Monday, February 15, 2010

Daily Thoughts 2/15/2010

Alfred Hitchcock, 1956, Head and Shoulders Portrait Facing Right. This photograph is a work for hire created prior to 1968 by a staff photographer at New York World-Telegram & Sun. It is part of a collection donated to the Library of Congress. Per the deed of gift, New York World-Telegram & Sun dedicated to the public all rights it held for the photographs in this collection upon its donation to the Library. Thus, there are no known restrictions on the usage of this photograph.

Daily Thoughts 2/15/2010

I am reading more of The Talented Miss Highsmith. There is a feeling that Joan Schenkar, the biographer, is very much trying to present Patricia Highsmith in a way similar to the characters in Patricia's novels; a bit mad, having a dark side, strings of lovers, terrible secrets, and slightly criminal thoughts. I sometimes wonder if Joan Schenkar is exaggerating a bit.

I am finding the best part of reading this biography is the irony it. Although Patricia Highsmith did a lot of work with cartoons and comics, she tries to deny it. Joan Schenker ties the name Ripley to the long running comic strip, Ripley's Believe it or Not. This is in reference to the book, The Talented Mr. Ripley. Patricia Highsmith even drew a book of cartoons with accompanying rhymes, Miranda The Panda is on the Veranda. I find it a bit of a shame that Patricia Highsmith did not acknowledge her part in the comics industry. There is now a very interesting womens comic group, Freinds of Lulu that would have matched her well.

Right now, I am doing a bit more of the exercise on how to identify groups in the community who use the library. I am going through each part of the library and thinking about which people use it, the childrens room-- parenting collection, picture books, storytelling collection, the young adult room-- fiction, nonfiction, classics, assignment titles, adult fiction-- urban fiction, mysteries, african american fiction, ispirational fiction, nonfiction, adult nonfiction-- cookbooks, computer books, and other sections.

I have started reading Adam L. Penenberg Viral Loop From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves. This is the story of how many online businesses took the same word of mouth strategy as Tupperware or Avon and turned them into person to person selling strategies. There is a view that if it is popular it must be good and if it spreads quickly by word of mouth it must be useful. Quite frankly, popular and good are two different things. It opens with the story of Hot or Not, the social site which rates people's appearances and how it made money advertising.

There is something vapid about virally pulling lots of people together around a network and then having them make fragmentary statements. Social networks are quite often advertisement driven. I am not a huge fan of advertising. If they offer a useful service, I can tolerate the advertising. There is also no guarantee that once you have gathered masses of people, that what you are doing won't fade out. Myspace became very popular, but is now running into trouble. I hope Twitter and LinkedIn remain, but, I often think that social sites need more than advertisements and crowds.

A few blogs were suggested from the Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management. They are nice, clean, and orderly, unlike my mishmash of things. I liked looking at the http://stackedblog . I am even going to place a book on hold, Wanderlust A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit which I saw reviewed on the Stacked Blog. I love walking. I find it meditative. I used to sometimes practice walking meditation which is best done in gardens.

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