September 06, 2006

Linkdump: Google U California contract, suing Wikipedia, "Where are the women?"

Cleaning out various bogosocial obligations from the last week:

New sucker in the multi-level-marketing scheme for attention, err, I mean, blogger, Karen Coyle has an extensive post analyzing the contract for Google's University of California library digitizing (gatekeepering: Walt Crawford). Amusingly, one can see this post diffuse through the library domain, but not (yet) the search domain.

Daniel Brandt at Wikipedia Watch has a post discussing "Can you sue Wikipedia?". I don't agree with all the legal reasoning in it, but I don't like the way too much discussion is being driven by dysfunctional dynamics between Kool-Aid drinkers and Kool-Aid pushers.

Bandwagon: Vote Aaron Swartz for Wikipedia Board Member (if you have 400 edits, otherwise you can't vote).

A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.
A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.
Somebody who has not been invited to a hot party is a discoverer of the power of social connections.
Or "Welcome to Foo [Camp|Party|Networking Session], you lucky few". The A-listers said it, I didn't.

Which is a good segue to note Sour Duck's Where Are The Women Redux (h/t Shelley Powers), making a point that "Technology conferences, newspaper articles, and the Supreme Court workforce are the latest three areas where women are notably absent, prompting bloggers to once again ask, "Where are the women?". Another proof that blogging (if one wants to be read, rather than "connect with people") is not effectively very open at all.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather , google , wikipedia | on September 06, 2006 01:01 AM (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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"New sucker in the multi-level-marketing scheme for attention, err, I mean blogger Karen Coyle has an extensive post analyzing the contract for Google's University of California library digitizing (gatekeepering: Walt Crawford)."

Two things wrong there--and since you're not in the library field, there's no way you'd know the first:

1. Karen Coyle doesn't need to scheme for attention. She has an established track record as a public intellectual (her term) in the library field, and a record of accomplishment to back it up. I would suggest that, where it counts, she has a bigger name than I do. What she didn't do until now was blog. (She's a LOT more active in some library lists at the moment than she is on her blog.)

2. Thus, I wasn't gatekeepering (nasty neologism, that). In any case, I'm not much of a gatekeeper: The Library A-listers (or at least some of them) tend to avoid linking to me, and I tend to avoid link love in general. As with Karen, I have my audience (the two do overlap, and I should note that I've been acquainted with Karen for, oh, a couple of decades), but that audience isn't primarily within or because of liblogs.

Otherwise...well, following up one of the links (to Joho) reminded me of why I steer clear of the Real A-List. Man, compared to some of those folks, the most overheated egos in liblogging are shrinking violets...

As for invitational conferences: Mixed feelings. There are quite a few such events in almost every field (I suspect). My only real problem with such events is when they're regarded or regard themselves as policymakers or the like: When "the results" of an invitational are touted as meaningful to librarianship as a whole. (Easy for me to say: I've never been invited to that sort of invitational. I have been invited to one or two, including one next week, but it's rare.)

Posted by: walt at September 6, 2006 11:24 AM


RE: 1 (and 2), I believe that would be sarcasm on Seth's part, as opposed to a pointed attack.

::: Looking to sidelines :::


Posted by: Ethan at September 6, 2006 11:54 AM

Ouch, yes, though "facetious" rather than "sarcastic". That is, I wasn't saying the opposite of what I meant, but it was intended to have a humorous tone. The point was NOT an attack on Karen, NO! It was a twist on "Welcome To The Bogosphere" - as in "New Chump Coming Into The Game".

I added some commas to the sentence to hopefully have it parse better.

By "gatekeepered", I meant "I would not have seen this post but for the mention by the widely-read in the library field Walt Crawford", which is a nod to all the discussion of how writers get their posts heard - by attracting the notice of the few people with large audiences in the topic (i.e. *topic* A-listers). Note this doesn't mean you are the *only* one, or even the most important one - rather, the system is such that there's few people with a very large ability to direct attention on the topic.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at September 6, 2006 01:19 PM

Actually, I didn't think of it as an attack. If I had, I would not have commented: I've learned that silence is usually the best way to deal with attacks. I was clarifying...or, in Karen's case, providing info: She's a name, just not a blog-name.

I qualify as a dormouse gatekeeper, with an audience in the high hundreds or very low thousands. Better than nothing, I guess. [Audience: a few hundred subscriptions, around 1200 visits/day at the moment.]

Posted by: walt at September 6, 2006 03:24 PM

Regarding the Wikipedia legal situation, I'd like to alert your readers to comments published today from Brad Patrick, Wikipedia's interim executive director and general counsel. They are at

He misrepresents the true state of affairs at Wikipedia. I'm still looking for that notice on every page that editors are responsible for their own edits.

Posted by: Daniel Brandt at September 7, 2006 06:52 PM