Blake's blog

Volume, Issue Volume, Issue

The editor, peer review, issue driven model seem like it's old and tired. I don't me that the editor/peer* review part of the publishing is old and busted, it's the issue driven model that seems so old and busted when compared to the new hotness of "publish when you wanna" way of doing things. I've seen people write about the peer review components built into the web and blogging because we have people reading and commenting on what we write. While this is one kind of peer review, it's not the same thing, and I don't think it's a good replacement for how things are currently done. Editors and reviewers are key to any good writing process. I can't entirely agree with the line of thinking that peer review happens by being linked to, or it happens after the piece is posted via comments. At least I can't entirely agree with it at this point. Links and comments can and should be one part of the peer review process, but editors and reviewers should be as well. I really think a top quality "journal of the future" should have all of the above.

But anyways, to my point, can't we combine peer review and blogs into some kind of peer reviewed blog? What do we gain by having one issue of 14 articles comes out once a quarter as a single issue? What would be wrong with having a new article once a week? What is it about a journal that says it must come out as a single issue? "Because that's how it's always been done" doesn't seem like a good answer, there must be something else.

Why must we wait for the next issue of X? Why can't we get an article a day that's gone through the peer review process? Do we gain something from having an issue a month or quarter? While this isn't really about LISNews, why can't half of what we post to LISNews be a peer reviewed, scholarly and original article? Actually, maybe I need to rephrase my question; what do we have to lose by moving away from issues towards publishing on a very irregular basis? I'm very curious about how people feel about this.

I'm sure I'm not the first one to think about this, if I was a better librarian & writer I'd do an exhaustive literature search. If I wasn't so lazy I'd search a word or two on Google because I bet someone is already doing this kind of thing. But I'm a blogger, I'm lucky if I can string together 3 or 4 sentences into a readable paragraph. But like a good blogger I can't resist rambling on about an unoriginal idea that deals with how blogs are revolutionizing some damn thing or another.

*[pee passes spell check and I was about 1 second away from hitting save having written pee review :-)]

Some Journal Numbers

I was doing some digging for other things in the log files and remembered I haven't been reporting the Journal stats recently, so here's some numbers.
Interesting to note the journals are now read FAR more via their RSS feeds than the journal pages themselves, so first a breakdown of total hits.

Walt's #1 at a total of about 6,800 recorded hits.
Next is me with about 6,600 hits
Slashgirl has alotta fans, she's at #2, with just over 5,800 hits.
nbruce has one IP that hits her feed far too often, and that lands her at about 4,700
Next up, tomboy, shoe & birdie tie with about 1,800 each
djfiander, Daniel and mdoniel all round out the top 10 with about 1,200 hits.

Those are the total hits, what about the web pages?
I'm #1 at about 1,100 hits with nbruce just a few hits behind at almost 1,000.
Daniel is third with about 800 hits, mdoneil, Bibliofuture & slashgirl have just a few less.
slashgirl, birdie, and Redcardlibrarian all fall at around 650 hits.
And rounding out the top 10 is Ashtabula guy with about 550 hits.

If you need to know just RSS hits, you can do the math on your own.

Overall the journals pages were viewed just over 162,000 times. The total number of pageviews during this same time was just over one million. The articles page was about 156,000, the two main feeds where at about 180,000, the index page was about 60,000, and the comments page was about 30,000. All this, and more, from about 41,000 unique IP addresses.

These numbers are a real PITA to pull out of Urchin, but I will try to remember to pull them out for this month when I run the numbers. Something important to keep in mind, these numbers are a) for the date range 04/30/2005 - 06/15/2005 and b) much lower than they should be due to Urchin crashes last month. These numbers are for about 25 real days, even though the range is much larger. So if you want to figure out how many hits these journals get in "real" a month, I'd say divide that number by 25 and multiply the result by 31. So my guess would be Walt's LISNews journal gets hit around 8,000 times a month.

Also note hits != reads. All I can say is that something downloaded these specific pages X number of times over a given time period. An educated guess says about 30-40% of hits are "things," 60-70% are real live people reading the pages that are hit. "Things" being bots, search engines, feed aggregators, and other electronic beings that are doing something with the page.

