Blake's blog

Email As Conversation?

I know there's Allota people around here that use Gmail. I've spent a few weeks using the Gmail interface for LISNews email and I still can't get used to this "email as conversation" thing they use.

It does nothing for me, and as a matter of fact it really gets in my way. It groups all email with the same subject together regardless of who it's from or when it came in. I end up with email grouped together and essentially hidden when I don't want it grouped. I can't delete just one of those emails without deleting the entire "conversation." On top of that, it doesn't always do this. For some reason random emails with the same subject aren't grouped together for reasons I can't figure out.

I have a really simple question: What's the advantage for you? What am I missing?

What Are The Chances?

Like most of you I have many passwords. Most of my passwords are quite good. The really important ones are 9 or 10 characters long, and most of the other are 7 or 8. None of them are easily guessable, and all have letters and numbers, most have a symbol of some kind.

I was shopping for a new desk on the internet this evening and a most curious event happened. Like most web sites they dispaly an image made up of a bunch of random letters and ask me to retype the gibberish so they know I'm a real person.

Tonite it repeated 8 of the nine digits of one of my passwords! I can't imagine the odds, maybe I should play the lottery this week?

LISNews Numbers For March 2005

I bet you thought I forgot to run the numbers for last month! Well, you're right, I did. I just remembered, so here they are [Compare To Last Month if you wish]:

Total Sessions 360,298.00
Total Pageviews 1,593,339.00
Total Hits 2,924,049.00
Total Bytes Transferred 24.83 GB
Average Sessions Per Day 11,622.52
Average Pageviews Per Day 51,398.03
Average Hits Per Day 94,324.16
Average Bytes Transferred Per Day 820.31 MB
Average Pageviews Per Session 4.42
Average Hits Per Session 8.12
Average Bytes Per Session 72.27 KB
Average Length of Session 00:11:01

Home Sweet Home

I was talking about choosing a new house with someone at work the other day and I said how nice the location of my house is compared to some others. All things considered, our neighborhood is in damn near a perfect location. Almost everything I'd ever need is within walking distance, and I can ride my bike to damn near everything else. I can walk (within 15 minutes) to: Grocery Store, Hospital, Doctor, Dentist, at least 6 Restaurants (probably more than 10), 2 Pharmacies, 2 Day Cares, Post Office, Bank, Bakery, and various other stuff like toy stores, butcher and even the WNY AAA headquarters. Notably missing from the "walkable" list is a big box retailer, and any kind of hardware store. The "bikeable" list brings all those into range. Within about a 15 minute ride there's 2 small hardware stores, a Lowes, Target, about 30 more restaurants, another Wegmans and a million other things in a suburban shopping mecca.

What more could I ask for? It's a little loud. We're about 1/2 mile from the big roads, so it's not bad, but a little more distance wouldn't be bad. Of course a little more distance would really increase travel time, so I think it's a good compromise. It would also be better if we didn't have to cross 6 lanes of busy traffic to get anywhere. It would also be better if we were a little closer to the thruway. We're about 4 or 5 miles and several rather busy traffic lights away.

I honestly can only think of one or two better (realistic) places to live in all of Western New York. I think we made a good decision when we chose our neighborhood. My first choice would be the Village of Orchard Park, which wouldn't be realistic because my drive to work would be over an hour. Everyone dreams of a house on the lake, but we can't afford that.

There's probably about 300-400 houses in the 8 or so square miles that I'd call our neighborhood. We're boxed in by 4 major roads, and our house sites in about the middle. Head West and the houses get larger and larger until they're 5,000 sq foot mansions with tennis courts. Head to the East and the houses are generally smaller. Our side of our street has lots that are about 3x as deep as most others for some reason. The houses aren't bigger, they just have deeper lots.

But of course a neighborhood is more than houses, it's also the people that dwell within. Most of the houses to the West were built in the mid to late 1960s, a couple streets appeared in the 1980s as well, but the entire area was filled by the early 90s. 30 years ago this was a neighborhood of Doctors and Lawyers. They're still around, but their kids are gone, and they're quickly moving out. We're becoming a neighborhood of teachers, managers and librarians. It's also an incredibly diverse neighborhood.

