April 08, 2005

Cites & Insights April 2005

Walt Crawford recently released the latest edition of his publication Cites & Insights 5:6, April 2005. I consider it my mission in value-added echoing to alert people to the hidden gems deep within and hiding under headings such as "The Library Stuff":

Block, Marylaine, "Libraries: The original `long tail'," Ex Libris 239 (February 11, 2005). marylaine.com/exlibris/xlib239.html

I've mentioned the "long tail" before--and the extent to which I believe it's a fairly typical Wired Magazine situation: An editor grabs a long-standing cultural phenomenon, gives it a cute name, generalizes, and claims it's something New and Special. The concept that most people appreciate and buy (or consume) media and other options far beyond the best-seller list should be familiar to libraries. It's certainly familiar to good bookstores, magazine publishers, book publishers, record companies, and Netflix. Calling it "the long tail" gives Chris Anderson a wonderful new discovery and most likely a book that will be one of those irrelevant best-sellers. Oh that's right: Anderson says the Internet makes the long tail feasible--which is largely nonsense but gives the concept that digital aura of greatness and newness. ...

[The article's author] goes on to quote from an email conversation between her and Anderson (who apparently knows almost nothing about libraries, another consistent Wired trait). That said, read this column. Anderson may be as tired as the rest of Wired, but Block has good things to say, particularly about the importance of libraries maintaining a commitment to deep collections (call it the "long tail" if you must) along with improving marketing savvy.

Oh, there's also many, many pages about the infamous Michael Gorman column.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on April 08, 2005 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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"Many, many"? A little under 7.5? Let's see: That must make 2-3 "lots" and 4-6 "many." (I still don't use emoticons.)

Anyway, thanks for the mention. I thought I'd poked fun at the newness of the long tail concept earlier, but I don't see it in my running index, so maybe not--or maybe it was at LISNews.

(Years ago, I was the morning keynote speaker at a Simmons College library school alumni day, at which the afternoon keynoter was the Wired editor who wrote about the "long boom" and "Dow 30,000." As we all know, Wired projections are never wrong, which is why Dow is now at 30,000...)

BTW, I did vote for you.

Posted by: Walt Crawford at April 9, 2005 01:08 PM

"Many, many"?

Well, I must be "blog people". That means I am not "in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts". :-)

PS: Thanks for the vote. If elected, I will appoint you Librarian Of Congress.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at April 9, 2005 11:20 PM