I feel ever so much better now that I know how to protect digital assets from the undead hordes. Don't you?
Archive for the 'Miscellanea' category
So I go to a perfectly nice conference last year and get trapped by a volcano.
I try to get to OLA Superconference, and there's an epic blizzard. (I'm still going to try to make Top Tech Trends, but my Friday talk is cancelled. Pity. I put a lot of work into that talk.)
I dunno if it's safe to go on the conference circuit any more!
I've had a week, folks; as a reward, next week I'm off to a conference with a brand-new talk. (Slides up soon, I hope; they're getting close to done, but they're not there yet, and I still have plenty of patter to write. I'm trying a new presentation technique, which adds a lot to my prep time.)
But my week is as nothing to the week the Library of Congress has had, wrangling a stray Cooper's hawk that wandered in and didn't particularly want to leave. They did safely capture her, and now she's off to rehab despite saying "no, no, no" and will eventually be rereleased into the wild.
It's hard to get useful good press for libraries. What's more typical is this kind of nonsense with the subtext "that library stuff, it's sooooooo obscure, and aren't librarians just weirdoes?" Worse are the lazy buns-and-shushing stereotypes (George Lucas, my lazergaze is on you, man); sometimes even worse than those are the "look, aren't librarians so hip? and isn't that cute?" stories.
So I'm super-impressed with how well the Library of Congress handled public relations on this one. Their blog shines with good humor and good information. They made very clear that they were handling the situation well and responsibly. They took note of useful input from blog commenters, and responded publicly to it. They deserve every iota of the attention this odd little episode has garnered.
It's very cold where I am, so what could be better than some dude in shades and aloha shirts rapping about Dui, er, Dewey Decimal?
Okay, maybe some things could be better than that. But this isn't all bad!
Considering the huge kerfuffle on the JISC-REPOSITORIES mailing list over copyright and whether would-be self-archivers need to respect when publishers own it (hint: yes), I thought the video following of librarians gettin' down on copyright seemed apropos:
The single best response to the kerfuffle, by the way, was Bill Hubbard's. Ignore the rest of it; just read his.
I don't know why it didn't occur to me until now to look for an article of mine that was to be published in November, but it didn't. (Perhaps because I've had articles delayed before?)
The presentation it's based on (which I think is a little easier to follow than the article, honestly, and it's also a bit saltier, which is more fun in my book):
Enjoy. If I find time later this week, I'll drag out my broken crystal ball, because that's always fun.
Right, so, it's December and time for all those year-end recaps. Here's what we've been
frothing at the mouth talking about this year, in the form of the first sentence of the first post from each month:
- January: "Peter Keane has a lengthy and worthwhile piece about the need for a “killer app” in data management." (Wow. I still like this post. That's rare, with me.)
- February: "Happy Groundhog’s Day Eve!" (Er, okay.)
- March: "So the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is mired in a rapidly heating controversy over a report that apparently let some dubious information slip through the cracks." (Funny, how this mess has colored everything else that's happened this year in data-management-land.)
- April: "Not good at organizing your thoughts, much less your research notes?" (Did this actually fool anybody?)
- May: "Having made it back at last from Scotland despite the ash cloud, and overcome jetlag and (some) to-do list explosion, I finally have leisure to reflect a bit on UKSG 2010." (Boy howdy, do I ever still believe this post. The cracks are showing. And widening.)
- June: "*blows off the dust*" (Argh. Been a lot of that this year. Sorry.)
- July: "I would be utterly remiss in my duties were I not to point out SciBling John Wilbanks’s vitally important new open-access initiative." (Heh.)
- August: "Greetings again, gracious readers." (Oh, yeah. We kinda moved this year. It was cool.)
- September: "Christine Borgman has a lengthy track record of saying smart and apposite things about scholarly communication and research data." (Yep. Meeting her at IDCC 2010 was a conference highlight for me.)
- October: "In the first sentence I link to the article, making sure not to use the verboten “click here” as the link text." (I guess a lot of first-posts ended up on Friday this year?)
- November: "A faculty friend of mine forwarded me the email following." (Where is the Wikileaks for ridiculous journal-publisher behavior?)
- December: "This is by way of a public-service warning." (Bears repeating.)
Cheers. I do hope 2011 is a better year for blogging. This one has been rough on me—not always for bad reasons, to be sure, but even so.
It's Friday! And technology is frustrating, that's not news.
But sometimes we really do make it harder than it should be. Here's a well-produced and hilarious example:
I'm at the International Digital Curation Conference next week. I'll certainly be tweeting (hashtag is #idcc10) and may blog.
It's day two of Scientopia's gratitude-fest; today is all about people we're grateful for.
I'm grateful for Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC.
See, it's well-known that I am not a politic person. Despite being a good presenter, despite knowing my stuff and communicating it well, I am not a good show horse for a cause or an idea; I say the blunt (though often correct) thing at the wrong time and make everybody unhappy. I have a certain enfant terrible reputation in open-access circles, and I straight-up earned it.
Heather Joseph never, ever, ever makes that mistake. She tells the straight story, don't get me wrong, but she's got the chops to tell it without leaving any holes in her professional armor for skeevy publishers or lazy libraries to evade her message. She never falters or admits defeat. (I do. Regularly.) She is smart, prepared, opportunistic, persistent, and unwavering.
She's the best friend open access has in libraryland. If she didn't exist, we'd have to invent her—and we'd never get it right.
So thank you, Heather Joseph. I'm grateful you fight the good fight.
Molly Kleinman says that we librarians spend too much angst and teen on metadata, and she's completely right. (It's not always our fault; sometimes our systems force us to be martinets. But she's still right.)
Even so—who will worry about the poor neglected metadata? Who, I ask you?
Pat Lockley, that's who. He took a lengthy tour of the seamy underside of the metadata industry, and chronicled the results.
(Trigger/offense warnings: one totally egregious and unnecessary slam at fat women, a lot of broad stereotypes. The bit about repository managers, though? Completely true. We've all been reduced to that. Take my word for it.)