Saturday, April 28, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/28/2012

Portrait of Albertus Seba (1665-1736), Dutch pharmacist, collector of zoological and other natural subjects and editor of a illustrated work of reference about his collection. by Jacobus Houbraken, 1731

Daily Thoughts 04/28/2012

I finished reading Infoquake last night.  It has extensive appendixes including a future history timeline.  I rather liked this because it showed that the author thought out how the future might look.

I did not do a whole lot today.  I relaxed mostly.  I am rethinking what I am doing.  It is hard to think about the things which I have to take the time to learn.

I am thinking about the meaning of the latest results from Amazon which are focused on digital products like apps, e-books, e-readers, and other digital content.

Amazon Soars Digital Sales Boost Margins;_ylt=A2KLOzFZqpxP2AYAhm7QtDMD

There is another thing which is happening very quickly.  There is a new release of HTML coming out called HTML 5 which allows easy creation of book apps not just for tablets, but also for PCs, some people might quibble with this and call them widgets, but it will suddenly be far easier to make enhanced e-books for personal computesr which are usable in internet browsers. HTML 5 will be very compatible with the EPUB 3 format.  Readium Concept E-reader for HTML 5 and EPUB 3 Unveiled

The pace of change is very hard to keep up with and I am not surprised that neither traditional publishers or even libraries are quite prepared for the changing world of e-books and enhanced e-books.  The changes are pure software, programming, and technology.

Web Bits

Out of 173 Majors Library Science has the Fourth Highest Unemployment Rate.
This was shown in November when the full impact of tablets and other technological change had not started appearing in January.    The part that seems to be still doing alright is that part that is technically focused right now.  Things are changing incredibly fast.  I think the unemployment rate could have gone above the 15% listed in the article.  I think it is probably also true of the publishing industry right now.  Technology companies are fast moving into the traditional publishing arena.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/27/2012

Homme à la pipe. Signed and dated Marcoussis 30, pencil on paper, 22.9 x 16.8 cm

Daily Thoughts 04/27/2012

I udpated the Twitter and Facebook pages for the library.  I also read some more of  The Power of Habit.  Charles Duhigg is describing how company routines keep the peace inside corporations.  Certain habits become ways of creating truces between rivals.  I am enjoying reading Infoquake as well.  The main character in Infoquake, Natch has a ruthless and obsessive streak which makes him seem more businesslike.

I spent a little more time on CSS with Codecademy today.

I put together the monthly statistics for adult programs for March.  I also did a quick check of the gift books and the displays.

This morning I took some time off to speak to a colleague originally from Brooklyn Public Library.  It was informative.  Things are quite challenging for libraries right now.

The book Straphanger Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile by Taras Grescoe has come in for me to read.  I have always been a big fan of trains.

Web Bits

Infographic Meet the 19%

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/26/2012

Daily Thoughts 04/26/2012

I read some more of The Power of Habit.  Charles Duhigg describes one of the most important keystone habits is to develop willpower or self-discipline with regular activities that require a lot of focus.  Sports helps this a lot.

This morning, I checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library.

We are having the Computer Lab for Academic Use between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  I am also checking to see if we might want to have a computer class for Excel and Powerpoint.

I have moved from learning HTML to learning basic CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) in Codecademy,

I spent some more time looking through professional library literature and also took a look at the latest list of purchase alerts for items with high numbers of holds.

Web Bits

Busy as a BEA Visit Book Expo America June 4-7
This is one of my favorite book events.  I always ship back several boxes of books to my library and enjoy the many events associated with it. It looks like Library Journal is looking for book reviewers. It would be interesting if someone wants to try for it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/25/2012

Anton van Duyl (the artist's husband), Therese Schwarz, 1918

Daily Thoughts 04/25/2012

I spent some time this morning making sure we had copies of books for the author panel including; Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost, Lovecraft Unbound edited by Ellen Datlow, Poe edited by Ellen Datlow, House of Windows by John Langan, Occultation by Laird Barrons and other titles for the May 8, 2012 author panel.

On the way to work, I read some more of The Power of Habit.  Charles is describing a process of changing bad habits.  He also describes belief plays an important role in changing habitual behaviors.

I spent some time updating the Twitter and Facebook pages for the library, I also checked the displays and the gift books.  There were a few more orders to suggest for Title Tales.

I am also preparing for tomorrows programming meeting.  Mount Vernon, New York has a new arts council.