Two things that make me feel like a cranky old man

1. Tabbed Browsing: People seem really excited IE is getting tabbed browsing. People seemed really excited when Mozilla et. al. got tabbed. I just don't get it. Is having a few more windows opened really that much of a problem? I still need to use two keys on my keyboard to switch between the tabs. What's the big deal? I normally have about a million windows open and I never have a problem finding what I need, I just can't figure out what I'm missing with the tabs. Do they posses some magical powers I'm not aware of? Do they organize things in a way that I'm missing? These are not rhetorical questions, someone help me out here, I just don't get it. I've got about a googlzillion plugins in my Mozilla, most of them are super useful and get regular use, but I never feel the need to open a new tab.

2. RSS Aggregators: People seem really excited about the ability to read a billion blog posts on one page. This one I can understand. The urge to read what hundreds of people are writing about is understandable. So, it's not that I don't understand, it's that I don't care. I don't care if I missed another link, another story or another thought from the blogosphere. I think I keep up with the people I enjoy reading fairly well most of the time and that's good enough for me. I suppose I'm on the supply side of RSS, and I've never felt the need to be a hyper-consumer of RSS. If I spend more than a few minutes a day reading blogs I always feel like I'm wasting my time. I don't mean to sound like an arrogant bastard again, but I really do have better things to do. I know I'm missing things, I know there's tons of good stuff being written, and I know I can learn a lot, but I just don't have the time. Yes it might just be ironic that LISNews offered some of the first RSS feeds, and yes it may be ironic I also run a web site that aggregates RSS feeds. And let me just say because it's not for me doesn't mean it's wrong. There's nothing wrong with you having a million feeds in your aggregator, it just doesn't currently fit in with how I use the web at this point in my life. For now I'll just keep working to make sure you have something to read in your aggregator.

My name is Blake, and I'm a cranky old man.

Some Year 2005 Slashcode Database Stats

Here's Some Numbers I pulled out of the database that might be of interest. They show who's been busy doing what, and a few other numbers that might be of interest, all broken down by month.

There's a few more nunmbers I can probably pull out of there, so if you can think of something else interesting, let me know. I'll be adding more as I have time.

Woo Hoo I'm Trendy!

"Marketers use word of mouth to pop the top on retro beer"
I never thought I'd be trendy again, but the USA Today says I am, so I'm very excited. "Just as young consumers might wear '70s-look sneakers or sip '50s cocktails, many are bellying up to the bar for the beers Grandpa drank — maybe a Rheingold, a Leinenkugel's or a Utica Club."
I first tried Leinenkugel's in Columbus a couple years ago and it was some damn fine $4.99 a six pack beer. I've never seen it here in WNY, that is until last week I spotted a 6er @Wegmans, though it's $7.99 here. The article also mentions Yuengling, which has appeared everywhere around here, but tastes like pee. I still have yet to hear anyone talk about Leinenkugel, so I'm acting like a good marketing tool and writing about it here. I had this amazing raspberry wheat beer the other day, if I could just remember what the heck it was I'd give them a plug too. So I sit here writing about & driking "retro beers," brands that might bring to mind old men in ribbed undershirts but are finding new life with the young. Except I'm not young, and it doesn't bring to mind old men in ribbed undershirts, though it does remind me of the beer store on 5th Ave in Columbus.

We're On A Mission

I've been trying to come up with an impressive mission statement ever since I read Michael Porter's call for writing personal mission statements. I'm just stumped. I couldn't really come up with much in the way of anything for myself, though I did rewrite the LISNews "about us" page just a bit. It still needs more work, but at least I fixed some glaring spelling mistakes and stupid grammar errors. LISNews still doesn't have a "real" mission, but I guess we're getting there.

