Kudos and apologies: One more Friday p.m. post

I don’t believe I’ve posted anything about Five Weeks to a Social Library. Not that I’ve been involved in this remarkable exercise, other than commenting on a couple of blog entries and following the set of blogs and the retrospective posts on the blogs of the founders, but…

I suppose “this remarkable exercise” is a giveaway: Congratulations are in order to Meredith Farkas, Michelle Boule, Karen Coombs, Amanda Etches-Johnson, Ellyssa Kroski, and Dorothea Salo. And, to be sure, Tom Peters and Heather Yager. The first group conceived something audacious, planned it, and made it work–by all accounts, extremely well.

It’s easy for me to spot and congratulate people who are doing “the kind of thing I’d do” well (or at least better than I think I’d do it). What this group did falls into an entirely different category: Something I can’t imagine ever doing myself, but where the worth of it penetrates my thick skull fairly rapidly.

I won’t attempt an overview or discussion here. The site has lots of content, and it’s not as though Farkas, Boule, Coombs, Etches-Johnson, Kroski and Salo don’t all have their own outlets. I might do an essay later; I might not (if I find I have little useful to add). Mostly this is just to say: Good work, impressive work, something that makes a difference and should have legs for further use…


And, along the way, to note something entirely different involving one of that group, a person I treasure as a colleague and consider a friend–and who I found necessary to criticize in the current Cites & Insights. (I also found it necessary to criticize another colleague and friend, Peter Suber, on the same issue, and I think I understand the circumstances involved.) In this case, Dorothea Salo issued an eloquent apology and explanation, which reminds me again of why I consider Salo a treasured colleague and friend.

OK, that’s it for today. Probably not for the weekend. I commented on “shutdown day” (not participating and don’t see the point) at LISNews. I’d say “I won’t do any posts for 24 hours,” but it’s quite possible that I’ll do a really serious and important post tomorrow–I’m about to go exercise to the last third of the last film on the sixth disc of the 50 Musicals set, which means it’s time for another set of four mini-reviews of old musicals.

[Footnote: That horizontal rule seems to show up on aggregators but not at W.a.r. itself. If you wonder "what horizontal rule?" there's the problem.]

9 Responses to “Kudos and apologies: One more Friday p.m. post”

  1. Dorothea Salo Says:

    When one screws up as regularly as I do, one has to learn to deal, know what I’m sayin’? :)

    Seriously, though, being able to call somebody out without getting their back up (and I’m pretty touchy) is a valuable skill. You have it in spades.

  2. Steve Lawson Says:

    You want the horizontal rule to show up on the site? Delete this from style.css:

    hr {
    display: none;
    }

    Also, 5 Weeks, Salo, still awesome.

  3. Meredith Says:

    Dorothea is definitely a class act. I just had to talk to a colleague the other day who has screwed things up time and again and caused more work for me, yet never so much as apologizes for it. I told her I wouldn’t mind the screw-ups so much if she just took responsibility and apologized (and it took her about 30 minutes of talking to finally get out the words “I’m sorry”… as if it pained her to say it). Some people really have trouble with that. Dorothea does not, and it’s a quality that instantly makes me like a person. It takes guts to admit when you were wrong.

    Dorothea’s only negative quality, in my opinion, is the fact that she doesn’t give herself nearly enough credit. I’m not sure if it’s just modesty or if she really has no idea how terrific she is.

  4. walt Says:

    Dorothea, Meredith, thanks for the comments. (That post about being wrong and admitting it is still sitting in my hindbrain…being able to admit being wrong, which all of us are from time to time, is a rarer skill than it should be, unfortunately.) Meredith: You get no argument from me about the last paragraph…but I can empathize.

    Steve: Look’a’that! Now, can you tell me how to do Lessig’s trick and show book covers just below the banner? (Some day, I need to really learn CSS/HTML/XML instead of hacking at it.)

  5. Dorothea Salo Says:

    Comment made.

  6. walt Says:

    For anyone who happens here and doesn’t subscribe to CavLec, Dorothea’s post linked above is a must read. Another nudge for me to write that essay/post…

    Note: Steve has offered to help with the banner here. I’ve concluded that I really should learn enough to do it myself, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll take him up on it. It’s good to have friends, particularly those with whom you can disagree civilly.

    Updated a few minutes later: After managing to screw it up royally as part of the banner (it looked fine but pushed all postings over by the width of the front cover), I managed to get it installed appropriately as part of the footer. Less prominent, but that’s OK with me.

  7. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Walt.

  8. Steve Lawson Says:

    The cover image looks nice in the footer; probably a better choice than the banner.

  9. walt Says:

    Steve, Thanks, and I think I agree. What Lessig does works fine for his special case. I’m hoping people will be aware of the book(s) [yes, there probably are more to come--I have a two-book project in mind that could only really be done via self-publishing], but I don’t really want that to dominate the blog. Admission: When there are two books (and up to four or five will fit, I think), I’ll use a–boo, hiss–table to lay them out. Probably. As Lessig does, actually.

    What’s interesting to me about that illustration, a direct resampling of the front cover portion of the wraparound cover, is that it’s only 180 pixels wide, and yet the subtitle, which can’t have more than five or six horizontal pixels per letter (average), is reasonably readable.


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