Archive for the 'Cites & Insights' Category

Cites & Insights March 2014 (14:3) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on February 1st, 2014

Breaking the silence of project preparation to announce:

Cites & Insights 14:3 (March 2014) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i3.pdf

That’s a 32-page two-column PDF optimized for printing. If you’re planning to read it online or on an e-device, I suggest the 61-page single-column 6″ x 9″ PDF optimized for viewing (and much smaller as a download) at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i3on.pdf

The issue includes:

The Front: Toward 15 and 200: Your Help Wanted  pp. 1-3

Cites & Insights is in its 14th year and has passed Issue 170. I’m asking for help to encourage keeping it up to at least 15 and 200–and offering perks for donors.

Media: Thinking about Magazines  pp. 3-24

Think print magazines are disappearing–or, worse, are just miscellaneous collections of articles? Think again. If you want a sense of the continuing importance of print magazines, maybe four words will suffice: World Wildlife and STAND–the new glossy print magazines from, respectively, World Wildlife Fund and the ACLU, both of which recognize the special power of a good magazine. This roundup includes some numbers and some perspectives. (No, Cites & Insights isn’t a magazine; it’s closer to a newsletter. And while a few journals are also magazines–Science, for example–most journals aren’t magazines and most magazines aren’t journals.)

The Back  pp. 25-32

A baker’s dozen of minisnarks (or, if you prefer, a dozen with lagniappe) on sound, prices, TED, silliness and casual (or ignorant) tech-sexism at “the newspaper of record.”

Toward 15 and 200: Your help wanted

Posted in Cites & Insights on January 6th, 2014

The current (February 2014) Cites & Insights is whole issue 170, and 2014 is the 14th volume of C&I.

I’m asking your help to encourage me to get to Volume 15 and Issue 200 (which would presumably be in Volume 16, if you want to be picky about it).

More specifically, I’m asking for donations, as I have been for some time. (If you’re wondering: last year, I received a number of donations, totaling in the low three digits.)

There’s always a Paypal Donate link on the C&I home page, but to make it even easier I’m replicating that link here (if this works!):

But this time, instead of just The Ask, there’s more to it.

No sticks, only carrots

I am not going to threaten to shut down C&I if I don’t reach a certain goal. Nor am I planning to hold my breath until I turn blue.

Instead, I’ll offer carrots–perquisites to encourage you to donate. Here’s the deal–and the campaign runs now to June 30, 2014:

Supporters: $30 or more

If you think C&I has been and continues to be worth at least $2 a year, but you’re not ready to go for more, this is your level: At least $30 ($2 times 15).

For this, you get the following:

  1. Recognition in a future C&I (probably the August 2014 issue), using the name you prefer when I send you an email “thanks!”–unless you say you’d prefer to be anonymous.
  2. If I reach the base goal of 50 substantial contributions, you’ll be part of the C&I advisory panel for July 2014-June 2015, asked to weigh in on some future decisions including, probably, a poll on coverage emphasis in 2015 and beyond. I don’t promise that I’ll do whatever the majority says; I do promise I’ll pay close attention–and the poll will only be open to the advisory panel.
  3. C&I advisory panel members will, at least four times a year and as often as monthly, receive advance notice of new issues of Cites & Insights, typically email a day before public notice appears.

Sponsors: $50 or more

If you figure C&I is worth $0.25 an issue in the long run, this is your level: $50 or more ($0.25 times 200).

For this, you get all the parks of supporters, plus the following:

  1. If there are fewer than 50 contributors at either level by July 1, 2014, you’ll get a free PDF ebook–and probably a choice of more than one, at least one of them no longer generally available.
  2. If there are 50 to 99 contributors at either level by July 1, 2014, you’ll get a free PDF ebook, your choice of either a new one or an existing one (a limited list of choices).
  3. If there are 100 contributors or more, you’ll get a free PDF ebook–and one option will be a new book that’s exclusively available to sponsors.
  4. You may be offered the chance to advise on what new book gets prepared.