I did make an attempt at writing my own mission statement, but didn't have much luck, I guess mostly because I'm not quite sure what I want to be when I grow up. I tried to stick with Michael's idea of "doing only good" but that's such a subjective thing. I'll betchya some of my ideas of "doing good" would make GregS*'s skin crawl and certainly vice versa. Google's idea of "Don't be evil" doesn't always seem to be completely non-evil, though generally it's just a bit less evil than others. Good and Evil can be subjective sometimes, but more often than not, most of us could agree on what makes an action good, and what makes it evil. Like LibraryMan, my statement would also be in a constant state of flux as I fight to keep myself (and my profession) relevant. So I tried to figure out what it was that I do, searching for my "thing." If I have one, it unfortunatly doesn't seem to be the part of any trendy headline catching trends. Much of what I do is behind the scenes; command line, boring Linux stuff. My work isn't sexy, quotoable, or even interesting to all but a few geeks. It's all good, no evil, so it wouldn't make a good moive. I don't seem to be trendy. I'm more of a trend watcher. I try to spot trends, and maybe guess at how they will play out long term. Trying to undertand them in the middle of a sea change as it happens, trying to figure out the tide, who's driving it, and where it'll leave us. In my every day work I tend to think short term and practical, something that doesn't lend itself very well to a mission statement. "be practical" is probably the lamest mission ever, though I'm not sure it's any worse than "don't be evil."

So back to a mission; rather than trying to understand which direction we are headed, and having a mission to match, I thought a mission, if I can ever write one, should be about finding ways to unite librarians, and ensure that people outside of the library world see all libraries as relevant and important and worth funding. I believe we are in the midst of a huge shift brought on by technolgy and politics and it's more important than ever we are good marketers. That's about the best I could do. I'll work on being practical, good and not evil.

VH-1 Mega Hits Rock-N-Roll For Gen-X

If you consider yourself a fan of alternative music, you might want to turn on VH-1 Mega Hits and have a look (and listen). Apparently at some point towards the end of last year they switched formats and are playing "adult alternative" music now. Must be music aimed at Gen-X (the best generation). I'm starved for music at work since I can't stream anything (network issues) or even play music on my computer (sound card bug). I can only get in 2 radio stations, both AM, and both just barely. One is our local neocon affiliate, and the other is a station out of southern Ontario. I can only take so much hate, and so much Canadian news, so radio isn't an option for more than a few hours a week. I'm not quite sure why the AM signals make it through my 6 foot concrete walls, but I can't find anything on FM. So I'm limited to carrying in all the music I listen to at work. Since discovering the new format at VH1 Mega Hits I've been using a VCR to record the audio and I'm amazed at how much I like what they're playing. The odd thing is there are no commercials. I've recorded about 15 hours so far and I've not heard a single commercial. I've read some internet rumors they're going to be switching format soon, so I better fill up all the old tapes I can find. So anywho, have a listen, there's some interesting things being played. And hey, Keep on Rockin'

Downing Street Memo Getting Some Attention

Daniel's Story Is Getting Traction.

The Boston Globe ran some excerpts today, and there's a bunch of other articles now, the most interesting, for me, was This One In The USA Today. It looks at the media coverage, or lack thereof, so far in the US, a few interesting quotes in there.

A "Completely Unrelated" Story today says a story published in the New York Times on Wednesday revealed repeated changes to descriptions of climate research that had already been approved by government scientists and their supervisors. Press Briefing on this.

Now With 90% Less Red!

Library Journal has a new site this week. The retina burning RED is mostly gone, replaced by a clean design. The new site includes the new LJ Tech Blog. I'll be posting there, should be a fun! I've always though LJ has some of the best content around, and it'll be neat to be part of that.

The Case of the Disappearing Neighbor

We've been in the new house for just over a year now, and we've finally met most of the neighbors. It's an older neighborhood, full of late '60's suburban-utopia cookie cutter homes. People are friendly, diverse, hard working, and mostly keep to themselves. Our neighbor to the south is 92, has Alzheimer's, and needs full times aids. Across the street was a husband and wife, in their 80s, husband just died. Behind is a woman in her 50s, just retired this month. Other neighbors include a couple about our age with 2 young kids, and across from them, a very loud family. But this is a tale of the people who live next door, on the north side. They're newish, so none of the other neighbors seem to know anything about them.

