Cites & Insights 9:11 (October 2009) is now available.
The 30-page issue is, as usual, PDF, with HTML separates available for most of the essays. The issue includes:
Bibs & Blather
Sponsorship still needed, status reports on Cites & Insights Books (one book gone, one going soon...and a new project underway), and one more chance (11 days) to help me decide whether to keep Library Access to Scholarship.
A variety of perspectives on that long-time favorite, The Death of (Print) Books.
Seven mini-commentaries and six quicker takes...including a slightly skeptical take on Wolfram|Alpha and fanboy commentators.
Musings on fair use--and why it's important that it's an exception to copyright protections, not just a defense against infringement. (Would'ja believe dancing babies?)
My Back Pages
Always a bonus for full-issue readers (it's never available in HTML), this brief installment includes five brief snarky commentaries.
In an effort to expand their readership and sales, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are planning to start San Francisco editions, the NYT reported. The new editions would offer more local news for the San Francisco Bay Area in a bid to win new readers and advertisers.
Neither paper has released details of their plans, but the NYT spoke to anonymous sources about the Journal's project who explained that the SF edition would contain a page or two of general interest news from California, probably once a week. It anticipates starting the new edition in November or December.
The Wall Street Journal is also looking at a weekly arts and culture section focused on New York City, according to reports in July. This has been interpreted as an attempt to compete more directly with the Times, and a San Francisco edition, if it does indeed include general interest rather than business news, is likely to be viewed in the same light. The Times itself is considering regional editions based in other cities, according to the NYT article.
Pat Holt of Holt Uncensored decries the plummeting of print newspaper sales, and offers several serious suggestions to publishers.
"After our 30-year honeymoon with computers, and 20 solid years on the Internet, people are getting tired of screens and starting to miss the newsprint experience. It’s time for newspapers to earn their way back into readers’ minds and pocketbooks. Here are some suggestions:
Fight for Your Paper - Everybody’s waiting for publishers to do something — to, in the first place, define the benefits of newspapers that computers can’t offer. If you run a newspaper, the time has come to get out there and tell readers: Our paper publishes the kind of stories in print that you can’t find on the Internet.
This means that the newsprint version will be different from the website version, so you have to believe in it. If you don’t think that newspapers are far ahead of the Internet in key ways, get outta the biz."
The Reader’s Digest Association Monday became the latest magazine publisher weighted down by severe debt to file for bankruptcy protection. RDA said it reached an agreement in principle with a majority of its senior secured lenders on terms of a restructuring plan to reduce the company’s debt from $2.2 billion to $550 million, and expects to file a pre-packaged Chapter 11 petition for its U.S. business within the next 30 days.
RDA's lender group will also provide the company with $150 million in debtor-in-possession financing which, it said, will be convertible into exit financing upon emergence from Chapter 11.
But, there will always be Reader's Digests....won't there?
Jennifer Garner tells Oprah Magazine, that when she was a young’n growing up in West Virginia she always wanted to be a librarian.
“I had a very rich imaginary world,” said Garner, who is 37. “And my dream was to grow up to be a librarian, because I had a librarian named Mrs. McCann who I thought was the most magical woman on the planet. She used to publish little versions of my stories, typing them on manila folders and illustrating them with pictures of me and my teddy bear.”
In a break with tradition, The Associated Press plans to prevent members and customers from publishing some AP content on their websites. Instead, those news organizations would link to the content on a central AP website — a move that could upend the consortium’s traditional notions of syndication.
That’s one revelation from a document we obtained (labeled “AP CONFIDENTIAL — NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION”) that offers new insight into how the AP is planning to reinvent itself on the Internet according to Neiman Lab, Harvard University.
The seven-page briefing, entitled “Protect, Point, Pay — An Associated Press Plan for Reclaiming News Content Online,” was distributed to AP members late last month. It provides greater detail about the tracking device that will be attached to AP content and describes their plans to create topic pages around news stories to rival Wikipedia and major aggregation sites. And in an hour-long interview last night, the AP’s general counsel, Srinandan Kasi, also shed light on how the consortium views reuse of its material across the Internet.
Cites & Insights 9:10 (September 2009) is now available.
This 28-page issue includes the results of two followup "research" projects and a certain amount of summer silliness. The issue is PDF. While three of the four essays are available in HTML form (as links from the essay titles below), I really don't recommend viewing either of the research projects that way--they're heavy on tables, and it's fair to say that Word's HTML converter was overzealous in its preparation of tables: They may or may not look very good, and they result in quarter-megabyte downloads. The PDF version is much easier to read...
Here's what's in the issue--and yes, some of the "regular" features may return soon:
Perspective: Public Library Blogs: A Limited Update
I looked at May 2009 posts and comments, and the most recent post prior to May 31, 2009, for all of the public library blogs in the book Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples (based on blog activity March-May 2007). This update considers currency, frequency, comments and conversational intensity and how those have changed from 2007 to 2009--and includes brief notes on pioneer blogs and some of the blogs I found particularly intriguing. (The HTML is large and may not look all that great.) With this update, my work on these blogs is complete--and the spreadsheet's yours for the taking, if you're so inclined. -- Read More
Before the 1870s, it was used more for writing down one’s own thoughts or discretely noting the conversation of others. Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens used it, as did legions of “spirit-rappers, teetotalers, vegetarians, pacifists, anti-vivisectionists, anti-tobacconists,” and other members of a “counter-culture of early adapters” who generated something of a shorthand craze in mid-19th-century Britain. Isaac Pitman, creator of the wildly successful “Stenographic Soundhand” method still used today, made arguments that don’t sound so different from the tweeting techno-evangelists of our age. When people correspond by shorthand, he declared “friendships grow six times as fast as under the withering blighting influence of the moon of longhand.”
I remember my mother with her spiral top notebook and two columns of lines writing down what seemed to me to be completely indistinguishable marks. Anyone out there know shorthand? Is it of any value today?
Reed Business Information is putting Publishers Weekly and its affiliated publications, Library Journal and School Library Journal, up for sale. The sale of the group is part of RBI’s strategy to divest most of its trade magazines in the U.S. Last year, Reed Elsevier, parent company of RBI, tried to sell all of RBI but dropped the sale when it couldn’t get the price it wanted in a depressed market for media properties.
In a related announcement, Tad Smith, CEO of RBI US, has resigned. John Poulin has been named acting CEO and he will head the sales process.
Who wants to buy some professional journals...Blake?
If information isn't online, it may as well not exist. In the latest sign that the world of traditional print has become a world of hurt, the American Chemical Society is reported to be planning to switch to an online-only publishing model for its journals.