The computer was down for a bit today so I spent some time cleaning my desk, double checking the displays and gift books.  We also had the computer lab open for slightly later hours.

I had a chance to look through two of the professional book catalogs for librarians, ala editions, and Neal-Schuman Publishers.  There was a lot more on technology than I saw before.  There were even some books on metadata which I might actually look for and read.

I spent some more time on Codecademy learning more advanced HTML including tables.  The next step I think is learning CSS.  Then after that it is beginning JAVA.

On the way home, I read some more of The Power of Habit.  The author is describing what he calls keystone habits, exercising, sharing dinner with your family, and working safely which lead to changes in other habits like dieting. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/24/2012

Sugawara no Michizane Print shows Sugawara Michizane, full-length, standing next to a tree beneath a full moon, writing poetry. Date Created/Published: [188-] Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-jpd-01511 (digital file from original print)

Daily Thoughts 04/24/2012

I finished reading An Economist Gets Lunch New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen.  One of the things which I very much liked about this book is that the author has traveled to many different places and eaten there.  There are comments on the food of Singapore, Tokyo, Italy, Germany, France,New Zealand, China, India, London, Moscow and many other places.

I checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library and finished preparing for future orders in Title Tales.  I am caught up with my magazine reading today.  A new copy of Publishers came in for me to read.

I also caught up on a couple of reports.  I added a few books from the gifts including a James Patterson book and a few paperback mysteries.

On the way home, I read some of The Power of Habit Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.  It is about people who successfully change their habits. It is also about how advertisers and companies turn products like toothpaste into habit.

I also am continuing to read Infoquake.  The author has a gimmick or neat technology called biologics which allows people to reprogram their bodies.

I spent a little time this evening studying HTML on Codecademy.  I think I am slowly getting a better understanding of it.

Web Bits

Lexis Nexis Introduces Lexis Nexis Digital Library
This matches the trends I am seeing all kinds of things are being quickly transferred to digital formats from graphic novels to law books.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/23/2012

Fumi yomu yūjo  Print shows a woman seated on a bench reading a scroll, one end of which a cat is playing with from under the bench.  Date Created/Published: [between 1757 and 1783, printed later]  Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-jpd-00551 (digital file from original print)
Source: U.S. Library of Congress

Daily Thoughts 04/23/2012

I have been steadily reading An Economist Gets Lunch by Tyler Cowen.  I rather liked the section on barbecue.  His descriptions of the differences between Mexican and United States barbecue are interesting.  He also does a good job of describing the different types of Chinese cuisine in America.  I was surprised by his support for GMO food.  He made a very different case for this.  I am not a fan of GMO food.

This morning, I updated the Twitter and Facebook account for the library.  We are also hosting World Book Night tonight on April 23, 2012

I also read the latest New York Times Book Review and spent some time preparing future orders in Title Tales.  I also checked the current events display.  I helped someone with creating a LinkedIn profile today for finding a job.

Today was very quiet and peaceful.  I also checked the Collection Management sheets where we take patrons requests at the reference desk and the gift books.  There were a few young adult titles to add to the classics section.

On the way home, I read some more of Infoquake by David Louis Edelman.  It has this feeling like you might read in Wired magazine where the author is a classic silicon valley high technology libertarian startup kind of guy except for three hundred years in the future.  There are even redwood trees in one part of the novel.The author is a programmer so there is quite a bit about future concepts programming.

I also read some more of An Economist Gets Lunch. Tyler Cownen is writing about why Mexican food is better in Mexico.  He also explains the different cuisines in China and why they are often better than the Americanized versions.  Part of it is about the economics of food production, farming, and the difference between large scale mechanized food production, more local agriculture, and artisanal food production.  He makes a strong stance against highly processed junk food.

Web Bits

Iverse to Launch Digital Comics Library Service

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/21/2012

A Medieval Picture of Socrates and Plato

Daily Thoughts 04/21/2012

I finished reading Too Big To Know today.  It introduced to a very different perspective on how knowledge networks are growing.   It turns the traditional librarians perspective on its head.  The ideas concerning knowledge networks helps me understand why the librarian profession has become so much more technology oriented in the last ten years.

Too Big to Know also introduced me to the idea of data science and the data commons where data sets are shared openly.   This adds another layer of change which I am just beginning to understand.  Places like where masses of free data sets about the United States are available.  Information is becoming bigger and more complex every single day.

