing a black-and-white, fur-us-or-agin-us that I've come to accept is regarded by, oh, GregS* and NBruce and some others here as the Only Proper Way.

I'm not buying it. It's as ludicrous (in my not at all humble opinion) as asserting that anyone who disagrees with Bush's policies is a "Bush hater." (At this point, on one policy, that even includes Dr. Frist--but Repubs. don't get called "Bush haters.")

I've tried to stay reasonably apolitical here and at Walt at Random and even more so at Cites & Insights. Of course, my idea of apolitical isn't that of some readers. Clearly, for example, believing there should be some balance within copyright, based on the U.S. Constitution, is regarded as extremely political to some (on both ends of the political spectrum, in this case).

I don't expect to post a series of political posts here, on Wednesdays or any other day. Not that I don't care about politics; I just prefer not to let it control every aspect of my life, and there are too many people writing too many things about politics already.

I suspect I won't respond to any further responses on NBruce's journal, both because it's her podium, not mine, and because I don't see anyone's mind being changed or anyone being usefully informed by the discussion. Although I certainly found it informative to see that NBruce believes that David Duke and Timothy McVeigh can be equated with Ted Kennedy and Sen. Wellstone! (I'm not making this up--I don't think I could make that up: follow the link at the top of this post and look at the comments.)

I keep being reminded of why satire is so hard to write these days...

Cites & Insights 5:10 (September 2005) available

Cites & Insights 5:10, September 2005 is now available for downloading--or you can reach individual essays in HTML form from the Cites & Insights home page.

A light & fluffy summer issue would be perfect right about now--but this 24-page issue, with a total of four essays, probably isn't it. (I address that issue in "Bibs & Blather.")

What's here:

  • Bibs & Blather -- the usual nonsense
  • Perspective: Investigating the Biblioblogosphere -- looking into 238 "library people" blogs, with detailed metrics and brief comments on 60 of them. Not the top 50 (and there are 60), but maybe a top 50 in certain questionable respects...
  • Perspectives: Summertime Blahs -- two perspectives in one essay. "Iconoclasm and the Great God Google" comments on--well, Web4Lib readers will know. "Creative Commons: Foe of Copyright?" recounts some remarkable attacks on the Creative Commons concept.
  • ©2 Perspective: Orphan Works -- background from the Copyright Office inquiry into this important topic and some notes on the 700+ comments received.

Making a fool of myself

Nothing new about that. And I should know that weblogs offer wonderful opportunities to do stupid things.

Still, I think it's worth noting this screwup--which I will leave up, albeit with the explanation embedded, because my Good Librarian instincts say you shouldn't delete something once it's published, even if it's a little humiliating.

Oh, and the joys of conversational blogs: Two readers caught the hoax within an hour or two of my post. I get great comments--for which I'm eternally thankful.

You might also take a look at the next post after that (or before it, if you go directly to the blog itself, with a few ill-chosen words about the wonders of caching.

New website

For both of you who were wondering, my personal website has moved to
waltcrawford.name, hosted by Lishost.org.

Thanks to Blake Carver for helping me get going on Lishost.

My old website is now nothing more than a "Moved!" announcement and pointer to the new site, and it will disappear in a couple of months (since it's the only reason I'm retaining my at&t dialup account).

D.F.T.T.

Arggh.

Sometimes it's not easy to remember that key saying.

Sometimes you get hit with another slam from the "if you're not 100% with us, you're 100% against us" school of non-thought, and you really want to respond.

Until you remember that:

  • A response won't change anything; the jackass will continue being a jackass and cherry-picking what you write for stuff to attack.
  • If I'm to take Greg* at face value, any "attack" (response) to someone on that side of the political spectrum, no matter how extreme or misguided they are, is treated as an "attack" on everybody on that side--a remarkable worldview in its own right, but one that dissuades me
  • A real response would require linking to the braying, thus giving the jackass a much larger audience.

The moral is, as always:

Don't feed the trolls.

Cites & Insights 5:9 available

Cites & Insights 5:9, July/August 2005, is now available.

This 22-page issue, PDF as usual (with all but the final section available as HTML pieces), includes:

  • ©3 Perspective: Balancing Rights: MGM v. Grokster: A Question of Balance? - Looking at comments on the oral argument, the Supreme Court's decision and two concurring opinions, and some of the early reactions--including my own take.
  • Trends & Quick Takes - How 60 interviews becomes six million podcatchers; why you'll see more promotional DVDs; the least you need to know for OpenURL 1.0; and more--including some notes on why Will Manley's May 2005 column sucks.
  • Perspective: Predicting the Future of Academic Libraries - A slightly humble commentary on why I turned down a speaking invitation, and what sensible people are saying about small steps toward the future.
  • Interesting & Peculiar Products - The iPoser, voice-operated portable players, overpriced gear, and the photo burner--a baker's dozen in all.
  • The Library Stuff - Eight articles worth reading.
  • Followups & Feedback - following up five items, a mini-Bibs & Blather, and summaries in lieu of feedback.

Walt at Random: Apparent new feed address

According to Bloglines, I haven't posted anything since June 23. That's not quite right (by three posts). Apparently something in a WordPress upgrade (Blake?) changed the RSS feed.

Here's the new RSS2 feed address, or you can go to Walt at Random, scroll all the way to the bottom, and select the feed. (Or, if you have the Bloglines toolbar enabled, go to W.a.r. and click on the Subscribe button.)

Of course, now my Bloglines feed shows that W.a.R. has 16 subscribers, not 140-odd. Such is life.

Makes me wonder how many other weblogs have gone silent not because the author stopped writing but because software changed the feed...

Cites & Insights: A pre-ALA non-announcement

Some of you may be anticipating a July issue of Cites & Insights coming out just before ALA--that is, right about now.

That's not going to happen. Indeed, there's not going to be a July issue at all.

Paying attention to readership patterns and wholly appropriate reading habits during the summer, I'm planning a combined July/August issue for mid to late July. That probably means a total of 13 issues for 2005, which seems as good a number as any.

I do not plan a double-length July/August issue; I'm aiming for 20 to 22 pages, with 24 pages tops. The plan is to produce a little less copy during the summer. Maybe some of you will catch up on some of the issues you skipped or that are sliding off your desk along with other unread stuff... (And maybe I'll do a more thoughtful issue with more time. Hope springs eternal!)

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