Housekeeping

I’m still not quite back–that is, I’m back in Mountain View, but not ready to get back to real writing and blogging just yet. (Apart from plowing through blog posts, there are newspapers to catch up on, a tiny amount of taped TV to watch, and a whole lot less energy than I’d like.) Maybe tomorrow. Meantime, a few housekeeping notes:

  • Much as I’d love to comment on some of the stuff reported from CIL (in what seemed like an endless string and variety of posts), I learned my lesson from earlier cases of commenting-on-conference-reports: You can’t win. I wasn’t there. Any attempt to triangulate what was actually said, the vocal inflections, the body language, only works one way–that is, if I take issue with anything that was noted, well, clearly I misunderstood. So, no comments on what happened at CIL. I wasn’t there. (This one’s hard but essential to my sanity.)
  • I was at Washington Library Association. Thanks to Sarah Houghton-Jan (who did the first opening statement) and good moderation and questions, we did a bangup opening keynote in a breakfast session. I stopped counting the compliments. It was probably my only speech of the year (but 2008 may be looking up), or at least the only one I know about so far, and the first speech in many years where my written notes didn’t play into the actual talk at all. Of course, it wasn’t really a speech (10 minutes up front, then a minute or two as appropriate), but it was a kick.
  • I went to underattended sessions. I went to overcrowded sessions (but left, since I figure those who paid registration should get the seats). I went to very good sessions, and some that weren’t quite as great. WLA had a pretty fair amount of non-session time, and people were talking. A lot. Which is probably the best thing about face-to-face conferences.
  • While I’m definitely writing a C&I essay about the whole blogging-code-of-conduct thing, and that essay might include my own current stance, I don’t think my practice is going to change enough to require explicit statements. Two mild changes, though, both affecting comments: I will feel freer to delete comments than I have in the past if I think they’re “out of bounds,” and much freer to delete anonymous/pseudonymous comments, although I don’t forbid them. The other: As time permits, I’m going to lock out comments on older posts, since that’s where most remaining spam and attempted linkback spam comes into the system, and “real” comments tend to have an otherworldly nature a year after a post appears. I’m thinking about a one-year comment window, or maybe six months after the post or most recent comment.

Now back to catching up…

3 Responses to “Housekeeping”

  1. Iris Says:

    Good to have you back, and to hear that your conference presentations/moderations went so well. And it’s a shame that we have to be careful commenting on posts about conferences we didn’t attend. It seems like one of the benefits of conference blogging is that you give people who weren’t there a chance to engage in the conversation. But I respect your reasoning, as usual.

  2. walt Says:

    I’m printing off a few posts about CIL (and about Texas LA), as they represent the thoughts of the bloggers. As for commenting on posts that report on conference presentations, or using those posts as the basis for further discussion–I certainly don’t discourage anyone else from doing so, but I’ve gotten scolded whenever I’ve disagreed with something that was reported on. My sense is that it’s just fine to applaud, echo, whatever–but as soon as you say “Wait a minute…” (or at least as soon as I say “wait a minute…”), the cries of “but you weren’t there, you missed all these other factors” arise.

    So, for now, I just don’t save off or comment on actual conference reporting. Too bad in a way.

  3. Steve Lawson Says:

    That’s probably a good rule of thumb, because the commenter ends up commenting on something third- or fourth-hand, and it’s entirely plausible that the commenter could miss some context that didn’t come through in the blogger’s report.

    I know that I would hate to have people comment on my presentation based solely on my slides, as I sometimes put up just a few simple words with an image and then try and complicate and even contradict what is on the slide (at least that’s what I do in my fantasies of my perfect presentations…).


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