Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cites & Insights 10:5, Spring 2010

Cites & Insights 10:5, Spring 2010, is now available.

This issue and the May and June issues (at least) are sponsored by the Library Society of the World. Don't assume that LSW members agree with what's being said--and please do check the masthead on page 30.

The 30-page issue (PDF as usual, but both essays are available as HTML separates) contains two features:

Bibs & Blather pp. 1-4

Sponsorship, Semi-Retired and Other Quandaries: If you regularly read Walt at Random, you can probably skip this essay, since it mostly repeats what I said in posts on March 13, March 15 and March 18, 2010. [Yes, I will be at ALA Annual, from Friday late morning through Sunday evening, thanks to LSW.]

The Zeitgeist: hypePad and buzzkill pp. 4-30

The first of a new occasional feature, The Zeitgeist. This essay considers two big Silicon Valley companies that rely heavily on the trust and good will of users--and very different recent situations with each one. The first section (pp. 4-25) is about hypePad--the level of hype that preceded and followed the announcement of Apple's iPad. The second section (pp. 25-30) is about buzzkill: Google's remarkably clumsy and intrusive introduction of a new social network.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Cites & Insights 10:4 (April 2010) Now Available

Cites & Insights 10:4 (April 2010) is now available at

The 30-page issue is a PDF print-over-the-web publication, as usual, although three of the four essays are also available in HTML form (the article titles are links). As always, My Back Pages is a PDF-only bonus.

This issue includes:

Perspective: On Disconnecting and Reconnecting (pp. 1-9)

Can you turn off all your "connecting" devices for an hour, a day, a week? Should you? A number of librarians and others discuss the virtues of disconnecting from virtual life once in a while--and maybe reconnecting with ourselves, nature and our real-world friends.

Trends & Quick Takes (pp. 9-16)

The good old days that never were, blaming the user for bad survey design, the difference between production tools and creative talent, checklists for writing and publishing--and ten quicker takes on an even wider range of topics.

Making it Work: Thinking about Blogging 5: Closing the Loop

The close of this four-part series (there was no Thinking about Blogging 3), on how we should blog--and notes on some impressive blog research, miscellaneous issues, and a brief threnody on a dead blog.

My Back Pages

Nine little essays on topics as diverse as crackpot physics, how to get diners to spend more, stretching "obsolete" past its limits--and powering a 600-watt device with a 2.5-watt source!