Looking south from our house: 90+ year old woman from Italy, next door to her an old man I know nothing about, next to him a single guy about my age, across from him are 2 houses of people about our age. Next to them is an older African American couple.

Directly across the street is a 80 something year old widow. Next to her is a couple just a little older than us. He just got laid off from a local factory, she cleans houses. They're afraid they're going to have to sell the house. Next to them is an older couple that has not one, not two, but 3 Mercedes.

Looking North is the mysterious Russian immigrants who own a Russian restaurant. They don't own the home but are apparently renting it from a relative or something. I only got the story second hand, so I don't know what's really going on over there. But we never see them, so I don't care much. Next to them is a could about our age, young kids, she's a teacher he manages an office "Super Store".

Looking East (backyard) is an African American women who'd probably about 60, just retired. Next to her is a Doctor, he's from India, she's not. The house on the other side might be empty, I've never seen a light on or anyone there.

The neighborhood is changing quickly. There's probably about 12 houses for sale, and I'd bet double that number have been sold in the almost 2 years since we moved in. Most of the new folks seem to be solidly middle class, most of them have young kids.

Google Has It All Wrong

Do a search in google For Library News or LISNews or something like that. Google describes LISNews as: "Bibliography of books, articles, and other resources on the natural history of Washington, DC Compiled by Ryan Shepard."

I thought Google used DMOZ for those, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

LISNews Numbers For February 2006

I ran The Numbers through Urchin again for last month:

Total Sessions 259,218.00
Total Pageviews 960,456.00
Total Hits 2,108,344.00
Total Bytes Transferred 14.01 GB
Average Sessions Per Day 9,257.79
Average Pageviews Per Day 34,302.00
Average Hits Per Day 75,298.00
Average Bytes Transferred Per Day 512.53 MB
Average Pageviews Per Session 3.71
Average Hits Per Session 8.13
Average Bytes Per Session 56.69 KB
Average Length of Session 00:14:53

Politics Thursday: Practicing charity towards political foes

I have no idea how many of the sites in my Bloglines account ended up there (probably one reason I'm constantly deleting sites). I've imported a few OPML lists from various places, and added sites on my own that I can't remember why. Andrew Tobias found his way onto my list at some point, and he's proven to be an interesting read lately. I like one thing he wrote a few weeks ago:

" 'Excited' might not always be the word, but for me 'resolutely committed' certainly fits - because to me the difference between rushing to attack Iraq and not, degrading FEMA and not, favoring the ultra-rich and not, allowing the coal mining industry to regulate itself and not, impeding stem cell research and not, teaching intelligent design in Science and not, nominating judges in the mold of Scalia and not, addressing global climate change and not - these (and more!) are just too important not to stay in the game."

I figure that's a fairly good explanation of why I'm currently more turned off by Republicans (and especially neocons) and less by Democrats. I see too many of the "and mores" and "and nots" in the Republican agenda, and frequently they're doing things that appear to me to be bad decisions. I'm not a single issue voter, there's a long list of things I don't like about the Republican policies these days. Single issue voters is just one of those things, they seem to be attracted to the Republican part more often than not. More frequently than not I just don't think they make good decisions. Time and time again I see them as wrong on things like Iraq, taxes, science, secrecy, foreign policy in general, appointments, religion, spending, "and more" and making decisions where the "and not" was the right choice. That's not to say I buy into the philosophy Republicans are destroying our country and we're all going to be living in a theocracy any time soon. I do believe there are plenty of people pushing for that, I just don't think it'll happen.

