Welcome new readers
On the 14th of Jan, Blake posted a story at LISNews, The LINews 10 Blogs To Read in 2008. My lowly little blog was included in that list. I have at least 29 new readers in Bloglines, which means, perhaps, 80-120 total new readers since then. Of course, the fact that the list was reproduced all over the blogosphere didn’t hurt either.
Now Blake’s recommendation is wonderful to me, but I wonder what people expect based on that description. It is accurate but such a small part of me, even the part shown here. Also note the methodology; I come recommended based on a sample of probably one, perhaps two if I flatter myself. [There's a tie-in in that previous link to the name of my first (public) blog, ...the thoughts are broken....]
So, welcome to everyone who has come this way via the list. Please check out the other folks, too.
Please feel free to comment, correct, say your piece, etc. I do not worry about whether or not you agree with me or how long your comments are. Sometimes substance requires several paragraphs.
I do moderate all first time comments, though, to cut down on spam. Links are allowed but at some number shortly after 1 your comment will get flagged as spam, which I’ll hopefully catch. I do try to address all comments, and try to do so in a fairly timely manner. But I do sometimes fail.
And you can always use the Contact Form to send me non-public comments, too [Scroll back up and use the Contact tab at center top].
Who am I?
I am finishing a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in LIS at GSLIS, UIUC. I also did my Masters here just prior to this degree. Organization and access of information has been my area with a focus on classificatory structures. Some of my post-MLS classes include thesaurus construction, classification systems seminar, information modeling, humanities ontologies, Topic Maps, bibliography, and Python programming. [Full list of my 80 or so grad LIS hours is here.]
I have worked as a computer technician for the department, broadcast distance ed classes and assisted with classroom technology, both on campus and virtual, been a thesaurus maintainer, and most recently work as both the serials cataloging GA and as one of the monographic cataloging GAs.
As I hope to be done this May (my 3rd Mother’s Day graduation, hopefully) I am now on the job market. I am primarily looking for an academic job doing something related to cataloging, metadata, vocabulary work, etc. If you know of any feel free to send me a link.
I am also a “habitually probing generalist” as my tagline claims, but that may be causally based more on brain chemistry at an early age than by culturally-trained bent [Although I have assimilated much of the cultural quite well. I'm one hell of a manual citation tracking machine, for instance]. I get intensely interested in highly specific things on occasion. And in the process of diving in deep one finds so many things one did not know about. Some of that stuff is going to be highly interesting and itself lead off in other directions. What a deliciously dangerous vicious circle this is.
3rd blogging anniversary
Three years ago today …the thoughts are broken… debuted with “So, what is this about, and for?” I once had a “best posts” which I began to update quite a while back. Not a job I actually relish although I would like people to see the stuff I prefer for whatever reason I label it “best.”
Oh. Crap. That page is much older than I thought and all of the links are broken since it moved from the first blog to this one. Oh well, perhaps you can search titles if you are interested in some of my early stuff (1 Feb – 25 Oct 2005). Some day I may get that list updated but since I’m nearing 1000 posts [and taking into account other time constraints] it won’t be any time soon.
My first blog was hosted at TypePad. On 20 July 2006 Off the Mark debuted [It does include all of my previous posts at ...the thoughts are broken... but all internal links are broken]. This means I’ve been on LISHost and WordPress for more than half my online existence; that is, blogging existence and paying for hosting.
The name of my 1st blog came from a line in a Grateful Dead tune while this one was named by Richard Urban and Walt Crawford.
Since May 2006 I’ve been taking a fairly narrow path for a generalist; that is actively taking. Much of my time is taken up by this. [See this post and comments for some comments on the curse of being a generalist; and also of having an "actively wired" brain.] I am looking at what the Integrational theory of communication and language might mean for LIS if taken seriously. Thanks go to David Bade for starting me down this road.
So not an anniversary for this specific blog (although my friend, Iris, said last night that it’s the same blog with a new title. Perhaps.) but a blogging anniversary. Just to be clear.
Zotero, COinS, WorldCat, linking …
My blog has a plug-in that generates COinsS data so that OpenURL and COinS aware tools will recognize this data and do something contextual with it. For instance, Zotero (which I recommend highly) can import that data from the web page. If I click the icon [contextually variable] that shows up in my browser’s address bar the post metadata is imported: Post title, author, blog title, date of post, URL, and access date. And, no, I don’t have many of my own posts in Zotero. There are a few posts, though, that are being used in my bibliography and CAS paper so they are there.
But I also use Zotero to output COinS data to put in my posts when I cite a source, like in my weekly reading posts. And I do far more of it for print resources as it is easier and more reliable to get information in automatically. And if I can provide a resolvable URL for a web resource anyway then how important is the COinS data for them. Again, I do not have that many web-based resources in Zotero; comparatively.
I also try to link to WorldCat for stuff they have records for. By the way, they are providing data for the taking by Zotero also. A couple days ago I linked to a work record in LibraryThing that I had brought in from Oxford University being the only one in LibraryThing to have it (or claiming to have it). I got that data into Zotero from the LibraryThing work page which also gave me some data. I think, in this case anyway, that WorldCat would have been better.
So, as Blake said, I write about print stuff. I read a fair few books (mostly non-fiction) and lots of articles, to include photocopying a boatload of stuff not online. Most of it is LIS literature or related to issues in LIS.
Well now. I think it’s all been a bit extraneous and somehow self-indulgent so far.
My blog is both personal and professional. This state has been written about and commented on many times here and elsewhere. Consider the name of my first blog, …the thoughts are broken….
Here’s a few more lines for a bit of context:
If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?
It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they’re better left unsung
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air
Grateful Dead. “Ripple.” American Beauty.
This is the positive view of making best use of one’s broken thoughts. I’ve been listening to American Beauty since it came out and “Ripple” has always been one of my favorites and always deeply personally meaningful. That meaning has shifted and changed and grown over the years but it has always been positive.
The other side of broken thoughts though is know as fragmentation, depersonalization and moral minimalism. [See these posts perhaps. Actually, I do have an overview post of these issues less than a year old.]
Thus, the title of my 1st blog was both a warning to myself and a positive statement of how to make things better. Changing the name for my new blog had nothing to do with considering my thoughts to no longer be broken. That is a lifetime struggle based on the way our society is structured.
In the meantime, I try to keep my chin up and gently coax a few of those thoughts into being coherent and whole. As Robert Hunter wrote 38 years ago:
Let there be songs to fill the air.