It's not what I do, it's what I am

If you'll forgive me for paraphrasing Dewey.

It's Christmas shopping time again, and my mother visited to do her shopping this weekend just past. She wants to buy my daughter books for Xmas, so she dragged me along. Not because I know what my daughter likes to read: because I'm a bibliographer. Well, that's not the terminology that she used, but I was clearly wandering around the childrens' department of Chapters applying the usual collection development criteria to book selections for a collection serving a single 9 year old girl.

Questia adverts on Yahoo's libraries page

Questia is advertising on Yahoo's directory page for library links:

Kung Fu Karma (revisited)

Again, not that I care, just a point of reference for the future. It seems that Karma caps at 100, a nice round number.

TV logic from Kung Fu dictates: To know nature is to put oneself in perfect harmony with the universe. Heaven and earth are one. So must we seek a discipline of mind and body within ourselves.

Therefore, be content with your Karma, since it does have a limit.

The Numbers Game

So here's a little more on moderation and participation. Unfortunatly I don't have time to really get into it like I want to right now, some day I'll really break it down. While Rothman's post goes overboard, he's at least getting people talking about things, which is always good.

There are currently 2371 user accounts on LISNews, most of which have somewhere between 0 and 5 moderator points. A very small number of those people participate in some way, whether it be a comment, moderation, meta-moderation, journal, suggesting a story, or whatever. On a good day we'll get maybe 10 or 20 people moderating the 10 or 20 comments. Most people can not moderate and comment on the same thread, so most of the time it's different people posting and moderating. I broke it down over the relatively short amount of time we've been running slash, and the results look something like this:

Here's a little CSV file [Link Fixed] in case you'd like to crunch some numbers as well. It's just the top 50 busiest people, with no identifiable information provided.
Total moderation so far look something like this:

Basically there are a few people who do a lot in terms of moderation, a bunch of people who will seldom wield the moderator sword, and the vast majority who never participate. I'd imagine the numbers are similar for other slash sites as well. Rather than being sad that so many people aren't participating, I'm quite surprised at just how many people do participate, and very surprised at how many people really participate frequently. It's all very interesting and worthy of further writing and study.

No, it's not perfect, everyone who runs a slashsite will tell you that. There's talk of rewriting the moderation code, so that may help, part of the problem with the code is it doesn't always scale down well. With most software you run into troubles when you try to overuse it. With slash, you start to find problems when it's under used. Slash is designed to run Slashdot, which is a crazy busy site. When it's run on little ol' LISNews things don't always work quite right, and moderation is one of them. Moderation works quite well, most of the time, but not always. Such is life, there's no point in crying myself to sleep at night. As I get a better feel for the code I'll be able to make changes, and as the slash team adds features we'll be able to put them to use.

I think for a bunch of bigoted, ornery, balky, luddite librarians we do a pretty damn good job running our site.

And like I always say, anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, and probably an idiot.

I shouldn't care about Karma

I shouldn't care...shouldn't care about Karma (even the faq says so), but I rolled over to triple digits sometime last night. Whooo (no hooo). It's been fun posting to LISNews so far, let's hope for more.

Patron Quote of the Day

She calls to renew the four books on her daughter's card. Two have already been renewed once, so I explain that they can't be renewed again. I have to explain this several times before the light comes on and she says, "Oh! So I have to bring them back?"

On snow and Gallery

Well...the snow is almost gone. 4 inches come and go too quickly, but it was a freak storm.

On a side note, I'm really pleased with Gallery supporting our updated photo website. I've gone from plain HTML to Blogger to plain HTML to Gallery. Fantastic opensource project. Easy to install, but it will probably be more of a bear to configure it with a custom look and feel. ANy experience with Gallery out there?

Godfrey Dewey?

I guess I was too skeeved at the rumours that he asked that women who applied to his library school to submit their measurements and eye colour to notice this before, but:

Melvil Dewey had a son. And was married twice. (Well, he didn't have the son out of wedlock. Actually, he didn't have the son ... his first wife did. Name of Anne.)

I guess I was hoping that the "Father of Modern Librarianship" was a metaphorical status.

Le Grand Jacques

Just returned from a lovely short trip to Brussels and Amsterdam. Any other Jacques Brel fans out there? They worship him and his wonderful, complex "paroles"; no American singer/composer really compares. I sang an adaption of "Quand on n'a que l'amour" for friends--even though I'm not exactly a musician, they loved it. Amsterdam is delightful. Despite the pouring rain, they're riding their bikes, loaded up with one or two kids, parcels and umbrellas.

Offtopic: First snow of the year in Vancouver, WA

We moved to the PacNW to get away from the hot/cold extremes of Philadelphia, and we didn't expect to see much winter snow here either (Vancouver, WA), just rain. Well, the weather people predicted rain, rain, rain today, but the weather turned a little colder. We posted a few pics to our personal website at My daughter can't wait to get out into it before it melts.

A new source for office toys

OK, I've gone through ThinkGeek,, and Archie McPhee. But now, in the low-rent office toy category is American Science & Surplus.

It even has the drinking bird!!! OMG. Even if I don't buy anything, I could easily waste a half a day just browsing through all the categories!

How the SPAM is being generated

So, I just received two SPAM messages, and the subject lines for both started with:

Re: %RND_UC_CHAR[2-8],

So, somebody's perl isn't quite up to snuff in their random email subject generation subroutine.

"Metadata is stored in the DIVA document format"

This month's D-Lib has an article on the DiVA Project. The name is reason enough for me to want to know more.

Have you attended Mid-Winter? C'mere ...

I have reg'ed and I've bought my plane tickets and I'm *this* close to formally requesting the time off work. But I haven't found a hotel room yet. All of the ALA hotels within walking distance are booked. And I've been too overwhelmed with other things to start looking off the beaten track yet. But there's one thing I need to know:

How is the social life at Mid-Winter?

Updating website

Well, I spent most of the afternoon tweaking my website. Mainly colors, content, and some image adjustments. I originally used a flash menu because it was fun, but just try to get flash to work properly under linux. Tried, tried, tried.

Least common denominator is best.

The Numbers Game

Slashcode comes with a nifty little stats area that spits out some interesting graphs. I'd love to be able to make them all public, but I fear the added load the scripts would add, so I'll try and post some of them here from time to time.
This all deal with moderation and comments for the past few months.

Tired of all these IM clients

I really, really like Jabber (open source IM client), but I still have to open the others (AOL, MSN, etc.) when there are incompatibility problems. I still don't get it. Why do these companies not come to an agreement on a standard? Focus on getting subscribers by value-added features. I'm tired of it all. I'm going to delete these other clients and just stick to Jabber until the world determines the best way to implement the whole thing.


Art Carney died yesterday, may he rest in peace.
A friends comment upon hearing of his death --
"I'm surprised he was still alive." I think Art would've chuckled at that.

I am Dewey

Yesterday's Overdue strip is all about me. In so many ways, I can barely keep track.

I'm responsible for tabulating the statistics every month in my library, but there's also the

  • pedantic,
  • sarcastic,
  • and coffee

going with it.


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