My personal life influences my political outlook as much, or more than, those folks in Washington do. My social circles (Friends, family, friends of friends, friends of family, coworkers, and so on) are full of people from all walks of life. At work I'm surrounded by mostly neocons. You'll never see my whining about how I'm outnumbered and surrounded at work. I think it's good to be in this situation because I learn how other people look at the world in a very different way. At home several of my friends and family members are conservatives as well. A few are proudly liberal, and the remainder fall somewhere in the middle. And let's not rule out the LISNewsterz, what I read here tells me a lot about what kind of people are on either side. Everyone I come in contact with stands a chance of teaching me something about themselves, and their politics.

This being an election year I'm in the rather unique position of being in a congressional district where we have a chance at replacing an "up and coming" Republican with a Democrat. I say "unique" because of the way districts are drawn incumbents (in both parties) have a huge advantage over their challengers. Our district is one that just last year registered more Ds than Rs.

I'm not sure why, but I've, until recently, almost always been politically neutral. When I say I'm neutral I don't mean I'm apolitical, but rather I'm not someone who identifies strongly with either party. I just happen to identify less with Republicans than Democrats lately. I see both parties as being similar in many ways, and most politicians as being in it for themselves. I'll go so far as to say I currently tend to agree with more Democratic ideals that Republican, but much of the time politicians from both parties leave me wondering just how exactly they got into office. When a big issue comes up I try to see what both sides are saying and then make up mind based on what I think. I try to question both sides and see who has the best answer. I don't go looking for echo chamber idiots to reinforce ideas I already have. I agree whole-heartedly with Daniel's philosophy of "getting past the politics of personal attack." I always hope to learn more about political positions, whether I agree or not, so I can be sure I understand how something might impact the future.

So, here's my four compliments about President George W. Bush:


  1. Increased IMLS spending
  2. Focused on security
  3. Increased research on alternative energy
  4. Represents his constituency very well

LISNews is Dead, Long Live LISNews

I just started redirecting all LISNews.com traffic to LISNews.org.

I HOPE I got it right this time. If anyone spots anything crazy happening please let me know. I'm just doing a little mod_rewrite:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^lisnews.org$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://lisnews.org/$1 [R,L]

Update: Sunday: Search Engines Web pointed out I messed up the subdomains.

What I Did Yesterday

Another "Day In The Life" post. This one started out pretty rough, and a lot too early. I was too tired to finish this up last night, but this is a list of what I did yesterday.

2:30am – Baby Crying? What? My baby sleeps all night. Stupid immunizations yesterday gave her sore legs and a wicked fever. We spend an hour wondering what to do, then hit her with some baby Tylenol. For about 3 hours she falls in an out of sleep, I catch quick nap and get up with my alarm at 5:35. Wife goes back to bed, I give baby a bottle, get her to sleep for about 10 minutes. She wakes herself up with an epic pooping session. I took her temperature again, it's dropped over 3 degrees now, down to almost 100. Call the boss, tell him I'm probably not coming in. Contemplate Google search "can I sell my baby on eBay?" Go wake wife up at 7:15, baby seems happy and wide awake, fever isn't bad. Snap decision, call boss back, tell him I'll just be late. Get baby ready, wife leaves with baby at 8, grab a shower and a bowl of Cheerios, make it to work about 8:45, almost 2 hours late. Total sleep last night, about 5 hours.

8:45 – The keyword crunch continues. I'm loosing my assistant on Friday, and we have about 3,000 records to update in our database before then. The most boring, tedious job I've had in ages is not keeping me awake.

9:00 – Searching for ways to stay awake. Call wife and check in about how drop off at day care went. All is well, baby was tired but seemed fine.

9:10 - Find caffeinated beverages.

11:00 – Lunch time. I now realize I forgot my damn lunch. Forage for food. My snack drawer provide substance enough to get me though another 5 hours till I get home.

11:30 - The keyword crunch continues. I will finish this if it kills me, and chances are it will.

12:45 - Take a break, get ready for 1 O' Clock Meeting.

1:45 – Back from boring meeting. The keyword crunch continues

2:30 – Done! Took a lot less time than I thought it would. Still, no fun. Relax for a minute.

2:45 – Check in some new documents. Scan them, and file.