I met the Mrs. shortly after we moved in, she was out walking the baby. She's about our age, attractive, nice enough, speaks heavily accented English, and was always friendly. I'd see the Mr. in passing, I'd describe him the same way, though I've never had a real conversation with him, but always get a smile a wave. They had 2 kids, one I'd guess was about 2, and the other not even 1. Part of their fence fell into our yard last year, and they just fixed it last week. They had 2 cars, an S Class Mercedes, and a little black Chevy. We'd see them coming and going, we never spent time chatting but we seemed to have a friendly non-relationship. Then one day, late last fall, everything changed. [cue the scary music]

The driveway was filled with cars, people were coming and going all the time. Then the S Class disappeared, replaced by an old Honda. The Mrs. and the 2 kids we'd seen so often before also seemed to vanish. People who had spent time at the house don't seem to come around, but I frequently see a new group of people. Now that spring has finally sprung, another surprise, a new born baby, and a babysitter. So, something changed last fall. I think I last saw the Mrs. in September and I remember thinking she looks like she might be pregnant. Any conversations I can hear over there aren't in English, so it's not like being a nosy neighbor is going to answer any questions for me.

I've learned quite a bit about Mr. & Mrs., thanks to the internet, but nothing that solves the mystery, or even gives me a clue. So what happened to the Mrs.? Where are the other 2 kids? Where did this new baby come from? What happened to the Mercedes? My goal this summer is to answer these questions, I shall solve the mystery. My leading theory was divorce, until that new baby showed up. Why would she take the 2 older kids with her and leave a new one behind? Then I thought maybe she went back home for the winter, but winter is long gone. So, I have many theories: Murder, accidents, deportation, kidnapping, UFO abductions, and last, but most boring, divorce. Other possibilities include Sasquatch attacks, Chinese organ thieves, the guys in the silent black helicopters, or simply "them."

One Week Sans LISNews

Blah. Speaking at 2 memorial services in 2 weeks has been a bit too much. The past week @LISNews has been almost completely LISNews-free for me, only the second time since I started the site that I've been away for so long, normally 7 hours is a lot for me, 7 days is unheard of. I peeked in a couple times to make sure everything was still running, but I have no idea what's been going on. Doesn't look like much has changed, though at first glance it seems like there's a good number of commentors. I see some new names in the list. I'll try and dig through all the comments and stories I've missed, and it looks like there's been some neat journal entries. I'm very interested in looking at what stories were posted and how the comments fell. Hopefully a Blake-Free LISNews was an improvement. I've always wanted to put myself out of a job! I assume that nothing crazy happened while I was gone, or someone would've emailed me. If anything happened you think I should've noticed let me know.

Unfortunately Urchin took a big dump last month, so the numbers for May are, for the most part, an educated guess. Considering how bad web server log stats are to begin with, the numbers for May are about useless, but there they are anyways. I had been working on a new script that spits out some good monthly summaries, so I'll throw that out for good measure soon, it's an interesting look at the site over time. I think it still needs some work, but it should be good 'nuff in its current state.

Total Sessions 320,000
Total Pageviews 930,000
Total Hits 2,300,000
Total Bytes Transferred 20 GB

Average Pageviews Per Session < 2
Average Hits Per Session 7
Average Bytes Per Session 75 KB
Average Length of Session 00:10:00

Speaking of TV, ok, so I wasn't, but I have no good segue, I had originally expressed some reservations on the new Dr. Who when it premiered on CBC a few months ago. I think I've gotten over my objections now, which means I have a new show to replace Battlestar while it's in repeats for the summer. The Dr. and his companion, Rose Tyler, have such fun on screen chemistry, it'll be hard to watch someone take over for The Dr. next year.

Boingboing had a funny post the other day calling books "treeware"

There's about a million other bits I wanted to write about over the past week, I'll get there sooner or later.

