The blog in review

Dorothea Salo, one of the most thoughtful and worth-reading libloggers around, has an annual tradition I’d forgotten: posting and commenting on the first sentence of the first post of each month that year.

What a good idea! A post that isn’t me pushing books (a generally futile but unamusing exercise) and might actually be fun. So, here, goes.

  • January: “I’d like to call your attention to this post by Jennifer Macaulay on Just Another Day (you may know Macaulay from her previous blog, Life as I Know It).” Pointing to the first and, AFAIK, the only review of But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009. [Apropos the final paragraph in that post, I downloaded OpenOffice yesterday and may see whether it gives me a reasonable road to ePub. Meanwhile, BSTB is up to almost 20 copies sold...]
  • February: “When last I discussed the possibility of a book combining all 33 of the Open Access-related essays in Cites & Insights from 2001 through 2009 (plus one “disContent” column from EContent Magazine), the issue was whether it was worth doing an ePub version: Whether anybody would want it.” Raising the question of whether it was worth doing Open Access and Libraries if it didn’t have an index. Comments convinced me the answer was Yes. I did. I have no idea how many PDF freebies were downloaded, but hope it’s a few and that people have found them worthwhile. (Since this book was done with no expectation of sales, I’m not even recording them.)
  • March: “Maybe I need to learn something from mainstream merchants: That is, the value of constant, repetitive advertising.” I didn’t, and it didn’t seem to matter anyway.
  • April: “This blog began on April 1, 2005–five years ago.” So it did.
  • May: “Last weekend, Safeway had a really good price on Ruby Red grapefruit from Texas–and they looked like pretty good grapefruit as well.” Ah, good: A post that has nothing to do with PoD books. Not much to do with libraries, either–it’s about my changed expectations for what constitutes “great fruit” after going to Farmers’ Markets. Specifically, while good Ruby Red grapefruit from Texas via Safeway is still good fruit, the yellow organic grapefruit from Lone Oak Farms at the local Farmers’ Market is great–and that’s a good reminder that I can look forward to that grapefruit in another month or four. (Local navel oranges are just starting to get really good about now.)
  • June: “Maybe that’s too broad a question.” What question? The post title: “Does every librarian need to be an involved expert on everything?” My contribution to a discussion in which a certain library guru directly insulted any librarian (or “info pro”) who chose to quit Facebook because of its appalling privacy practices. Remember the money quote from the guru? Here it is:

I also would expect to be able to receive informed, current and excellent advice and training on how to deal with the emerging social tools from my professionals in the social institutions I frequent (public libraries, schools, univerisities, colleges, etc.).

[That's a direct cut-and-paste.] I’ll stand behind everything I said in that post, particularly concerning the guru’s response (where he seems to say that HR departments would reasonably reject applications from librarians who aren’t where “the majority of users” are–which, among other things, means rejecting any non-Christian applicant who isn’t part of a heterosexual marriage and anybody who believes in evolution).

Oh, go read the post…and the comments. I’m proud of this one.

  • July: “Very short post, with the heart of it in the title above, so as to encourage FriendFeed participation.” Again, that’s meaningless without the post title: “What year did downloaded music start outselling CDs/vinyl?” Most commenters were way ahead of me on this one.
  • August: “The good news: I’ve started in on The New Project (a fast-turnaround, relatively brief book for a real library publisher, on a topic I’m quite comfortable with–more later).” The start of a post on progress/regress on various fronts. That project is in production right now; it will be my first traditionally-published book in quite some time. Eight years, actually…
  • September: “Not much blogging lately.” The post title is “Arggh: A quick update,” and much of it has to do with the perils of sorting an Excel spreadsheet while some columns are hidden.
  • October: “Just for fun, and in the absence of anything serious to say (hey, I’m 99% finished with a Real Book Project…), here’s some great stuff from today’s spamments:” Another one worth reading–some of the most remarkable attempts at spam comments I’ve run into, before or since, including one that begins “Go screw yourself!!!” and goes on from there.
  • November: “Available immediately–but only for four months or 100 copies, whichever comes first: disContent: The Complete Collection.” Still available, but only 97 copies and 2.6 months left. The first and quite possibly the last hardbound (casebound) book from C&I Books.
  • December: “If you’re somebody who might remotely consider buying The Liblog Landscape 2007-2010, I have a question for you–and answers don’t in any way obligate you to buy the book when it comes out.” The question had to do with the separate PDF with larger versions of the 34 figures/graphs in the book.

One caveat: It’s possible that the posts for January, February and March weren’t actually the first posts in those months. I removed posts–something I rarely do–that were nothing more than publicity for the Library Learning Network after I was summarily dismissed from my position with that project, which was later shut down. (If you’re wondering, I do plan to post about the status of the related project–the status being “nothing’s happening, and I’m probably going to delete the archives.”) It’s possible that those posts came earlier. But those were mirror posts anyway, so I don’t think they count.

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