A contest! With prizes! Long post, sorry about that

I've been staying out of the s**storm surrounding Michael Gorman's intemperate LJ op-ed piece, partly because I think some people would assume that whatever I said was an indirect attack on bloggers, partly because there's been a lot of intemperance on both sides (as well as some lovely, thoughtful essays and opinions, including one from Blake) within the Web4Lib and LITA-L group conversations. (I haven't gone to ./ or any of the other non-library areas in which this is being discussed, and don't plan to, thank you very much. Life really is too short.)

"Yeah, Walt, but you must have a reaction to Gorman's generalizations." Sure I do. Consider that most of what I make available for public consumption--publish, if you will, not including this blog lite--bypasses editorial control and traditional publishing, putting me pretty squarely in that ignorant semi-literate group of folks with nothing worthwhile to say. (I love good editing, and get it from my editors at eContent and Online, and certainly used to get great, hardnosed editing at American Libraries--but this year, even including a forthcoming Library Technology Reports issue on Policy and Library Technology, I'll publish about 40,000 words through traditional means, about 220,000 in Cites & Insights, and next year's likely to be about 14,000 traditional, about 220,0000 C&I, where there's no editorial oversight other than my own.)

My other reaction to Gorman's "satire"?

That's the contest: Name Walt's blog.

If I started up a real weblog (not just this blog lite), combining quick thoughts that might eventually turn into columns or C&I fodder, library-related (and policy-related and technology-related and media-related) stuff that would never make it into C&I, and some of the personal oddments hat come up, what should I call it?

Assume for the moment that I'll use some comment-friendly, printer-friendly software that's free, and that it would be hosted at LISHost, unless the "free and easy for idiots like me to use" need conflicts with that hosting.

Assume that it won't have daily posts and won't have loads'o'links, and that I'll be as open to comments and "conversation" as possible (but forbid anonymous comments), while necessarily retaining the right to delete spam and viciousness.

What would you call it? (And, for that matter, what hosting/software methdology should I use?)

Prizes for the best suggestion(s):

  • An autographed copy of either Being Analog or First Have Something to Say, your choice.
  • A DVD copy of an independent movie named after one of America's heartland cities, that movie having spawned an indie festival. Yours to keep, pass on, destroy...

If I get one compelling title suggestion and a separate wholly satisfactory software/hosting suggestion, a separate prize for the second suggestion would be an autographed copy of First Have Something to Say--or your choice of either book if the title winner doesn't want Being Analog.

Full disclosure: I am not committed to starting such a blog. I may well come to my senses. But Gorman's thoughts are pushing me in that direction, a direction I've been considering for some time in any case. (Yes, aggregators have something to do with that: I believe that they make "non-daily" blogs more feasible.)

Entries as comments here or as email to me, either wcc at notes.rlg.org or waltcrawford at gmail.google.com. Contest deadline March 12, 2005. No prizes if there's no suggestion that I find compelling.

3/14 addition: The contest is closed. Guess I should say that here as well.

I've concluded that there are two winners: Tangognat and Daniel.

Unfortunately, I won't be using the winning response--because it's already used by at least two other weblogs. Too bad, but I'd just as soon not add to the confusion by creating one more "Something to say" blog.

If/when my weblog does show up, the likely title is one that (according to Google) is not used anywhere on the open web--a title that appears within this set of comments, but as one of my responses. (And if one of you starts a blog with that name before I do, I'll take that as a sign from Gaia that I really should give up on the idea. Sort of like an earthquake swallowing up the proposed ISP, but non-destructive. Or maybe just as some reader being a smartass.)


For a title, how about "Something to Say"? since it plays off your book? And having a blog hopefully means that you are saying something :)

I like wordpress for blogging software, and I've tried blogger and movable type in the past too. I think the comment moderation options in wordpress 1.5 would let you keep comments open without having to have an authentication system like typekey.

Ha ha!! You mean like this?Blog People got no reasonBlog People got no reasonBlog People got no reasonTo liveThey got no press credentialsAnd read what they wanna readAnd they glorify computersTo complex texts they pay no heedThey got their RSSAnd unedited blogosphereThose technology-obsessed progressivesI just wish they'd disappearWell, I don't want no Blog PeopleDon't want no Blog PeopleDon't want no Blog PeopleRound hereDo I hear a second verse, anyone??