More On The Jobs @LISNews

I was pleasantly surprised at the response to my Jobs post the other day, I'm thinking I might be on to something, more than a few good ideas and volunteers. So allow me to ramble on a bit more. Continuing on the path of making LISNews more, uh, better, I was wondering if we (as authors mostly) need to think about LISNews is a slightly different way that we have been in the past. LISNews is essentially one web site, lisnews.com or at least that's how I've always thought of it, lisnews.com. I've also thought of it as three sites, the news, the journals, and the comments, but essentially it's still lisnews.com. But what if we thought about LISNews as one site (lisnews.com) with many sections (public.lisnews.com, harry.lisnews.com, academic.lisnews.com). Each section could have an editor with powers to post to their own section. Each section could have a unique RSS feed, mailing list, and audience. We're already doing this with the wireless section, and that's the most popular section by far, Bill Drew has been editor-in-cheif there for almost a year now.

I don't think this would really change the way most of us do our jobs now, but if we're able to add some new people to the crea, it might add in some new voices and add more interesting stories. It might also change how those of us with super secret authors powers work. There would be a few of us whith "root powers," that is, just a few of us that can do anything. Then there would be the section editors who can do anything on their sections, as well as post to the index page. Then there would be dozens (hundreds? Millions?) of regular authors who would be able to post only to their own sections.

The good thing with this approach is it doesn't really mean any more work for me, a big plus, heck it might even mean less work. It could bring more people and more interesting stories, and if it fails, well, no harm done. I *think* slashcode is already designed for this, so it should be fairily easy to do.

So what needs to come first? I think if I want something new to happen it's going to take some work. That is, I don't think this is something that will just happen naturally, as much of our growth has, or it would've already. Do I need to set up an editorial board from the authors we have currently? Do I need to be for more original writing? Do I need to email all the bloggers to see if they want to post to LISNews? It makes sense to approach bloggers now since they're already out there. But I know that they're not really a bunch that will see much value in collaboration. So, again, just more ideas and questions.

Is Wal-Mart Good For Blake?

Today being pile on Wal-Mart day, I thought I'd share my recent experience. I never shop at Walmart, but this week was different. I don’t really have a rule about avoiding it, I just don't like them, and I never seem to have any reason to go there, so I don't. The Wal-Mart near my 'hood added on a grocery-mart recently and this week I finally caved in to my wife's gentle prodding and decided to have a look. The biggest surprise, for me, was the people. I'll stick with the old idea, if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all. I'll just say I actually experienced culture shock, 5 miles from home. I actually do now believe all that I've read about Wal-Mart paying poorly, because they clearly have the bottom of the barrel of retail employees.

I compared what prices I could, and Wal-Mart was slightly cheaper on some things, and about the same on others. Two things that stuck out in produce section (other than the toothless manager), were the oranges and the potatoes. The oranges where about 6 cents cheaper, but were clearly much larger than what I see at Wegmans. The potatoes were slightly more expensive at Wal-Mart, but were about double the size of Wegmans. I've never been happy with Wegmans potatoes, I'm a man who likes a big potato. Most of the other produce at Wal-Mart was marginal at best. We bought a watermelon that was terrible.

So while the Potatoes were impressive, and the oranges were bigger, it was just painful shopping there. The lines were forever long, most of the employees, and many of the customers, looked like they were on work release from Attica. The layout of the store was annoying, and parking was a nightmare. The prices came out just slightly in favor of Wal-Mart, not enough for me to worry about. Overall, I saw no compelling reason to return.

I suppose my biggest reason for not shopping there is rather simple, and it just comes down to choices. I have a choice between giving my money to the #1 employer in the country (Wegmans), or giving my money to a company that many people believe is dragging our country to an early grave (Wal-mart). I have a choice between extremely friendly & hard working employees who seem to care about the place they work, and employees who couldn't care less about their jobs, company, me or themselves. I have a choice between a company who is owned by a Western New York family, and one that is publicly traded. Given those choices, whether I believe the hype about Wal-Mart, or not, I'll choose Wegmans, even if it costs me a few bucks more a week.

Jobs @LISNews?

I've always tried to make LISNews a collaborative site. LISNews is not "Blake Carver's LISNews" (Though I see people write that), it's just LISNews. I never wanted LISNews to be "mine all mine", my goal has always been to provide a site for others to communicate and share with each other. LISNews is collaborative because many authors post stories and because much of what we post is suggested by and written by other people. We also allow comments by anyone on every story, and of course anyone with an account has their own little mini-LISNews, to do with as they see fit. There are hundreds of people that make LISNews so interesting. I think we've assembled a fairly active community already, but I think we can always use a little more help.

