Interdependency

This is the counterpart essay to the first chunk of Bibs & Blather in Cites & Insights 6:1, also titled “Interdependency.”

That essay explains why I think regular readers of C&I should also subscribe to Walt at Random (that is, add this to an RSS aggregator), a suggestion I would not have made last April when this all began.

If you’ve read that essay, you don’t need to read this one; presumably, you already read C&I. Thanks. I’ll have some other topical post one of these days.

If you don’t read C&I, I’m going to make a modest effort to try to convince you to do so.

Why? Because C&I is my “serious writing”–it’s where my careful, sometimes lengthy, fully-thought-out essays go. (Except for the short econtent-related pieces and somewhat longer PC-related pieces that go into my columns in EContent and Online respectively, and the articles I might start submitting to American Libraries or its competitors one day…maybe. And the book(s) I might start writing again…someday…maybe.)

Also because the ejournal and this blog are becoming more interdependent in some ways:

  • Analysis of popular themes and issues in C&I now typically appears here (as illustrated recently), but doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you don’t read the ejournal.
  • Any theme that begins in the blog and deserves focused review and attention is likely to end up as an essay in the ejournal–and the clarification, expansion, additional background and synthesis that takes place in the ejournal won’t make it back here.
  • “Trial balloons” that start here and that lead to significant or interesting issues in libraries, policy, technology and media–the foci of C&I–will result in essays there if they turn out to deserve real attention. So, for example, my “not a Library 2.0″ post was in some ways a trial balloon for the Library 2.0 perspective I’m just starting to work on–and that perspective will appear in C&I, not here.

If you’ve already dismissed C&I as just one guy’s blather about PCs and the internet, well, fine; you’re entitled to your dismissive opinion. You probably shouldn’t bother with this blog either. Worse, you’re likely to make snap judgments about things I say here and on lists that won’t make sense to anyone who has more context, typically provided in C&I.

For example, nobody who reads C&I regularly would accuse me of being either an uncritical admirer of Google’s efforts or a Google-basher. See the April 2005 issue for one fairly long example of what I’ve actually said about Google. For those who believe I’m in love with the company, “Summertime Blahs” in September may be an even better example. You’d also want to read the lead essay for October and the two-part (so far) OCA and Google discussion in December 2005 and January 2006. And, for that matter, Google is mentioned in at least six other 2005 issues…

Similarly, although I’m certainly no lawyer, quick list comments about fair use or DRM or other copyright issues are at least backed up with considerable reading and thinking, as recorded in C&I. I don’t repeat all that background and commentary in list posts (which almost need to be 200 words or less, preferably a lot less, to work very well) or in blog posts (which are too danged long here, to be sure, but still in the high hundreds of words, not medium thousands).

It’s pretty simple. If you think I have worthwhile things to say, you should be aware of the place where I try to say them most carefully and in the most detail. If you don’t think I have worthwhile things to say–well, what are you doing here?

I’m proud of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large (a subtitle I almost never use, but it’s part of the ISSN title). I believe I’ve produced some significant special issues and issue wrapups (significant enough for folks like EFF and ALA OIF to point to them as resources). I’m even willing to claim that it’s a significant contribution to the library literature.

And that’s more than enough on that issue. If you just can’t cope with long essays (they’re not all long, but…), well, that’s a different problem.

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