3:00 – Figure out how many unique keywords we have now. I needed to bounce the list between access, word and excel a few times to get a decent list. We're down to just 1100 from about 10,000! Wow, excellent. Now I need to go through that list of 1100 and make sure they're all good. Finding a few errors. So just a little more scrubbing and I think we'll be done.

3:50 – I'm tired. I feel sick, it's really cold in here today. Time to head out. Race to day care. Figure out what to do for dinner, father-in-law is coming for dinner tonite. I hope baby is well, and well rested. She's been having troubles sleeping at day care during the day.

4:20 – Daycare, swoop in and pick up baby. She looks good, not too happy, but good.

4:25 – Home, check diaper, she still feels warm, check temperature. 102! Ouch. Damn vaccinations. Quick check email, phew, no crisis's. Enjoy 6 ounce bottle with baby.

4:50 – Eek, father in law is coming over for dinner, I forgot! Quick clean house. Pray baby falls asleep in swing.

5:10 – Prayers not answered, house clean, wife calls. Tell her to stop at Wegman's and get fish fries to go for three.
5:30 – Father in law shows up.

5:50 – Food / Wife show up.

6:00 – Not the best fish fry I've ever had, but not bad. I'd expect more from Wegman's.

6:30 – Baby becoming increasingly fussy, check temp, 100, not bad. Mommy's attempt to fee fails, hand off to daddy. A couple quick shots of Tylenol for baby.

7:00 – Finished bottle with baby, attempt one to lay baby down in crib fails, attempt 2 fails, 3, fails, 4 …

7:30 – tip toe out of baby's room and hope for the best. Watch some TV with father in law and wife.

8:30 – father in law leaves, check email, answer a few, check a server issue. So tired

9:00 - Crawl into bed and hope for the best with baby.

11:59 – Baby wakes up already crying. The night went down hill from there. So this is what it's like to have a problem child.

The Anonymous Patron Account

There was some interesting discussions on the Anonymous Patron account last week, so I thought I'd explain a little bit about how Slashcode works, and what gets stored where. Slashcode is an open source product so in theory I'm not telling you anything you couldn't figure out on your own. That's a fine theory, but in reality Slashcode is tough to install, and tough to run, so I doubt if anyone would want to install it just to see how things work.

The best and worst thing about the internet is how much anonymity we all have. It allows people to write about things they'd be afraid to talk about in person, and it theoretically encourages the free flow of ideas. It also greatly increases flame wars. The Anonymous Patron @ LISNews allows anyone to post things "anonymously" if they choose.

There are a few different ways to track who's doing what on any web server. One is cookies, another is IP address, Slaschode (that which powers LISNews) uses both in different ways. Slashcode does a good job of tracking who is doing what, while at the same time it tries protect anonymity. So, we get some kind of control, and still allow some sort anonymity. I've never looked into the cookie procedures, and I've only once tried to figure out who posted something based on IP address (thought that failed). So every time someone does something here the Apache logs record an IP address, a cookie is set, and Slashcode writes to a couple of tables. For those who want to know exactly what happens, it looks something like this:

$user->{ipid} = md5_hex($hostip);
$user->{subnetid} = $hostip;
$user->{subnetid} =~ s/(\d+\.\d+\.\d+)\.\d+/$1\.0/;
$user->{subnetid} = md5_hex($user->{subnetid});

For most of you that probably makes no sense, so I'll explain a little. The $hostip is an IP address of the computer responsible for whatever it was that just happened. Slashcode could just record that IP, but it plays nice, and records an "MD5 Hash" of that IP. It also records the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subnetwork ">Subnet as well.

LISNews authors have a variety of "super secret and exciting" powers. Some authors can only post stories, some can delete stories, and a select few of us have the ability to do all sorts exciting things like add and delete users, change passwords and see those MD5 Hashes as an IPID or a SUNETID link. We can browse by those and see what's been happening from an IP address based on that hash. Theoretically I could figure out what the MD5 really means and really know what an IP is doing, and probably figure out what a person is up to, but I really have better things to do with my time. It's not easy associating the real IP (which could point to a real person) and that IPID/SUBNET thing. Though it is easy to see everything an particular IP has done, and it's also easy to ban an IP, though I've only done that to spammers.