So in an attempt to make the site more interesting, more useful and maybe even more popular, I'm suggesting Jobs @LISNews. It's an idea to add more people to the "creation" side of things around here. Since we don't get paid, there really are no "real jobs" @LISNews, we all just pitch in when we have some time to post a story or two and this works quite well most days. I've always taken a very hands-off approach to managing LISNews (something I've been criticized for) because I think openness leads to better discussions and a more interesting and inclusive site. Maybe rather than the completely unstructured, freewheeling approach we currently follow, a little more structure would help? Maybe giving some people more defined roles would help make what we have to offer more interesting. Maybe, maybe not, I'm not sure, and this is why I'm asking all ya'll for feedback. None of the following ideas are really new and we already do much of what I've sketched out here. In any case, I cobbled together some ideas to see what the LISNews community thinks.

This isn't a solicitation for resumes, or a list of open positions, but rather just a call for feed back on the idea.

Jobs:

Reporters: This is not a blogger, this is not link poster, this is not HTML monkey, this is a reporter. A good ol' fashioned reporter. Someone who goes out and interviews people, ok, so I can't send them to Australia or California, but they can conduct interviews by email, phone, Skype or Aim. Wouldn't you love to read (or hear) an interview with Desiree Goodwin, Don Saklad, Michael Gorman or Laura Bush? I know I would, I also know I'm not the man to do these kinds of things. I suppose we can always wait till next month to read about things that happened last month in some of the major print publications, but some things are better if they are timelier.

Weekly round-up writer: This job would hold the distinction as the most difficult to say job title. Go ahead, try to say that 5 times in a row. Steven M. Cohen did fantastic job with this for awhile, I think we called it Friday Round Ups, and they were always the most popular stories of the week. It's like the semi-weekly Slashback on Slashdot. Round-Ups are basically just short summaries and follow-ups on stories and comments that were interesting from the previous week. This is something that would take a bit of time each day, or maybe an hour or so of writing once a week to compile. This is probably one thing I could do if I had less to do elsewhere.

Editor/Author for each topic: LISNews has several different sections, and each section could have it's own editor. Our first attempt at this was the Wireless Section. Bill Drew has been editing that one, and even though the section doesn't get many stories, it's quite popular, so I think if we added more editors for each section we'd really be expanding out base. Wireless is our most popular section. We could also add a new section or two. This might make LISNews more interesting, though it might make it more confusing. We're not big on putting stories into topics, I can't speak for everyone else, but I just never think of it. Approaching the site as one site, with many sections might change it a bit.

Editor In Chief(s): I'm not really sure what an editor in chief does at a real newspaper, but I do know what they'd do here. The chief(s) would clean up formatting, grammar, spelling, remove dupes, fix links, suggest new stories. I guess this wouldn't be a new job since it's something we already do (and need to do more of), and at least 2 other authors have unlimited powers to change anything on the site. This would not be a position for a new or untrustworthy member of the site. There's essentially 3 of us now, so I'm not even sure we'd need more.

List Serve Monitor: Someone who watches the lists their on and sends along any interesting threads. I think it's safe to say the vast majority of discussions in our profession still happen via email.

Internet Monitor: What's new on the web? Any new blogs of interest, and new sites, tools, or search engines? The internet monitor would post links to new and interesting sites.

News Monitor: Google News Alerts will only get me so far, more people watching more sources for more stories will make LISNews more interesting.

Programmer and/or Sys Admin: This one probably doesn't need much explaining. Someone needs to maintain the code that runs on the server, and the server that runs the code. That's been all me up till now.

So Anywho... Just something to chew on this week if you don't have anything else to occupy your time. Let me know if you have any thoughts. I have no plans to start "hiring" any time soon, this is just more of me thinking aloud.

