It’s still here. I’m still here.
Those may be the most significant things to say about the current state of Cites & Insights—indeed, they may be the only useful things to say. It’s still around, and you will note that this issue has a single-month date, suggesting that I anticipate doing another one next month.
At this point, given various circumstances, Cites & Insights goes back to a lower priority level among my activities than it’s had for some time. Circumstances surrounding one particular essay (where I really did think I was adding value to a discussion that, as it happens, is by no means over—but the collective yawn with which the essay was met says to me that pretty much nobody else thought I was adding value) certainly help push C&I’s priority down—as does a general lack of links to essays and issues, or mention of them, elsewhere on the web. That’s not a complaint; it’s reality.
The issues are still being read—or at least viewed and downloaded. I won’t bore you with loads of statistics, but when I look at 2011 (through July 15), I see more than 44,000 issue downloads and more than 92,000 article views (for articles, that is, excluding site overhead and others). I see more than 13,000 IP addresses among the (nearly) 75,000 sessions. The most frequently viewed article this year, oddly enough, is from 2008: an old media/new media perspective from Volume 8, Issue 4, “Thinking about Kindle and Ebooks.” Second, much less oddly, is the five-year followup on Library 2.0. (My experiment in turning the Library 2.0 essays into a very inexpensive paperback and PDF, yielding $4 for C&I’s ongoing health? Five copies to date—two paperback, three downloads. And it appears that only seven people were sufficiently interested in the Library 2.0 essays to get the relocated PDF versions, even though hundreds have linked to the original, now essentially empty, versions.) Third is a golden oldie on conference speaking; fourth, the 2006 “great middle” liblog study. And fifth, making any further analysis entirely useless, is the Offtopic Perspective on the first six discs of the 60-disc Mystery Collection of 250 old movies. Go figure.
What gets higher priority, other than family life? Work that pays—specifically, the book I’m finishing up for one publisher and the book (involving loads of research this Fall) that’s due to another publisher next March. Also my remaining column and any new paid writing gigs. I anticipate working on ideas for other books (no, they don’t get as many readers as C&I articles do—but, you know, they hang around for a while and I get a few bucks from writing them) after the March 2012 submission. I’m hoping I might get a few speaking engagements based on the next couple of books, but we’ll see how that goes.
After family, writing that pays, reading and relaxing, and hanging out online with LSW and others, there’s likely to be energy enough for Cites & Insights. Possibly with less regularity. Probably with less intensity. That may turn out to be a good thing. We shall see.
Odds of reaching Issue 144 (one goal of sorts): Nearly 100%, barring disasters. Odds of reaching Issue 150 (another goal of sorts): Probably greater than 95%. Odds of reaching the 20th anniversary of “this thing” (where “this thing” includes C&I’s predecessor in Library Hi Tech News): That’s still a few years away (the end of 2014 or early 2015), so I won’t speculate.
After all my posts and the feedback I’ve received, here are the current changes in Cites & Insights:
· HTML versions will have hyperlinks for cited sources, beginning with this issue—and to the extent that PDF supports hyperlinks, so will the PDF. One consequence: I won’t repeat the URLs as plain text.
· I will be using the new & improved “Web” template in Word to produce the HTML versions from now on.
· The change in layout initiated last issue will continue. So far, nobody’s told me they know what that change is, so it’s clearly not something most people notice.
If I get energetic (beyond writing some essays for future issues), I might convert some previous issues to the new HTML template. If I do that, I might also do retrospective blog posts for each “restored” essay.
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