In all cases, I’d expect that the ebooks would be ready before the end of the year.

 

Cites & Insights February 2014 (14:2) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on January 1st, 2014

The February 2014 issue of Cites & Insights (volume 14, number 2) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i2.pdf.

The two-column print-oriented (and optimized for printing) PDF is 42 pages long.

If you’re planning to read it on a tablet or online, you may prefer the 80-page 6″ x 9″ single-column version (not optimized for printing) at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i2on.pdf

This issue completes the book-length discussion of ebook issues. It contains:

Perspective: E and P: What I Ignored   pp. 1-2

Possible motivations behind some comments and stances on pbooks and ebooks

Intersections: It Seems Like the Obvious Case: Ebooks as Textbooks pp. 2-15

For more than a decade I’ve assumed that textbooks represented the obvious billion-dollar (well, multi-billion-dollar) market for ebooks. It turns out not to be that easy.

Libraries: Ebooks and Libraries pp. 15-42

This discussion leaves out way too much and probably grossly oversimplifies the situation, but I do discuss some items having to do with the philosophical and general issues, problems, publishers and vendors, Kindles and libraries, and Douglas County and friends.

Cites & Insights 14.1 (January 2014) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on December 1st, 2013

Now entering its fourteenth (!) year, the January 2014 Cites & Insights is now available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i1.pdf

The issue is 32 pages long. The single-column “online version” is 62 pages long.

This issue includes:

The Front  (p. 1)

A few notes on reaching the fourteenth year.

Words: Books, E and P  (pp. 1-25)

Books and the media in which they appear–and note the “E and P” rather than “E vs. P,” although some of the items are distinctly “versus.”

Media: 50 Movie Gunslinger Classics, Part 1

“Gunslingers” doesn’t mean Westerns, although some of these are. It appears to mean that somebody in the movie has a gun. It’s an…odd…set.

Maybe I should write something about OA

Posted in Cites & Insights, open access on November 4th, 2013

Purely an incidental comment…

I used to write a fair amount about open access–in particular about how it related to libraries.

Enough so that in 2010 I self-published Open Access and Libraries: Essays from Cites & Insights 2001-2009. (That link is to the $17.50 paperback; the PDF ebook is absolutely free.)

The paperback is 513 pages long and includes 33 essays and an introduction. (It’s incomplete: it only includes whole essays on OA, not discussions of OA within other essays.)

I put it together partly because I’d sort of given up writing about OA at that point, partly because I didn’t think I was being heard at all, partly because more knowledgeable people and those with much larger voices were covering it so extensively.

Indeed, there were no essays specifically about OA in Cites & Insights during 2010, 2011 or 2012–although one could certainly argue that one or both of the essays in the December 2012 issue were pretty closely related to OA.

On the other hand, I did produce a compact book for ALA Editions in 2011, Open Access: What You Need to Know Now. It’s still available; I believe it’s still useful.

Then came 2013

In January 2013, I devoted most of the issue (90%) to “Catching Up with Open Access.”

In February 2013, I devoted most of the issue (>90%) to the second half of that essay.

And stuff kept happening that I thought was worth tagging for discussion…enough stuff so that I devoted nearly all (98+%) of the June 2013 issue to “Hot Times for Open Access.”

Adding it up

Just for fun (and because I could do it in three or four minutes), I thought I’d see what those essays–the ones in December 2012, January 2013, February 2013 and June 2013–would amount to if I was doing a second volume of Open Access and Libraries.

Three hundred and forty pages. Well, that’s without copyfitting. With copyfitting, it would probably come out to as little as 330-334 pages. Plus an introduction, table of contents and (maybe?) an index (but an index would be at least 10-12 pages).

In other words, by at least one measure, I’ve devoted almost precisely two-thirds as much space to open access since December 2012 as I did from 2001 through 2009. It comes out to about 126,000 words.

