Walt's blog

Cites & Insights 7:2 (February 2007) available

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large volume 7, issue 2 (February 2007) is now available for downloading.

The 22-page issue (PDF as always, but each section is also available as an HTML separate from the C&I home page) includes:

  • Bibs & Blather - Cites on a Plane and other oddities
  • Perspective: Predictions and Scorecards - Back to a roundup of some other people's forecasts and outcomes, after missing a year
  • Perspective: Conference Speaking: I Have A Little List - Conference speaking arrangements have become a bit more transparent, and it's time for a Lobachevskian job on the Gordon/Salo/West works.
  • Finding a Balance: The Balanced Librarian - Discussing a prerequisite for balanced libraries.
  • Following Up and Feedback - three items.

Giving it away: Lesson learned

I'm putting this here because it feels a little too grumpy for Walt at Random...

Early last year, I was coaxed into doing an article for Google's fledgling Librarians Newsletter. No pay but presumably lots of publicity and all the resulting wonderful things that would come from being associated with Google.

The article was a little tricky. I had some issues with how Google was handling Google Book Search at the time, and included those issues in what was otherwise a favorable piece. The folks at Google didn't use the article right away. They suggested using it in some other arena; I suggested taking it back and using it as I saw fit. Eventually--several months later--they did use it, and added a comment noting that they were fixing some of the issues I'd raised (which they did).

OK, fine. I got some nice comments about the article. I have no particular indication that there were any other direct or indirect positive results. The piece came out right around the same time as the OCLC-RLG merger, a time of some considerable personal uncertainty (which continues), so maybe I missed them.

More recently, Google gave up on the Newsletter (as far as I can tell) and started a blog (instead?).

The blog has a sidebar with blogs that Google recommends.

It's an interesting list, both for its inclusions and its omissions.

In the future, I will be more mindful about contributing free writing to a commercial organization.

Cites on a Plane!

If you've been reading Cites & Insights all along (or at least for the last 18 months), and if you have no curiosity about the miracle of Word XP's AutoSummarize, you can delete this message.

If not--well, as promised, there is not a Midwinter 2007 issue of Cites & Insights. (The next issue should come out shortly after ALA Midwinter, around January 24-26. I'd like to keep to 12 issues this year...)

But there is a phantom edition, designed for those who've told me they read C&I on the plane to Midwinter or Annual.

Cites on a Plane 2007 is available for downloading

HTML separates are not available, because there's nothing new here.

The 38-page thing--it's not an issue--will disappear on or about January 23. So far, I haven't figured out how to make printed copies do a Mission:Impossible, but...

Other than three introductory paragraphs under the heading "This Issue Does Not Exist," and a single line above each section saying where it originally appeared, there is no new material in this thing.

There's also no table of contents--after all, it's not an issue.

If you've read all the stuff, but you are interested in how Word AutoSummary handles a long, complicated pair of texts, you could just print out pages 32-38, "Library 2.0 for Short Attention Spans"--an unmodified 10% AutoSummary of "Library 2.0 and 'Library 2.0'" and "Finding a Balance: Libraries and Librarians."

The rest of the issue is essays from the last 18 months that appear to have had relatively low readership, but no more than one essay from any given issue.

  • From C&I 5:9 - Perspective: Predicting the Future of Academic Libraries
  • From C&I 5:12 - Net Media Perspective: Analogies, Gatekeepers and Blogging
  • From C&I 6:7 - Perspective: You Just Can't Understand
  • From C&I 6:11 - Trends & Quick Takes
  • From C&I 6:5 - The 40 original "facets" from the full-issue smorgasbord. (OK, 39 original and one from Walt at Random.)
  • And "Library 2.0 for Short Attention Spans."

A caution about that final section: Word clearly favors the first paragraph under headings, which means that lots of paragraphs aren't indented. It also appears to favor standalone paragraphs--most of the one-sentence quotes appear. Otherwise--well, I swear I didn't change the results at all. Maybe you can come to conclusions about how AutoSummary works.

Cites & Insights 7:1 (January 2007) available

Cites & Insights vol. 7, number 1 (January 2007) is now available for downloading.

The 26-page issue (PDF as usual, but most essays are also available as HTML separates from the home page) includes:

  • Bibs & Blather: Navel Gazing Part 6 - the usual start-of-volume essay.
  • Perspective: Book Searching: OCA/GBS Update
  • Trends & Quick Takes - Five trends and three quicker takes
  • Finding a Balance: Patrons and the Library
  • Interesting & Peculiar Products - three products, plus short notes on Editors' Choices and Best Buys (replacing PC Progress)
  • Perspective: The Death of the Disc?
  • My Back Pages - eight mini-rants.

Happy holidays!

Cites & Insights:Feedback requested

I've posted questions on four aspects of Cites & Insights on my weblog, Walt at Random, asking for feedback from readers.

You'll find posts on the four areas here: PC Progress, Censorware, Library Access to Scholarship, and Interesting & Peculiar Products.

So far, I've received very little feedback. If you care about any of those sections--or if you particularly dislike them--go to the posts and either leave comments or send email to waltcrawford@gmail.com.

