Google Codex Project?

Found while reading James O'Donnell's Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace. This from Nicholas of Tyre, writing in the 14th C. on those blasted printed books that were starting to be in vogue:

They have chopped up the text into so many small parts, and brought forth so many concordant passages to suit their own purpose that to some degree they confuse both the mind and the memory of the reader and distract it from understanding the literal meaning of text.

The irony is that I wanted to copy this quote and went to Google Books to highlight it and copy it but was blocked and could only see a small part of the text, so I had to pull my dead tree copy out as well to make sure I had the whole passage.

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Every book is an island in a archipelago (for now)

Over at the e-book test, Mike Cane had a very short post called, "The Eleven Axioms of 21st Century Book Publishing." It takes all of a minute to read and should be the signpost for any publisher starting to build an electronic infrastructure for their traditional print material.

My personal favorite is number 6. I think the first 8 axioms are key to changing the trade publishing industry.



You're talking alot...

Last spring one of my students came to me with a great research idea: look at comments and online commentary with an eye towards how it relates to what we consider traditional publishing. She developed a proposal and spent the summer working on the project (as a blog, naturally).

I got an e-mail from Kerry last week to let me know that the project started getting retweeted by Richard Nash, formerly of Soft Skull Press.

The site was also picked up by Utne! I'm really glad her work has been recognized outside the small world of academia (which some days feels like 5 people).

Congratulations Kerry!



Howdy, Stranger!

Silence. It's the number one problem with weblogs these days. Turns out blogs have suffered from silence this year as people have been busy doing other things. I just checked on guttertype and it's been subsisting on 3 posts since January.

So, dear reader (all two or three of you out there), I hope to start posting more here in the next few weeks, but I can't guarantee that.

Where have I been? I've been a little busy with things. Things I should have posted here while they were happening, but never got around to it. So here's the update on what I've been up to.

Simmons Library

In September, 2008 I received a professional grant to buy an Amazon Kindle to develop a pilot study to see how useful these ebooks are in an academic library. Part of the requirement of this grant was outreach to the community. During the spring semester I gave a short presentation on the Kindle to the Simmons GSLIS Graduate Student chapter of the Special Library Association and a Technology for Information Professionals (LIS 488) class. I also had a few one-on-one meetings with students and faculty about the reader and what they could mean for academics. My presentation for the LIS488 class can be found at slideshare.net.I also wrote an article for the Fall 2008 Simmons Library newsletter, "Rekindling your Interest in Ebooks" that introduced some of the issues involved with e-readers.(warning PDF format only!)

I also created my first library display in January for our DVD collection. This involved creating posters and pamphlets as well as pulling books and DVDs for the display. I have three photos of the display on flickr (yes, those are movie-size boxes of Junior Mints and Jujy Fruits as part of the display. I also wanted to try and get a popcorn machine, but stopped with the candy. I remember reading somewhere that popcorn and libraries do not mix.

Grad School

Yup. Still in grad school until the end of the year. I spent most of the spring working on an XML project that was part of a workflow to create focused Subsidiary Rights Guides using MySQL, PHP and XML. Again this is only the XML part of it. The completed project will be a dynamic webpage that take data from a database, publish it with XML tags and have it available as an HTML or PDF document for publishers interested in licensing books.

Other Library Stuff

Okay, if a job and classes weren't enough I also started to present at conferences this spring. In March I gave a Cyber Zed Shed presentation on "Tweeting in the Library: Libraries Using Twitter" at the ACRL National Convention in Seattle. (Presentation can be found on slideshare as well.). Two weeks later I was in Washington DC giving a presentation on "The Stuff We Make: Librarians using Institutional
Repositories" at Computers in Libraries. (Presentation, here.) I also started to review tech books for LS publications. I reviewed books for The Tech Static while it was publishing. (I miss that journal, what a great idea for a site for librarians). I also had a review of Bank on Yourself in the May, 1 issue of Library Journal. My first review for The Journal of Web Librarianship appeared in vol. 3, no. 2. I reviewed Virtual Worlds, Real Libraries: Librarians and Educators in Second Life and Other Multi-User Virtual Environments, edited by Lori Bell and Rhonda Trueman.

I also gave the keynote at the 2009 CET Symposium at Smith College in May. The theme of the symposium was "The digital scholar" and I discussed the intersection of copyright, ownership and community in online publishing.

Let's see, anything else.... oh yeah, starting September 1, I will be a full-time faculty member at Emerson College.

I'm also on Twitter if you want to follow me there.