The 10 Steps To Acceptance of New Google Products

1. Installation: "Google Made Something New!!! I must install it and use it every single second of the day!"

2. Elation: "Oh My God!! This is the greatest thing I've ever seen, I must write about it in my blog!!"

3. Discovery: "I just read on another blog this is spyware! Egads, what should I do?"

4. Anger: "I'm so mad! How could they do this, I'd expect this behavior from Microsoft, not from Google! Don't be evil my ass!!"

5. Uninstallation: "That's it! I'm so mad I am taking this off my computer! I'll be sure to tell everyone they should do the same. Google is becoming more like Microsoft every day. I'm going to use Yahoo! from now on."

6. Rationalization: "Boy, I sure do miss that thing, maybe that anonymous data they are collecting really won't be used against me. Besides, it's not like they're Microsoft."

7. Quite Acceptance: "Well, I might as well just try it again, it's not like it's hurting anyone, besides they wouldn't do anything evil with my data, like Microsoft would."

8. Reinstallation: "I'll try it again, but just for this week, then it's back to Yahoo."

9. Denial: "Boy, I sure was hard on them last week; I'd better just keep this to myself, if anyone asks I'll just deny I've started using it again."

10. Acceptance & Admission: "I guess it's time to fess up, I've been using the new Google thing for quite some time again, and I'm hooked. All that data they're collecting, it's all anonymous anyways, I'm sure they won't use it for anything."

Not happy with these results? Try alternate searches

I just ran a search for NFPA on Google and it said to me, Not happy with these results? Try alternate searches.

That "alternate searches" page did some nice clustering, up top, "Previews shown below for: fire protection, paralegal, national foster care association"

Smart! Semantic indexing is coming sooner than I thought.

[update]

I ran a few other searches for the heck of it, some hits, some misses, and some, meh

Hits:
OSU: "ohio state", oklahoma state university, oregon state university
PSU: penn state, portland state university
Ruby: sam ruby, ruby tuesday, ruby programming, ruby windows
SAddam: saddam hussein, iraq, bomb saddam
Babies: : baby pictures, pregnancy, baby care, premature babies

Meh
Microsoft: windows media player, msn, microsoft internet explorer, microsoft software
Linux: linux kernel download, mandrake linux, linux doc, linux journal
Apple: apple computer, apple quicktime, apple mac, newton
ALA: american library association, punta ala, aste, "a la"
Chevy: chevy chase, chevy parts, chevy trucks, classic chevy
Mopar: mopar parts, mopar muscle, 62 65, mopar collectors guide
Perl: perl cgi, perl tutorial, active perl, cpan
Clinton: clinton cards, clinton county, hillary clinton, george clinton

Miss
SquirrelMail : mail, squirrelmail login, squirrelmail download
SLA: service level agreement, sla industries, kunstbande sla
LITA: lita nude, amy dumas, trish stratus, lita wwe
MYSQL: php mysql, mysql front, mysql faq
Bush: bush music

Writing 4 LISNews

This one's just beggin' for alternate titles:
It's right to write right here.
Write right here.
The right to write right here.
Why not write right here?
You gotta fight for your right to write right here

Since my very first announcements for LISNews over 5 years ago I've had a dream that we'd be a source for more original content. A quick peek at the stats shows original work is quite often the most popular story posted on any given week. It looks to me like people who read LISNews want to read more original reporting, essays, and stories. The LISNews audience reads comments, our one definite source of original work. I don't expect us to be the new Library Journal, but if you're like me (and you should be), you'd love to see more original writing here @LISNews. We've always been a great source for news from the popular press, but we're not normally a primary source. There's nothing wrong with that, but it would be neat if we had more original postings.

I'm not sure what we should be looking for, but it's not much different from what I read in the journals section, though it might be slightly more "newsy" most of the time.

So think about submitting something you've written. It doesn't need to be 5,000 words on the most important thing impacting our profession today. It can be a brief story about something your library is doing, something you saw at a conference, or something you read on LISNews you feel needed a response. In the past we've posted interviews, book reviews, conference reports, short stories, and collections of librarian jokes.

"Because if there were no [LISNews], we would only have American Libraries Online to turn to for our library news"
The Days & Nights of the Lipstick Librarian!