I don't write all this to chill any discussions, just to let ya'll know that it's sometimes easy to know which LISNewsterz are up to no good around here. It's rare that I even bother looking, but I think it's good for you guys to know we have that ability.

Critique My LISHost Brochure!

If you happen to be bored and opinionated this afternoon (Well, it's afternoon here at least) have a look at my super fancy LISHost Brochure and let me know what you think. I'm thinking of mailing it out to libraries/librarians as a way to drum up some new business for LISHost. I'd love to hear any ideas you might have.
How does it look? Does it make sense? Did I do a good job "selling" LISHost?

My Day

I did this yesterday, but since it wasn't a work day I'm not sure it counts. I sure can't keep up with Slashgirl!, but here's what I've been up to.

My day yesterday (Presidents day)
Baby needs a bottle, 6am
Baby goes back to sleep, 630am
Blake goes back to sleep, 635am
Baby wakes Blake up 900am
Playtime with baby 910am
Lunch time for baby 1045am
Pack up baby for lunch with mommy 1130am
Lunch with mommy, 1200pm
Nap time for baby 1:30pm
Work on LISFeeds and LISNews, answer email.
Baby all done sleeping 2:30pm
Playtime with baby 235pm
Grocery shopping at Wegmans, 400pm
Try to figure out why baby won't stop crying 500pm
Baby falls asleep 530pm
Dinner with mommy 600pm
Work on LISHost, LISFeeds and LISNews, answer email 700pm
Tired, bed time, 10pm
Also thrown in throughout the day was 5 or 6 diaper changes.

My day today:
All in all this was a pretty typical day. We did get 2 reference requests, which is about 1 more than average. My main tasks seem to change slowly over time. Lately it's been all running reports and stuff for metrics, in the past it was scanning, shredding and organizing boxes. I'll occasionally do presentations, or make a day trip down to headquarters in White Plains.

Alarm goes off 535am
Drag body to shower, dress, get in car and drive to work 605am
Snowy drive in, Arrive work 640am
Check email, snail mail, turn everything on, check voice mail 700am
Work on Database queries, format Excel report, have some oatmeal 830am
Find videos for checkout 835am
Fix website for ops dept. 900am
Walk down to Mary's office, drat, forgot Mary's not here 915
Back to queries, Excel, and Crystal reports. 930
Lunch, roast pork sandwich, 1100
Check Bloglines, Buffalo News, NYTimes, Yahoo News, check email 1145
Back to queries, Excel, and Crystal reports. Noon
Tell Roger to scan EAPD report
Eyes blurry from queries, Excel, and Crystal reports, go for a walk to find Ops web guy 130pm
Work on keywords clean up 145pm
Investigate strange beeping noise in the hall 210pm
Various work crud until about 345
Daycare, stop and get baby. She's asleep! Nothing worse than waking a sleeping baby 420
Baby time till mommy gets home at 530
Make some dinner, spaghetti for adults, peas for baby 630
Walk to post office & Wegman's to get some stuff 730
Night time baba with mommy and baby 800
Back at the computer 830
Answer email, set up a new LISHost account, bug hunt on LISNews, more work on LISFeeds. 915
Too tired to go on. DIdn't get to homework, LISHost ad or one other email, will have to wait. 930
Brush teeth go to bed.

What I Do All Day

Librarian.net is one of the RSS Slashboxes I read on my LISNews Homepage (you can do the same thing).
Jessamyn shared what she does all day, and I'll do the same next week, I hope you'll do the same.
As time allows next week, post to your LISNews journal what you did all day. I'll post a reminder Monday morning as a story as well.

The LISNews Numbers For January

Nothing against Webalizer, but I've really been missing the Urchin version of the LISNews numbers. I was thinking about it this morning and I relized that though LISNews is over There I still have Urchin over Here and all I'd need to do was cat my daily logs files together and mover them. Now I can see the stats in all their Urchiny goodness, and also see how the two systems crunch numbers from the same exact log files. The numbers were surprisingly different!

