Tripping out, tripping back

No, I didn’t write the copy in Cites & Insights 6.3 after returning from ALA Midwinter–partly because I didn’t exactly return from ALA Midwinter. Instead of a nice gentle four-night trip to San Antonio and back, I had a somewhat exhausting six-night journey from San Jose to San Antonio to Seattle and back to San Jose.

The Seattle leg was MSN Search Champs V4, an interesting event that I won’t have all that much to say about–partly because most of it took place under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), the first NDA I ever remember signing. Of the portions that were not under NDA, Charles W. Bailey, Jr. has already posted a discussion of one of the most interesting–a talk that actually had me thinking “I might be interested in working on this…”

Another portion was a somewhat impromptu discussion of the MSN part of the Google story regarding the Department of Justice and search records. MSN didn’t accept the initial subpoena (some months ago), but eventually did provide a large sampling of MSN searches–stripped of IP addresses and all other personally-identifying information [PII]–to both sides in the trial. What they did was probably just fine, particularly since there are plans to make such search aggregations available for researchers in the future. What they didn’t do was to let MSN users know this had happened; the people at Search Champs (this was toward the end of lunch) generally felt that they should have. I’m guessing that, next time something like this happens, there will be an alert on the MSN home page (and, if they’re paying attention, on the Yahoo! home page under similar circumstances).

Anyhow, the result of all this (noting that I still travel sans technology) is that I was out of touch for essentially a full week, from 6 p.m. Thursday 1/19 through 7 a.m. Friday 1/27. It took an hour or two at work (out of a four-hour Friday workday) to catch up with email; it took about 90 minutes at home to catch up with 990 blog posts (most of which I didn’t read in full, any more than I would any other time). Oh yes, and I had a week’s worth of newspapers and 5 hours of taped TV shows to deal with (I’m only halfway through the TV shows).

So this is the first real chance I’ve had to post since before Midwinter. It’s still a little haphazard, to be sure. I don’t know that I have a whole bunch to say about Midwinter, although there might be one or two later posts. Attendance seemed on the light side (given the lack of overcrowding in hotel lobbies and bars and the relative lack of queues in restaurants). Weather wasn’t quite up to San Antonio norms. The C&I gettogether went very well (10 people?). The OCLC Bloggers Salon went swimmingly (maybe half repeats from last summer, half new people). My experiences with LITA IGs…well, that might be another post. I don’t remember all that much new in the exhibits. As always, I had a good time in San Antonio (and in Seattle, but that’s not “as always”).

So when did I write C&I 6.3? Before Midwinter. Some of it was written before the special issue came out; the three-day weekend provided enough time to do the rest and do initial editing (not quite enough editing: I really should know that Steven M. Cohen’s name does not contain “ph”!). I put it all together and did copyfitting yesterday and today; tomorrow I’ll update the volume index and then take a few days off writing (except maybe blogging) before starting on another column and stuff for C&I 6.4. (Except, of course, that there’s already some material for the next issue…)

To those of you I met for the first time at Midwinter: It was a pleasure. (To those of you I met for the first time in Seattle: Ditto.) To those of you who I only see twice a year and renewed acquaintance with: Also a pleasure. That’s one reason I keep going. And even though I groused a little bit the 15th or 20th time I heard the line, “I read the Library 2.0 issue on the flight here” was good to hear (repeatedly!): It means people are reading C&I.

2 Responses to “Tripping out, tripping back”

  1. Laura Crossett Says:

    Hmm. . . perhaps I should not mention that I, too, read the last C&I on a plane flight, although not to Midwinter. But I do so often read of people reading C&I on the plane that I began to wonder at one point why all my fellow passengers weren’t reading it. I suppose you could be glad that people aren’t saying, “So, I was reading your whole take on Library 2.0 while I was sitting on the john. . . .”

  2. walt Says:

    Good points. And I stopped grousing when I remembered that this meant people were reading it, and having a Midwinter issue read just before Midwinter made a lot of sense.


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