Random LISNews Bits

Just a few random notes. I've been trying to spend more time working on LISNews this week.

I done gone and messed up the mail list real good this week. Hopefully I pieced it back together again for tomorrow's edition. I think all bugs are now fixed and the improvements will make it more useful. Testing the list is next to impossible so I'm flying by the seat of my pants.

For no good reason whatsoever I added a bunch of new "This page was generated by a XXXXX of XXXXX XXXX for XXXXX." that you may see at the top of the home page when you're logged in. Not a big deal, but it may be more amusing now. It cracks me up from time to time.

I've been adding more quotes to the database that holds the quotes for the footer that shows up on all pages. There's a pretty good collection in there now.

A couple server issues you might have noticed. Slashd had been dying on a daily basis due to some "too many connections" errors in MySQL. When slashd dies the static pages don't get built, and many different parts of the site don't update. You may have also noticed LISNews is a bit slower sometimes during the day. I recently moved a domain off of LISHost.org and onto the LISNews server because it's so damn busy it was slowing down the other server. It's so damn busy it's now even slowing down LISNews on occasion.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I changed the LISNews tagline to "Bathetically Ludicrous Online Gibbersh" (BLOG). I'm going to make a few more and have them rotate.

This page was generated by a Squadron of Absorbing Books for Blake (2).

LISNews Numbers For Most Of April 2005

Urchin had a bit of a problem finishing up with April, so it's a 28 day month for us this year.

Total Sessions 288,589.00
Total Pageviews 779,709.00
Total Hits 2,222,594.00
Total Bytes Transferred 19.91 GB

Average Sessions Per Day 10,306.75
Average Pageviews Per Day 27,846.75
Average Hits Per Day 79,378.36
Average Bytes Transferred Per Day 727.98 MB

Average Pageviews Per Session 2.70
Average Hits Per Session 7.70
Average Bytes Per Session 72.33 KB
Average Length of Session 00:11:41

Busiest authors:Blake : 244
Rochelle : 68
Daniel : 33
birdie : 24
Bibliofuture : 11
Louise : 8
John : 8
Hermit : 6
BrianS : 4
Samantha : 2
Brian : 2
Ryan : 2
Aaron : 2
Bill Drew : 1
rramsey : 1
Mock Turtle : 1
Authors hits per story:BrianS : 810.75
Bibliofuture : 236.36
rramsey : 222.00
John : 215.62
Hermit : 213.67
Rochelle : 181.84
Blake : 177.18
birdie : 164.38
Bill Drew : 163.00
Aaron : 163.00
Daniel : 162.39
Samantha : 161.00
Louise : 149.25
Brian : 106.50
Mock Turtle : 67.00
Ryan : 55.50
Total number of comments: 886
Total number of commentors: 112
Busiest commentors:Anonymous Patron : 117
GregS* : 81
mdoneil : 58
Daniel : 40
Bibliofuture : 36
Blake : 35
Redcardlibrarian : 32
Rochelle : 28
Fang-Face : 26
kylere : 24
Total number of stories: 417
Total number of submissions: 326
Total number of metamoderations: 1139
Total Fair: 1093
Total Unfair: 46
Total number of moderations: 697
--Total up: 622
--Total down: 37
--Funny: 23
Average score of moderated comments: 1.7317
Comments with a score of 5: 15
Comments with a score of 4: 41
Comments with a score of 3: 84
Comments with a score of 2: 196
Comments with a score of 1: 469
Comments with a score of less than 0: 10
Number of journal entries: 121
Number of journal comments: 120
Most prolific journalors:15 : Daniel
11 : nbruce
11 : Durst
9 : Blake
9 : slashgirl
8 : Walt
8 : mdoneil
7 : Redcardlibrarian
6 : Samantha
5 : Bibliofuture
Number of people who logged in: 447
Total number of user accounts: 4112



The Future of Information Literacy

I was working on an article and this sentence fell out of my brain:

As new search tools become more powerful, information literacy skills will become less important.

I wonder if any one else agrees with me? 5 years from now will we think about information literacy in the same way? Will it even matter? Will Google 5.0 be so powerful it will make many of the decisions we make now?

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