Opinions needed: Three-day urgent request

I have a quandary and I think I need to make a decision by Friday, December 12. Help?

The quandary

Should I try to do another “discursive glossary” like this one?

The pros

  • It’s been five years, not a bad interval.
  • It was a fun issue to do and quite well-received (although a few people seemed to think it was a lot more complete than I ever intended it to be).

The con

One big one: I’m not sure I can actually add value doing a “glossary” like that again.

Between Wikipedia, other quick web reference sources, the areas I’m just not dealing with any more, the fact that I haven’t been following specific legislation lately…

Well, I’d have to do a lot more work to come up with (say) 40-50 new items for the issue, in addition to those I could salvage and update (which I estimate to be about a third of the old issue).

There’s another minor “con”: If I do it (it would be the February 2009 issue, out in time for Midwinter), I’d need to put a bunch of other stuff in the January 2009 issue–and that “other stuff” currently amounts to more than 33,000 words, awfully long for an issue. (Probably 36-38 pages after copyfitting.) If I don’t do it, two of the seven essays currently lined up for January immediately move to February, bringing the January issue down to 25,000-26,000 words (still 30 pages or so, but that’s not so bad).

Quick opinions?

If you have an opinion on this, add a comment (or send me email) between now and Friday, December 12, 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (4 p.m. EST).

If you have specific topics or words or terms that you believe would make great additions to such a special issue, ones where you think I could add value, feel free to include them.


Followup, Friday, December 14:

In addition to the comments here, I received three other comments (email, etc.), all saying “Do it if you can.”

And CW came up with a great suggestion, seconded by Pete–a suggestion that means I should be able to do a plausible issue without too much difficulty.

So the January issue will be a little strange (I’m holding two not-terribly-time-sensitive sections over to March, but there’s stuff I really want to get out of the way), which isn’t unusual.

And, if all goes well, the February issue will be some sort of glossary/followup and will appear at least a few days before ALA Midwinter (which, fortuitously, is late next year).

Thanks again.

6 Responses to “Opinions needed: Three-day urgent request”

  1. CW says:

    Hi Walt, for what it’s worth I think it would be interesting if you took some of the topics you wrote about in that issue and looked at how they (or should that be your thoughts about them) have changed over the intervening years. Like RSS, for instance.

  2. walt says:

    That’s worth a lot, actually: I’d toyed with that idea, but wasn’t sure whether it was worthy. That might make a reasonable hook for the issue.

    (For the record: I also asked this question on the lightly-populated LSW Meebo room and have two votes in favor of doing the glossary…)

  3. Mark says:

    I’d certainly read it, Walt.

    But. I have no strong opinion one way or the other and, thus, the best I can say is put your time where you want/need.

    Besides. I have your newest book to get started on. 😉

  4. Pete says:


    CW’s idea seems the best to me. The glossary as was looks interesting, but I’d find you looking at some selected parts of them and how they have changed- including ones you wouldn’t now include, and why- more interesting.

  5. walt says:

    Well, that one’s definitely doable, with or without new terms added. Thanks to all of you so far; I’ll continue to take comments for another two days.

  6. CW says:

    Looking forward to the coming issues of C&I!