Geez, John...the title won't work for me, but you must be reading my journal entries, since you mention the Greatest Living American Songwriter (in my opinion). If I do a blog (or in this journal, if I don't), one of my first random entries is likely to be a discussion of how the new (well, new to me!) 2-CD edition of "Good Old Boys" functions much like DVD extras, letting us know the background to the disc...

I'm more of a fan of uncle Alfred and his film scores, but if you do write about him, let me know and we'll surely blog about it in Infoshare!

Anonymous Patron, whoever you are, PLEASE CLAIM THIS! It rocks. I want to link to it and credit it properly.

"Michael Gorman's Blog" ... ;)

How about the name Gompers? Its a good name, very friendly. Sidney is a nice name. Or you could go with the name Shep.
Wait, this is Name Walt's Blog contest...
I thought it was Name Walt's Dog

Nevermind (Although Gompers would be a good name for a blog...)

I'm not a dog person. Our cats are named Dickens and Sam; Sam replaced Pip. Sam could be short for Samwise, or not. Well, Sam sometimes behaves like a dog (following one of us around and all that), but in the evening displays a cat's true nature: "Who are you people wandering around in MY HOUSE?"

Gompers would be a great name for a blog of a unionist. I'm not one of them either...

Cute post, though.

Wouldn't that be ForeCite? ;-)

Hey, something we totally agree on! I used to have a cat named Pip!!!Shifted :-)

If you're going to blog much about music, you could be Cites & Sounds.


"Stuck In My Craw"? :-)

I was thinking along the lines of "InCitement to Blog", but see you've partly beaten me to it!

Hi Tangognat,

Send me (user: wcc domain: notes.rlg.org OR
user: waltcrawford domain: gmail.com) your USMail address. You're the winner--although, sad to say, I won't be using your excellent suggestion (because there are at least two other blogs with that name).

Oh, and let me know which book you want. Your choice of Being Analog or First Have Something to Say. Either one autographed.

Hi Daniel,

When you get back from Barrow (or if you're on), send me your current USMail address. Given the timing, I'm going to give you second prize--although, as noted in my "first prize" note to Tangognat, I'm not going to use the winning "Something to say" (or your longer version) because at least two blogs are out there called "Something to say."

Send to:
user wcc domain notes.rlg.org
user waltcrawford domain gmail.com

Hi Dorothea,
I'll get back to you. If (more likely when) I do this, I'll probably set it up at LISHost, after discussing it with Blake.

And based on the survey I'm currently beginning on printability of blogs and other writing-related websites, I do think WordPress is a likely candidate. To wit, every WordPress site I've visited so far is either printer-neutral or positively printer-friendly (probably that "print stylesheet"--and what I've seen is "not beautiful" in precisely the right way for print), where most MT-based blogs vary between mildly printer-hostile and aggressively printer-hostile (although some newish ones are printer-neutral).

As you can guess, I'll go for extreme simplicity: a clean design somewhat similar to the C&I Update blog, no background, nothing fancy...

Of course. That's why I like CSS. Fix it, put it up, forget it; it Just Works from then on. :)

Perhaps it's not quite right for Walt's hypothetical new blog, but someone just HAS to start a blog called "Blog People". It would even have a theme song a la Randy Newman. "Blog people got... No reason to live!" :-)

--John Anderies, music librarian blogger @ infoshare

I was going to suggest "First Have Something to Say", since you clearly had many things to say before starting a blog, but Tangognat beat me to it!Only other title I can think of is the cliched "How can I be a Luddite? I'm Blogging!"Good luck in whatever you decide!

Hmm. The Luddite Pseudolibrarian? Well, that would play to one sometimes-reader who I studiously ignore...and while "Luddite Librarian" has its charms, it runs into the IANALibrarian problem.

Let's see some more suggestions. Good starts (both of you), though.

...and given your current hesitance to fully enter the blogosphere, I suggest "Walt on the Wild Side".