I don’t (currently) plan on doing such a second volume, partly because I don’t (currently) plan on abandoning OA coverage as a small voice grumbling in the wilderness, but even now it would be a fairly thick paperback.

211

That’s the number of items currently tagged “OA” in Diigo. Which means it’s all items that I have not yet written about. Dunno when I will. One significant chunk of that gets me a pleasant enough earworm of a particular Scott Joplin rag…

No deeper significance.

 

 

 

Cites & Insights 13 (2013) – annual print edition available

Posted in Cites & Insights on November 4th, 2013

The annual paperback edition of Cites & Insights is now available for Volume 13, 2013 at http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/cites-insights-13-2013/14213332

The 414-page 8.5″ x 11″ paperback costs $25.99.

Highlights of this 12-issue volume include:

  • Catching Up with Open Access, Parts 1 & 2 (and Hot Times for Open Access)
  • Academic Library Circulation: Surprise! (two parts: 2008-2010 and 2006-2010)
  • The Death of Books (or Not) and Deathwatch 2013!
  • The Mythical Average Public Library
  • The Big Deal and the Damage Done (excerpts)
  • Social Networks
  • Books, Books and (Books?), a set of excerpts
  • Erehwon Community Library: A $4 to $1 Example
  • The Ebook Marketplace, Parts 1 and 2
  • and more…

If you’re wondering, the cover shot was taken in or around Papeete, Tahiti, on April 1, 2001–but it’s been flipped left-to-right to work better as a cover. (Otherwise, the front cover would be almost entirely water…)

Thanks!

Posted in Cites & Insights on November 1st, 2013

I was notified this morning that somebody donated $5 for Cites & Insights via PayPal.

I responded with a thank you.

It was a sincere thank you.

Consider: If everybody who reads C&I donated $5 for each issue they read, I’d have more revenue than I used to have when it was sponsored.

If everybody who reads it donated $5 for each issue they found worthwhile, I’d presumably have some significant fraction of that.

Even a few people donating means that some people find it sufficiently worthwhile to pay something.

So: Thanks. I really do appreciate the $5.

Cites & Insights 13:12 (December 2013) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on November 1st, 2013

Cites & Insights 13:12 (December 2013) is now available for download at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i12.pdf.

The issue is 34 pages long.

The single-column 6″ x 9″ “online version,” optimized for faster download and online or tablet reading, is also available–http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i12on.pdf

The issue contains one essay:

Words: The Ebook Marketplace, Part 2  pp. 1-34

More on the last few years in the ebook marketplace, this time focusing on ebook pricing, ebook and ereader sales, software, the past and future, (intentional) humor, rights–not so much DRM as ebook readers’ rights, and a few miscellaneous pieces.

If you’re waiting for “ebooks and pbooks” (note and, not versus)…that’s coming in January 2014.

This completes Volume 13.

The indices will only be available as part of the print version of Volume 13, which will be announced when it’s ready, probably some time within the next couple of weeks.

 

Cites & Insights 13:11 (November 2013) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on October 1st, 2013

The November 2013 Cites & Insights (13:11) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i11.pdf

The issue is 36 pages long. The “online version,” designed for reading online or on a tablet or large-screen ereader, is 69 pages long.

This issue includes:

The Front: Erehwon Community Library: A $4 to $1 Example   pp. 1-4

An example of what a library could derive from $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets, using a mythical “median library” that’s the average of the two public libraries with precisely median service population. (This essay is very similar to a September 27, 2013 post at Walt at Random, except that the post misspells the library name.)

Words: The Ebook Marketplace  pp. 4-30

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at a range of ebook-related issues. This roundup covers up to four years–and it’s really Part 1 (of at least two and maybe three or four parts). It includes items related to ebook devices, competition, collusion, DRM, stupidity, ebooks going beyond narrative text, “what’s a book?” and miscellany. (Part 2 will include sales, pricing, software, history and future–and probably lots more.)