So first, the usual Urchin numbers:

Total Sessions 274,483.00
Total Pageviews 1,077,978.00
Total Hits 2,352,318.00
Total Bytes Transferred 17.49 GB

Average Sessions Per Day 8,854.29
Average Pageviews Per Day 34,773.48
Average Hits Per Day 75,881.23
Average Bytes Transferred Per Day 577.73 MB

Average Pageviews Per Session 3.93
Average Hits Per Session 8.57
Average Bytes Per Session 66.81 KB
Average Length of Session 00:13:32

So how does that compare to what Webalizer says?

Total Hits 2666296
Total Files 1747210
Total Pages 825406
Total Visits 191658
Total KBytes 16477700
Total Unique Sites 32031
Total Unique URLs 13519
Total Unique Referrers 6081
Total Unique User Agents 2581
. Avg Max
Hits per Hour 3583 17885
Hits per Day 86009 188995
Files per Day 56361 131211
Pages per Day 26626 69117
Visits per Day 6182 7254
KBytes per Day 531539 1283364

Those numbers are surprisingly different. I'll compare a few more just for fun.

Most requested pages:
Webalizer says: Index, article, lisnews.rss, search.pl, robots
Urchin says: article, index.rss, lisnews.rss, search.pl, Index

Busiest requestors:
Webalizer: Vanderbilt.edu, bloglines, Google, touchtelindia.net and MSN
Urchin: Inktomi, yahoo, Comcast, Google and Verizon.

Browsers:
Webalizer: IE6, Mozilla, Googlebot, Yahoo, and Bloglines
Urchin: IE, Mozilla, Bloglines, Netscape, and Google

On The Future Of Libraries: A Response To Walt Crawford

I was just digging through my "write file" and ran across this essay I apparently wrote way back sometime during the first week of November last year, just before I started my leave from work, and completely forgot about. It looks like it's more or less finished, so I guess I'll just drop it in here even though it's not exactly timely.

--------

Let me begin with this quote:
""books" is what 69% of 3,348 respondents think of when they think of libraries. ("Information" was a distant second at 12%.)" [It's All Good]

Now let me summarize what I meant to say in my last essay. We will reach a critical mass of people who think libraries (I guess I'm thinking mostly public, but maybe academic too) libraries are useless in the next decade. One part of that mass will not need DVDs any more because they get them "on demand." Another part won't have any reference questions any more because they have Google et. al. Another part won't need books any more because they can just download and read them on their e-Book reader. Another part never liked libraries. Another part don't support any public institutions. Some others want lower taxes and will sacrifice libraries for that goal. There are probably other groups I'm overlooking. Only a few of these groups are new, but it's a list that will continue to grow. All these separate groups (not working together) will form a significant threat to libraries. Many of these groups have been around for decades, but I'm not sure I see any evidence there's an up and coming new pro-library group to outnumber them. More and more people I talk to just don't see value in libraries any more. I speak mostly from personal experience here, rather than having any real numbers to back me up.

So on to some responses to Walt's ideas.

"because I can safely project an audience of more than 200 million Americans who grew up with books, continue
to read them, and will be around in 20 years."

I'm not saying people will stop reading, though I'm not sure Walt was saying that either, but I'm saying a significant percentage of that audience will largely replace books with bytes. Not all, but enough will no longer thing of books when they think of libraries to make support for libraries dwindle further. They will largely stop buying new print, they will largely stop going to the library to check them out, and they will simply download them. For a large group of people it'll be easier, faster, cheaper and better for them to do it this way. Even some people who grew up with books will use electronic editions of some kind because they will be convenient and easy to use.

"libraries never have been "The Information Place"—and they've never been the place most people fill their "daily information needs," … "Once again, the library never had that role for most people. It can't lose a role it never had."