Walt's Wonderings; Walt's Whimsical Wanderings. Of course, Wonderful World of Walt is really rather too close to Mr. Disney, isn't it? ;)

I like alliteration.

s/ (who won an episode naming contest for a cdn show called "holmes on homes" however, the network airing the show (HGTV canada)wouldn't let them use it. Censors... *sigh*)

If you want to give WordPress a no-obligation whirl, Walt, just drop me a line. I can set you up a sandbox on Yarinareth; I have to upgrade all the other blogs to 1.5 anyway, one of these fine days.And should you choose WordPress and need a maintenance grunt, I'm your gal. I'll do Movable Type too if you go that way, but it's not my tool so I'm not up on the latest and greatest.

It's funny that you suggested the Disney reference, because the first thing I though of was "Walt Dewey World", but it was quickly shot down by a colleague as being, um, stupid.

Okay...a couple more and I'll be quiet. I'm one of those people who will not be consciously thinking about something when an answer/suggestion will pop into my head. Here's the result this time.

Keeping with my alliteration theme: Crawford's Confabulations or Crawford's Chatter & Clatter.

"Something to Say" is a great title.Otherwise, how about...Crawfish [humorous, distinctive, but obscure]Crawford Talking [points up that it's the blogger Walt, not the writer Walt]Hmmm, something that plays on C&I... hmmm...Between the Citesanyway, good for you to blog. You need not blog often to blog well. Some of the best bloggers post very infrequently.Consider using Typepad for your blog--a decent hosted service.kgs here (too lazy to log in. Now wondering how many editors Shakespeare had, for heaven's sake)

How about "Foresight" ? ...since you're using the blog for C&I fodder.--Joy (couldn't get the system to create an account for me)Joy Weese MollWanderings of a Student Librarianhttp://joy.mollprojects.com/blog

Based on how "well" Movable Type blogs seem to print, I'm pretty sure that won't be the choice: The software seems openly hostile to printing out long posts...at least from this reader's side. (Highlighting the text, copying it, and pasting it into Word or Notepad is not what I'd call a friendly technique, but it's the only way I've found that works...)

Well, as to the humorous suggestion... anyone with my last name who went to a typical public school and wasn't BMOC (or much of anything on campus) is unlikely to want to bring up those particular bad memories...

Otherwise, I'm just keeping options open.

Ew. That's strange. Probably fixable with a specifically-for-print CSS stylesheet, though -- and that's true for any blogging tool you choose.I'll check WordPress 1.5 themes to see if any of them have filled that need. If not, I might chuck a print stylesheet in myself, having recently done print CSS for the HTML version of my résumé.What's your religion as regards printing out a blog's sidebar? My inclination is to leave it out entirely, but I'm open to arguments both ways, as well as suggestions for where to put it in print form.

Aha! Turns out WordPress comes out of the box with a print stylesheet. It is reputed "not to be beautiful" per the support forums, but at least somebody's done the heavy lifting. The beauty can be tweaked. :)

You could go something that comments on your inspiration, like:

"Intellectual Needs, Met by an Accumulation of Random Facts and Paragraphs".
(Or merely "An Accumulation of Random Facts and Paragraphs")
Or perhaps "Sustained Readings of Complex Texts".

In my "printist" view, truly printer-friendly sites (and there are some of them) leave out everything but the central area.

I plan a "research-based" Perspective, beginning with a disContent column, in the near future--as time permits--looking not only at weblogs but at content-heavy sites. There are a LOT of printing problems out there, some of them seemingly deliberate, some just wierd. (Some weblogs, if you print a multipage set of entries, keep moving the weblog portion over to the right until, by about p. 3, you're dropping text off the right-hand edge, as a blank left side gets bigger and bigger.)

Note here again, as with HTML versions of C&I articles: I'm looking for dumb, easy, reliable, clean; not fancy and needing tweaking. I've programmed for too many years as a living; I just don't have any interest in doing it or anything like it for fun.

Now, if you suggested "Walt at Random" (playing off "Crawford at Large", the official subtitle of C&I), you'd have one of the two hot possibilities so far. (Tangognat has the first: It's growing on me day by day.)

Aww, that's too bad that you can use the title, but I'm happy I won! E-mail to follow....