Should I or Shouldn’t I…

[Reassurance: book purchases or lack thereof will not be discussed in this post.]

I’m wrapping up the March 2011 issue of Cites & Insights, which will probably appear this weekend (that is, February 13, give or take a day or three).

And thinking about the first essay for the April issue…

I could do a Deathwatch/Death of books/Death of print piece, since I left deathwatches out of the “Predictions” essay that appears in the March issue. Gaia knows, I have enough items for one–19 deathwatch, 43 deathbooks, 38 deathprint (although those last two include loads of overlap).

Hmm. Only moved to Diigo recently, but this seems new: When I click on “view all tags,” instead of a neat columnar alphabetic list, I’m getting a comma-separated list that’s MUCH harder to read, but does nicely set the five most-used tags in larger type. I’d like the old columnar list, plz…

It’s been a while since I’ve done a copyright-related essay, so that’s a possibility.

Lots of items tagged “blogging” (more than 100), with 14 tagged “miw-blogging” (that is, items specific to libraries & librarians)…

It’s been a very long time since I’ve done a piece on ebooks, ereaders or both, and I seem to have–good grief, 192–items tagged “ebooks.” Way too much for one essay; time to subdivide…

And then there’s…

The tag with the most items attached to it: “gbs,” with 194 items.

Not George Bernard Shaw, to be sure.

So, the question is, should I try to put together an update on views & notes regarding the Google Book Settlement–which I haven’t touched in 1.5 years?

I guess I was waiting until the judge actually did something. Freedom to Tinker has predicted that that won’t happen in 2011, and I have no reason to doubt that pessimistic (or is it?) prediction.

I see three possible courses, and would be delighted to get opinions on which to follow:

  1. Scrap the whole tag and leave it to better-informed and even more opinionated sources to deal with this. (Those are two possibly overlapping circles.)
  2. Go through the items, subdivide them and/or print off lead sheets, and try to put together a coherent discussion. Which would likely be issue-length, or might even be a split essay like the one in the February and March issues…
  3. Just keep tagging, selectively, and wait until the judge finally either acts or says he’s not going to.

Opinions? Comments? Open here and on FF. I don’t promise I’ll be bound by what folks say. I do promise I’ll read the comments.

7 Responses to “Should I or Shouldn’t I…”

  1. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    I’d say wait until there’s some news. That increases the interest on the part of the readers.

    FYI, a gbs item of possible interest:

    http://laboratorium.net/archive/2011/01/27/gbs_brevia_1

  2. Michael Golrick Says:

    Personally, I’d vote for copyright (defining all the issues feels like nailing Jello to a tree, at times), and the print deathwatch group.

    I would say take your time with “GBs” (I hope the capitalization will keep it from being George B. Shaw), but I would think a special issue in late spring or for ALA could be interesting.

    You are known for thinking and talking about blogging, especially in the library world. Can you split some of that up as part of several issues? Just a thought….

    And maybe after you weed/look at/subdivide e-books, a plan will leap out at you. I worry about where libraries fit in for e-books, and have some concerns about DRM and the lack of cross-platform compatibility. In public libraries who have them there is always the issue about helping the public with their (the public’s) specific brand. (I am sure you saw the discussion on PUBLIB about Overdrive.)

  3. walt Says:

    Thanks, both–and Michael, thanks for broadening the possible responses. I certainly wouldn’t be tackling GBS immediately–it’s too big. I’m trying to decide whether to tackle it at all. (Seth: Waiting for news…well, that’s what I was doing, but the news seems to be receding from the horizon.)

    Michael: Copyright’s already split into several areas, and I should look at that. Print/deathwatch is always fun. Subdividing ebooks/ereaders and, in the process, dropping lots of stuff, may also be worthwhile.

    As for blogging: Yes, I’ll keep writing about it. But as for splitting the work I’ve done across several issues—well, the expressed *dis*interest in reading my results, and the absolute, total lack of any book sales argue against doing that. If people are actively disinterested, it’s not just a waste of space, it damages C&I.

  4. Michael Golrick Says:

    By the way Steve Lawson posted this video on copyright: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UWaQK5Wbvs&feature=player_embedded

    That made me think about the intersection of copyright law (DRM) and e-books. Maybe that is one place to focus???

  5. Steven Kaye Says:

    Ebooks is still a moving target, IMO, though Border’s decline (goodbye to Kobo?) and the concentration of ebooks on Amazon by all accounts might be an interesting subtopic. Or possibly what librarians and others can do to push for open formats in ebooks and ownership rather than purchasing a license.

    Poking fun at pundits and “death of” rhetoric is like shooting fish in a barrel, honestly.

    And put me down for #3 for GBS.

  6. walt Says:

    Interesting. I think ebooks and ereaders will be moving targets for a very long time to come; it’s been a while (years!) since I focused on them.

    As for shooting fish in a barrel: True enough, but I have to have some fun in the process of doing C&I as well…and some of those fish earn $big $buck$ saying stupid things.

  7. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    > Seth: Waiting for news…well, that’s what I was doing, but the news seems to be receding from the horizon.

    Walt, your news-ship has come in, and it’s a supertanker.

    Associated Press
    NYC judge rejects Google books settlement
    Associated Press, 03.22.11, 03:29 PM EDT

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York City has rejected a deal between Google and lawyers for authors and publishers to let the gigantic search engine make money presiding over the world’s largest digital library.

    U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin said the creation of a universal library would benefit many but would “simply go too far.”


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