It’s been a while…

…since the most recent post hereabouts. Looks like six days. Which is maybe OK–the oddly high level of traffic here seems to grow if I don’t post anything and shrink if I do. (Hi Abigail! And, by the way, in doing my near-universal study of English-language liblogs, I’m finding that the small subset of liblogs that are “book blogs”–primarily devoted to reviews, whether of books or other media–are distinctly different in longevity and posting frequency/consistency than most other blogs. Oh, and in preferred blogging software as well.)

I have a handful of topics on my little notepad that might be worth doing Proper Posts. I have a separate list of possible essay topics that could yield more–topics that aren’t ready for full-fledged C&I essays but worth addressing. And I’m not ready to deal with either of those. So, for what it’s worth, a random set of updates for a random blog.

Randomness

In case it’s not quite clear, I continue to be astonished at the apparent level of activity at Walt at Random (from September 1 through October 22–my Urchin stats run a day late–I’m showing an average of 3,524 pageviews per day in 1,503 sessions, from 7,939 different IP addresses during that 7-week period), given that Walt at Random is caught in the middle: stuff that isn’t (yet) ready for my primary outlet, Cites & Insights, but requires a little more thought than blather on FriendFeed. I think it’s mostly a case of random accumulation coupled with relatively low posting frequency, so that people don’t get bugged enough to unsubscribe or stop coming here. (Now, if I could get an advertiser who’d pay, say, $5 per thousand pageviews…but there are also advantages to not having ads.)

Zero

We got our year-end true-up statement from PG&E, although we think it’s a month early. For the full year (as PG&E views it), we generated just slightly more electricity than we used. We won’t get paid for it (that comes next year, and if we did get paid, it would amount to something like $16), but it feels good.

We actually stayed under the zero line until a couple of days ago. Now, given complete overcast and shorter days, we’re back above zero. Remarkably, yesterday–which I would have called 100% overcast and gloomy all day long–we still managed to generate around 3kWh: When they say thin-film panels can deal with dim light well, they’re not kidding.

The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010

I didn’t get a lot of feedback on various possibilities, and no interest whatsoever in either of the side project possibilities (the “freemium” collection of disContent columns or a possible 5th-anniversary followup to Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0″), which I have to admit is not a surprise, so as usual I’ll make decisions based on what’s most interesting to me and feels right.

For the “as universal as I can make it” survey of English-language liblogs that still had an open web presence in late spring/early summer 2010, that choice turns out to be #3 on my original set of possibilities. That is: I”ll reserve the name “The Way We Blog” for a possible 2011 five-year study (assuming I don’t drop this hobby/obsession and take up something useful like golf or writing nutcase letters to editors), do as much with this set of data as seems appropriate, and publish the results as a Lulu paperback for the few who might want it, while publishing draft versions of most chapters (excluding the first, which will have overall commentary and fun facts from various chapters) in Cites & Insights along the way. That way, most of the important data will reach lots of people, but the few who are willing to pay a little will get a more interesting and more polished overview. (There won’t be individual liblog profiles. Period.)

A side note. The latest auto-update to Firefox broke the word-count add-on that plays such an important role in gathering liblog metrics. If that isn’t fixed, or replaced by some other Firefox or possibly Chrome extension by next June, that may be the tipping point for giving up this particular quixotic research.

Progress report on that: I’ve “finished” chapters 2-4 (of what should be an 8-10 chapter project) and the first third or so of chapter 5. A draft version of chapter 2 will almost certainly appear in the December 2010 Cites & Insights. A draft version of chapter 3 will probably appear in the first 2011 Cites & Insights, assuming there is one. A draft version of chapter 4 will…well, you get the picture.

Cites & Insights

One potential sponsorship is still up in the air, as it has been for three months now. I’m open to other possibilities. The current issue has gotten a couple of nice links and comments (which, without sponsorship, is the only thing other than actual readership that keeps C&I going). There’s no shortage of potential material, now or in the future. (One essay for December 2010 is now a finished draft. Add Chapter 2 and another Offtopic Perspective, and I suspect there will be at most one other essay and some CD-ROM reviews, if that.)

Open Access: What We Need to Know Now

“In production” at ALA Editions. As soon as I have concrete dates, etc., I’ll let you know. I think it’s going to serve an important purpose. At least I hope so. As for OA returning to C&I as an ongoing topic…probably not, as the reasons for giving up haven’t changed.

Otherwise

I let the end of September come and go without buying the discounted bundled registration for Midwinter and Annual 2011. I’d already thought that my 35-year record of essentially-unbroken attendance at both conferences would probably disappear in 2012, replaced by highly selective attendance (based partly on financial arrangements, partly on location, partly on other things). That’s now likely to be true for 2011 as well–and although San Diego is “nearby” (427 miles, certainly not an easy drive but a relatively short flight), it’s only marginally less expensive to attend than any other conference city. A lot can change between now and early January, but right now I’d say odds are heavily against Midwinter…and while I love NOLA, I’m not sure I’m committed to Annual either. I love getting together with people face-to-face, but realistically (and particularly given the absence of one especially good networking event for bloggers), the few dozen people I chat with during a conference can hardly justify either the time or the expense. I’m getting more retired all the time, helped by living in the nicest home we’ve ever owned. (If it wasn’t raining today, we might do an afternoon stroll to a nearby winery; Saturday before last, we did do such an afternoon stroll to pick up more locally-produced Frontoia-olive olive oil directly from the grower/producer. And if there’s any light at all, we get it.)

So there’s my post for the week. Time to resume work on chapter 5 (or vacuum, or go to the library, or read, or whatever).

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