Great point, and one I hadn't considered. I'm not sure it changes anything for me, but it's certainly something that will stick with me. Information is a distant second when it comes to libraries for most people. Since there are only a select few people who use the library of "information" does it matter if Google et. al. replace that need?

"In 1992 we were told repeatedly that by the turn… "
What I wrote:
"The technology exists now to realistically begin moving away from print, not because it's just the latest gizmo fad, but because it's going to be cheaper, faster, easier, and just as stable as, and just as good, if not better than, print."
I think we've reached the point where we'll start to see usable mass market readers within a few years, I'll say by 2010 at the latest. The newest reader from Sony seems to be the first in the new generation of readers.

"Who are these "millions of kids" abandoning books?"
What I wrote was:
"All those things you think are so great about print are the same things millions of kids think [are] completely wrong."
Another one of my poorly worded sentences with an abstract idea half way presented poorly. What I meant: I don't think (most) kids will look at books in the say way adults do. It's those kids that will make up a substantial part of that critical mass. Rather than feeling any nostalgia for print, they'll feel it for their first e-Book reader, or their first laptop. I don't look at records and feel anything like many boomers do, and I don't look at my first iPod with any feelings like my 15 year old niece does. There will be no nostalgia for print for a significant number of people who drive spending trends within a decade or two. Having one book to lug around won't interest them when they can carry a reader that's the same size and holds 12 (or 1200) books. I don't think they'll abandon them, I think they'll never feel any connection with them in the first place. Most of their reading will be done on some type of computer.

I really used LOCKSS as an example of just one way digital, when done correctly, is safe. So lots of stuff keeps our stuff safe, that is, redundancy and backs ups, and redundancy. If done right, digital can be just as safe as print. LOCKSS is just one method, with a great catchy name that explains things very well.

Walt makes another good point I didn't consider when he points out we're in trouble (I'm guessing Public Libraries here) if we don't think about 40- to 90-year-olds. Are they going to be all that different? Can we serve 90 years olds and 19 year olds at the same time? I'm not (nor have I ever been) a public librarian, so I can only pretend to understand what happens there. Nor do I think I'm 100% sure I understand where support comes for publics in terms of votes. This is certainly an interesting area that I hope is being studied.

"Teenagers change as they become adults…" That's true, and a great point. I can't really speak to how the average person growing up now might change over the next 10 or 20 years, though I can hazard a guess. They won't feel much of a connection to printed books, libraries or librarians. The rest of what I've written here explains why. And again, I have no studies or real data to back me up. I just think that there is a large (and growing) group of younger folks like this.

So let me close with one more quote, because I'm a very lousy writer, and also don't have many original thoughts, and I think if someone else says something it'll sound more important than if I say it.

"A library is almost a dinosaur now because everyone has a computer and can use the Internet to go into any big library and get any information they need, That's a lot of money to spend just to check a book out."
http://public.lisnews.org/article.pl?sid=05/09/16/149208

If I'm right, and if enough people start to think like this we're all in trouble. A big part of the problem is there is so very little being done to market ourselves and to change that way of thinking.

A New Voice... A New Choice

Not like it matters much to me because I can't get any readio signals in when I'm at work, but An AM Station here in Buffalo just changed formats. They're going political with "left" sided talk show hosts. They call themselves the "left channel" even though they're at 1520, which is on the right side of the dial. And they're owned by the same people who own the neocon talk station, which is at 930, to the left of the dial.
So I had a listen this week and what I heard was somewhat amusing, but less interestring than I'd hoped for. Anything's better than a brain damaged deaf junkie, but I was hoping for more light and less heat.
I don't recogize any of the loud mouths they have on either:
6a-9a Bill Press
9a-12n Stephanie Miller
12n-3p Leslie Marshall
3p-7p Ed Schultz
7p-10p Stephanie Miller
10p-1a Lionel
1a-6a Joey Reynolds

I suppose it is a new voice around here, it just doesn't seem to be the one I was hoping for.