I'll probably start making decisions about these areas (and other things) for C&I volume 7 in about a week, when I start working on the January 2007 issue.

I'm not Walter -- and a pointer

In case anyone might get confused: Walt [Crawford] and Walter [Skold, I assume] are not the same person, are not related, do not share political views...

When I comment on blogs, I now normally sign either "Waltc" or "Walt Crawford" to avoid confusion--and I never use my full birth name (that is, with the "er") in any professional activities.

I would note that, to the best of my knowledge, Walter [Skold?] has no intention of confusing anyone as to who's who.

The pointer, for core readers of Cites & Insights: I'm inviting feedback on four specific aspects of Cites & Insights at my blog, Walt at Random. The first question went up yesterday; others will follow tomorrow, Thursday, and Saturday.

Cites & Insights 2006 index available

The title sheet and indexes for Cites & Insights volume 6, 2006 are now available.

This PDF-only document (title sheet and 20 pages of indexes) completes volume 6.

Cites & Insights 6:14 available

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 6:14 (December 2006) is now available for downloading.

This 28-page issue, PDF as usual (but each essay is available as an HTML separate from the home page includes:

  • Perspective: The Lazy Man's Guide to Productivity - A slightly extended answer to "How do I do all that writing on my own time?"
  • Net Media Perspective: "C&I is Not a Blog" - A section on blogs, mostly metablogging.
  • The Library Stuff - Eight items cited and discussed
  • Library Access to Scholarship - FRPAA and more
  • Offtopic Perspective: 50-Movie All Stars Collection, Part 2 - 26 more TV movies (but one of them isn't really...)

Please note that, while this is the final text issue for 2006, it does not complete the volume. The index (including title sheet, for anyone printing a bound volume) will be out in a week or two. Or three.

Great post titles, and I do say so myself

I proudly point you to today's coffee-break post, with what's probably the best blog post title I'll ever create.

Too bad I didn't create it. Google language tools are to thank for this masterpiece.

Cites & Insights 6:13 available

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 6:13 (November 2006) is now available for downloading.

The 26-page issue (PDF as always, but major essays are also available as HTML separates from the home page)
includes:

  • Bibs & Blather: Should I Care About What You Write? - printability revisited
  • Net Media Perspective: What About Wikipedia? - The saga of Wikipedia, Britannica, and Nature; various commentaries on Wikipedia; and early stuff on Citizendium (plus two good notes on library-related wikis)
  • Trends & Quick Takes - three mini-essays, four quicker takes.
  • Old Media/New Media Perspective: Tracking Hi-Def Discs - what's happening with HD DVD and Blu-ray and why you should(n't) care
  • PC Progress: February-October 2006 - 27 group reviews in 14 categories
  • Copyright Currents - catching up on fair use and infringement, DMCA, orphan works and the analog hole.
  • My Back Pages - three snarky little essays (one of them not really snarky at all)

Cites & Insights 6:12 available

Cites & Insights 6:12, October 2006, is now available for downloading.

The 26-page issue (PDF as usual, but you can download HTML separates), which seems to have mostly long essays with long titles, includes:

  • Open Access Perspective, Part I: Pioneer OA Journals: The Arc of Enthusiasm, Five Years Later - If you're aware of my 2001 study, Getting Past the Arc of Enthusiasm, you'll know what this is about: Seeing how many early free scholarly ejournals made it through more than a decade of publishing.
  • Old Media/New Media: Books, Bookstores and Ebooks - Inaugurating a new section with various items on print books, bookstores (OK, mostly Cody's), and ebooks.
  • Interesting & Peculiar Products - seven items, including good inexpensive keyboards (think name brand), cheap steganography, and the 25 worst tech products.
  • Open Access Perspective, Part II: Pioneer OA Journals: Preliminary Additions from DOAJ - How many other free scholarly ejournals have been around since 1995? This piece provides a preliminary answer to that question (maybe somewhere between 84 and 147, maybe not).
  • Offtopic Perspective: SciFi Classics 50 Movie Pack, Part 2 - 24 more flicks, from Pongo to Eegah, John Agar (& Zontar!) to Gamera, no-budget redneck nonsense to the sons of Hercules.

Cites & Insights 6:11 available

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 6:11 (September 2006) is now available for downloading.

The 22-page issue (PDF as usual, but most essays are also available as HTML separates from the home page) includes:

  • Perspective: The New Site & COWLZ: A Lost Opportunity? - The largest essay: Why C&I moved, and the history of COWLZ (such as it is), from start to (apparent) finish, with notes on the gray literature of librarianship.
  • Bibs & Blather - A few things I'd rather not write about and some quick followups from previous issues.
  • Trends & Quick Takes - 4 "trends" (including a back-and-forth on gen-gen) and four quicker takes.
  • The Censorware Chronicles - 10 things you might not know about censorware and a new (and better) "Internet filters: A public policy report"
  • The Library Stuff - Nine or sixteen items, depending on how you look at it.
  • My Back Pages - Nine little rants

And for those of you who stayed away for the summer: Don't forget Cites & Insights 6:10, August 2006: "Looking at Liblogs," a 30-page essay looking at 213 blogs from library people.

