Still busy: Another quick update

My weekend list of must, should and could goals includes “one good post,” by which I mean one post in this blog that actually says something. It’s also a standing item on my weekly to-do list (the weekend list is handwritten, and when I run out of slowly-yellowing 4×6 index cards, I might stop doing it; the weekly list is a Word file and kept to one printed page. In both cases, I just love crossing things out as completed–and in certain cases, putting an item on the weekly list and, after two or three weeks, bolding it, will keep reminding me to do something I’d just as soon postponed).

As I was saying…I aim to do one good post a week at a minimum. Lately I’m missing that aim. That may continue. You can partly blame FriendFeed. You can partly blame my being old and lazy.

You can mostly, at this point, blame a confluence of events:

  • I thought I’d finished the first-phase research for the social networks book and was just about ready to start actually writing the draft in the middle of this week. Well, I did start writing the draft…and found after two pages that I wanted to think about it a little more.
  • In timing that couldn’t be better, the managing editor at ITI sent me the PDF of my micropublishing books with loads of copyediting suggestions just at the point where I had to admit I was procrastinating, and that took priority. I’ve now gone through all the suggestions, sent back a couple of small questions and one larger question, and am just about halfway through revising the draft. (I love good editing: while ITI is clear about editorial suggestions being suggestions, not mandates, I’m likely to accept somewhere between 95% and 99% of the suggestions, maybe a little higher than 99%.)
  • You don’t do this two-screen revision (the book in Word on the larger left screen, the PDF on the smaller notebook screen over to the right) all at once. Or at least I don’t–it leads to new mistakes and irritability. I’m doing one chapter at a time, with substantial breaks in between. I could be using those breaks to start the other book–but I don’t really want to do that. Fortunately, it turns out there was one more metric that I needed, one that requires a few hours (literally “a few”–no internet searching involved) scanning. So I’m interleaving that scanning (and occasional pure fun stuff) with the revisions.
  • The scanning has to do with “currency” of the most recent post or tweet on a library’s account, as of the date I did the checking. For some reason, while I saved recent tweets and posts, I didn’t actually record currency (although I planned to do so on the second pass in late fall). I’ve come up with a sortable single-character code that gives me a useful hierarchy of currency without much effort.
  • One reason to check currency has to do with the many library Facebook accounts (and some Twitter accounts) that don’t show up as links on the library’s home page. While I went into this project believing that no model of social network use would suit all libraries equally well, I had sort-of assumed that direct links on the home page would be one typical sign of active library use. Until, just for fun, I checked out the library website where one of the field’s better-known and more thoughtful advocates of library social networking works (it’s in one of the 25 states I didn’t survey)…and found that there were no obvious links. But, searching for and checking the Twitter and Facebook accounts, there was also no question that these were active, well-read, viable accounts. So I sent an email inquiry to the person involved–and received a response that convinced me that my assumption was wrong: That even “put links on the home page” isn’t necessarily an obvious choice for every library. That, in turn, is leading me to rethink my definition of “active” accounts, or at least to add a new category.
  • In other words, lots’o’activity, and I don’t really feel like doing long, thoughtful, coherent blog posts at the end of the day. Some day…
  • Oh, as for early work on the November Cites & Insights… Well, it’s possible there will be a November/December C&I, which could come out any time up to, say, December 10. We shall see. (The current issue is #144. That’s one of the magic numbers for calling it a day…I’ve done a gross of issues, just as Buffy did a gross of episodes. I don’t believe the October 2011 issue is the final C&I…)

Hmm. I guess this will do as “one odd post” until a good one comes along. Oh, and given recent comments about blind sources: The person involved is David Lee King, and I found his thoughtful response to my clumsily-worded question convincing and, well, thoughtful. Thanks, David.

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