Bouncing Boobies

The LISNews daily email goes out to about 4,000 people at last count, so there's bound to be plenty of bounces every day. One or two bounces a day are often from some kind of email content filter, Guava seems to particularly hate the LISNews emails. Last week I used "from the no-boobies-for-you dept." on a filtering story and I learned just how many libraries out there have email filtering in place.

I was really surprised at the number of bounces the word boobies caused from Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. I didn't notice any from North America or anywhere else, so it seems email content filters are more popular elsewhere. I can understand the arguments behind filtering web access, but I'm not sure I understand why you'd want to bounce email that contains "unacceptable" words. Is it a SPAM thing?

Can anyone out there on the other side of a mail filter comment on what it's like?

Messages You Can Get From LISNews

Your Messages

A missed email caused me to chance my "bounce filters", and the first uncaught bounce was someone's "New Submission" email that didn't make it. That surprised me, I had no idea that was even an option (my wife just said "how could you not know that?", to which I responded "I dunno, my site does a million things, I can't know it all"), so I thought I'd have a look at all my (and yours) Message Options. It turns out there's a lot more than I thought. I'm going to write about everything I can see, which may not be the same thing you can see (I have super powers).

Many of the LISNews messages have a web/email option.

"Bad login attempt warnings" Sounds interesting, I guess I can see if someone appears to be cracking an account.

"Comment Moderation" That's one I've been using. If one of my comments gets moderated, I get a web message.

"Comment Reply" Another handy one, if anyone replies to my comment I get a message.

"Daily Headlines" & "Daily Newsletter" This is the daily mail sent out with the stories from the day.

"Daily Moderation Stats" A summary of all the moderation action. There's not much action most of the time, but it makes for some interesting reading sometimes.

"Daily Site Stats" This one has a more complete summary of what happened the day before.

"Email Story" This isn't really message, but rather a way to stop LISNews from sending you stories. I'd say this really doesn't fit here at all, but I suppose there's not really a better place to put it.

"Interuser Messages" I don't think this one works, but is something that was half done and never got finished. I could be wrong, but I can't find a way to send someone a message.

"Journal Entry by Friend" This works along with the Zoo plugin and allows you to get a ping when one of your "friends" writes in their journal.

"Journal Reply" If someone leaves a comment on one of your journal posts you can get a message. Handy to see what people are saying about what you write.

"Metamoderation Results" Your moderations, when you do them, get moderated, and this is how you find out how you did.

"New Submission" This is the one I didn't know about. Any time there's a new submission you can get a message. Kinda handy, but you'll get several messages a day with this one.

"Relationship Change" Another part of the zoo plugin. If someone adds you as a friend (or enemy) you can get a message.

I guess I should click around a bit more and see what other things LISNews can do that I don't know about!

Linux On The Desktop

Kelly took an unusually long nap last night (3 hours!!!) which allowed me to finish setting up my new Linux box. I switched off my XP box last night, and I don't have plans to turn it back on unless I need flies for at least a week. I've been wanting to try Linux on my desktop machine for years now, and I suppose now is a good time. So far so good. It feels slower than Windows, and somethings are hard to set up and find, but over all it's doing the job. I also have a local version of slashcode installed for development.

In other news I'm trying to figure out the best way to move LISNews from .com to .org without really "breaking the internet", as someone put it. Redirects? Archives? Links... not sure how I'll handle it yet.

How I Stopped Worrying And Learned to Love Library 2.0

It's pretty simple really. I read This. It took a while, a couple days actually, but I made it through, and it was worth it. I highly recommend you do the same.

The 2.0 meme could just be what so many libraries needed to move forward. It's finally got people talking about things they should've been talking about 5 years ago. It's finally given a decent frame to things that have been so obvious to many librarians for years. It's something for people to grab on to and run with. It's a start, it's got legs, call it what you like, it's finally something.

Walt said it best. This is just about building better libraries, and enjoying our work. If we can do that, we can better serve our patrons.

This way of thinking is the tide in the affairs of librarians that if taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted, we become replaced by Google. (I feel really smart when I paraphrase Shakespeare)

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