The Back  pp. 30-36

Sixteen mostly-snarky little essays on a range of topics–including one that’s really not snarky: What if a stereo magazine had three successive reviews of three different speaker systems, found all of them excellent–and the three were priced (per pair) at $106,800, $29,800 and $159.99 respectively? (Yes, that’s a decimal point in the third price.) Oh, and what if the second and third were designed by the same designer–who added his signature to the nameplate of the $159.99 version?


Reverting to form

For the last few issues, announcements didn’t link directly to the PDF(s). Instead, announcements linked to the C&I home page, which now has the “Pay What You Wish” section just above the current issue table of contents and links.

I was hoping this speed bump–adding one click to the process of getting to the issue–would encourage a few more people to contribute.

I think it worked. A little bit. For a while. But it’s now one day shy of three months since there’s been a donation. So, at least for now, I’m reverting to the direct links.

Of course, I’d still very much appreciate donations. Of course, donations would still encourage me to keep going with C&I. Oh, and it’s still the case that donating $50 or more will get you a PDF version of Your Library Is… if you want it.

 

C&I article links: Worth the trouble?

Posted in Cites & Insights on September 24th, 2013

For the first few years–OK, actually for the first 10.5 years–of Cites & Insights, I didn’t include hyperlinks for articles and posts I was discussing. I provided the title, the date, the author and the source, figuring that was enough. Of course, for the first few years, I assumed most everybody was printing out the issue anyway, so links would have been pointless.

Some time in 2011, I started providing hyperlinks, since PDF supports them (and since I’d also started the single-column “online version” where I assume people are reading online).

I’m beginning to wonder whether they’re worth the trouble and the slight defacement of the printed/online page. I could use feedback on this, although for various reasons the rest of Volume 13 will certainly have hyperlinks.

The peculiarities

I started thinking about whether hyperlinks serve much purpose in what’s still primarily a designed-for-print ejournal when I was editing some material and noticed a couple of cases where I forgot to include the hyperlink. I delete items from Diigo as soon as I finish discussing them, so I couldn’t just go to Diigo and pick up the link…

So I’d select the article title (typically a level-3 heading just above the discussion), plug it into Bing or Google, and probably 99% of the time the desired item would be the first result.

This made me think: If that’s what I do to resurrect a link, isn’t that what a reader can do to find the article?

The downside of including the links is that they result in underlined type (and colored type–which for people who use some printers to print copies will result in slightly higher printing costs). Oh, and that I frequently have to (or at least should) trim the URL, since what’s in Diigo is likely to include a huge suffix provided by feedburner or twitter or…

The pros

I suppose clicking on the hyperlink is a little faster than copying-and-pasting into a search engine, if you’re actually reading online. (There are also sometimes links within the discussion, but those are also usually pretty easy to replicate–I mean, if I reference a company, you can get there exactly the same way I generate the link!)

If you’re reading the issue a few months or years down the road, it’s possible that the article itself will have moved down the results page in Bing or Google. Not terribly likely except for a few very short titles, but possible.

It’s also possible that the article itself will no longer be available via a search engine–but in those cases, it’s also quite likely that the link in Cites & Insights will no longer work. (When I’m doing essays that cover two or three years, it’s not unusual to see at least 10% of the tagged items disappear because of broken links.)

Whaddya think?

I’ve been tempted to set up a C&I Advisory Board consisting of those people who contribute a significant sum within a given rolling two-year period to keep the publication running. If I did that, this query would go out as email to that group. But as of now, that group represents no more than 1% or 2% of C&I readers–or at least I hope that’s true!

So I’m asking it here. Whaddya think?

Comments or email to waltcrawford@gmail.com invited.

(Relevant comments, that is. The paratroopers and athletic shoe vendors and all the rest of the spammers that provide 99% of comments will continue to be treated as spammers.)


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