Cites & Insights 6:10 available

Cites & Insights 6:10, August 2006 is now available for downloading--from citesandinsights.info, not cites.boisestate.edu.

The 30-page issue consists almost entirely of one big essay:

* Perspective: Looking at Liblogs: The Great Middle - a look at 213 library-person weblogs.

There's also one little piece:

* Bibs & Blather - three brief items.

While each piece is also available as an HTML separate from the Cites & Insights home page, please don't download the big essay if you're planning to print it: You'll use 49 pages instead of 30.

There will be a separate September issue, probably in September.

Cites & Insights 6:10 postponed

The special "design and typography" issue of Cites & Insights for August 2006 has been cancelled on account of heat (and other reasons). (If you want more details, check Walt at Random after 5:30 p.m. PST today.)

My expectation had been that most people could and would skip this mini-issue. Now you (we!) all will.

C&I 6:10, August/September 2006, will appear in August, probably late August. It will be a more substantial issue, almost certainly featuring "Looking at Liblogs: A Chunk of the Great Middle" (title not final).

Cites & Insights has moved

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large has moved to

http://citesandinsights.info

or, if you want to save a little typing,

http://cical.info

All issues and essays are now available at the new site (which is a LISHost.org site, as you might guess).

Please update your bookmarks and links accordingly. For the foreseeable future, issues and essays will continue to be available at the old site (but not via the home page).

Thanks to Boise State University Libraries for hosting Cites & Insights over the past few years!

Update: There was a typographic problem with the HTML essays--turns out "the same file" offered up from a Windows server (the old C&I site) isn't exactly the same as "the same file" offered up from an Apache server, even though both files are bit-for-bit identical. Thanks to quick advice from a reader, the problem was solved the same day it was spotted...

Cites & Insights 6:9 (July 2006) available

Cites & Insights 6:9, July 2006 is now available.

This 26-page issue (PDF as always, but most essays are also available as HTML pages from the home page) is predominantly one 18-page essay:

  • Perspective: Finding a Balance: Libraries and Librarians - A mostly-upbeat continuation of the "Library 2.0" conversation.

The issue also includes:

  • Bibs & Blather
  • Perspective: Scan This Book? - You must have known I'd have something to say about the Kelly/Jarvis booktrashing!
  • The Library Stuff - Nine annotated citations
  • My Back Pages - Eight snarky little essays

If you write a blog: Please be sure to read Bibs & Blather

Cites & Insights 6:8 available

Cites & Insights 6:8, June 2006, is now available for downloading.

The 26-page issue (PDF as usual, but most essays are available as HTML pages from the C&I home page) includes:

  • Perspective: Thinking About Libraries and Access - Why I write about library access, and why I don't stick to Open Access
  • Bibs & Blather - A funny thing happened...
  • ©3 Perspective: Copyright: Finding a Balance
  • Interesting & Peculiar Products - Nine of them
  • Perspective: High-Definition Optical Discs: What You Need to Know Now
  • ©3 Perspective: Finding a Balance 2: Signs of Imbalance (Part 2 of the primary theme for this issue)
  • My Back Pages - five little essays

OCLC-RLG merger

Some of you presumably know that I've worked at RLG what seems like forever (not quite 27 years).

Blake's posted the OCLC and RLG press release about the two combining. Blake posted the whole thing: I just didn't click the "read more" button.

At this point, all I have to say about this is contained in this post at Walt at Random.

You might be bemused by this post, written a few minutes later, based on the fact that today's Library Link of the Day is a speech I gave...more than 13 years ago.

Cites & Insights 6:7 available

Cites & Insights 6:7, May 2006 is now available.

The 22-page issue (PDF as always, but each section is available as an HTML separate from the home page) includes:

  • Perspective: Books, Blogs & Style - Comments (my own and others') about the relationship of books and blogs (and "blooks"!).
  • Following Up and Feedback
  • Trends, Quick Takes & Good Stuff - Five trends, two quicker takes, and two article commentaries.
  • Bibs & Blather - Tweaking the sections, C&I and YBP Academia, two resources you need to be aware of, and a tentative plan for the next four issues.
  • Library Access to Scholarship - Almost half the issue, but it's been six months...
  • Perspective: You Just Can't Comprehend - Maybe off-topic. Maybe not.

No, I haven't shut down Walt at Random

Fixed--it was a Bloglines problem--but Technorati still says I'm hossam4000talat. I imagine that will clear itself up sometime soon.

If you subscribe to Walt at Random via an aggregator, you might or might not notice that it's disappeared.

You also might or might not notice your new friend, hossam4000talat, which at the moment seems to have one brand-new entry, a "hello world." entry.

While this would be the perfect occasion to shut down Walt at Random if I was peevish enough to do so, what's happened is a software problem at LISHost. It affects a number of blogs, but so far mine seems to be the only one whose feeds have been renamed.

Blake's working on it. With luck, all will be made whole. Although the renamed RSS feeds are so strange...

If you're wondering what happened to the last post or two, same answer: No censorship, just software trouble. Now, if I could just get a selected portion of the comments on one post at one very high profile blog to crash similarly...

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