David Weinberger successfully shows why it is so important to be able to filter, categorize, and understand new ways of looking at knowledge without being overwhelmed.  I find myself in a new country of the mind when I look at metadata, linked data, and data sets which can stretch the limits of my understanding.

The Future of Information A Program supported Metro New York Library Council and ASIST American Society of Information Science and Technology

As always, this is my own opinions.  I also want to include some reflections on other experiences which this event helped bring into focus.  I always try to keep things positive.  If anything needs to be changed please let me know.

I went to a session called The Future of Information which was science fiction writers talking to information professionals about the future of information.  It was based on an idea from similar sessions at the American Library Association.  The session was hosted by the ASIST Sig of Metro New York.  I am currently a member of My Metro as an individual.  The event happened at the New York Hotel Pennsylvania on April 21, 2012 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m..  The event was hosted by Josh Hadro and Daniela.  I am not perfect with these things.

The authors were David Louis Edelman who wrote the Jump 225 trilogy consisting of Infoquake, Multireal, and Geosynchron.  The second author was Jeff Somers who wrote  The Electric Church and The Digital Plaague.  I purchased Infoquake and Multireal at the session.

David Edelman describes a future where there is near unlimited energy, unlimited computing, and centuries of peace.  His science fiction describes how nanobots have made it possible to live in both a real and a virtual world in the future.

The question which David Edelman tries to answers is if we had a black box which could do anything how would you ask it to do things in the right way.

In contrast Jeff Somers describes how he is suspicious of how technology can solve any problem.  He draws his writings from noire, especially Dorothy Sayers.  The technology is near future and extrapolates on what we have today.  It sounded very much like the new category of science fiction called near future thrillers to me.

I like how Jeff Somers describes how we had the technology of automobiles, television, and airplanes in the 1920s and 1930s but did not fully develop them until the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.  People need to be convinced about a technology before they will use it. 

The two views contrasted very nicely and made for an excellent and interesting presentation.

Some of the questions asked of the authors were what scares them.

David Edelman described his fear of a loss of privacy and an inability to opt out of computer networks.  Jeff Somers focused on the increasing corporatization of the world where civil law clashes with private corporations, especially mercenary corporations.

Another question which was asked was what gives them hope.

Jeff Somers said that Make magazine and the hacker movement give him hope.  I have only been to one hacker meetup so far, nyhackers.  It was interesting.  David Edelman sees hope in the increasing availability of knowledge, especially Wikipedia.

Jeff Somers gave a very nice pitch for libraries saying that he grew up around libraries.  He also said that the library is more than books to him, it is also curation,organization, and filtering of knowledge.

In my own thoughts, this is the impression which I am getting from talking to other technical people.  Some people see the future of librarianship in content management and information architecture on computers.

There was an open session for questions and answers from the audience.  It was interesting listening.  

I am not going to cover everything.  They did mention the Digital Public Library of America.  Recently Robert Darnton promised the Digital Public Library of America would be available by 2013.

Josh Hadro said that library school needs to change its perceptions and introduce hacker and maker culture into libraries. I think this is slowly happening.  Metro  New York Library Council  is goiing to have a Makerbot demo on May 23, 2012.

Josh Hadro also quoted Clay Shirky with his famous statement,"It's not information overload. It's filter failure."  This is the Web 2.0 video.

I especially liked Jeff Somers statement about programming.  He said that it is important to understand prgramming.  Not understanding can leave you at the bottom.  He also said take some time go learn from http://codecademy/ I have to say that the java part of Codecademy is like pulling teeth for me.  I don't mind the CSS and HTML so far. 

I have been looking around at various options.  I have an account at my work which lets me learn things like Photoshop.  I have also been trying out various places around New York that are startup education oriented.  Codecademy would be considered an educational startup.  So would  and

I had a chance to mention the book Too Big to Know by David Weinberger.  I enjoyed reading it.  It changed some of my perceptions.

The talk covered all kinds of subjects;  mesh networks, public wi-fi access, privacy and Facebook, and personalization.  I rather liked David Louis Edelman's statement that when you put the word apple in the google search engine you can get Apple bank, Apple computers, or an Apple farmer.

In some ways, I'm not completely fond of personalization.  I rather like search utilities like web ferret

I felt like I was a little bit out of my depth.  I was there originally for networking.  It was more of an information session. I did get a chance to get a tinfoil hat which I ended up leaving behind and some candy.  The people were very nice.

Afterwards, I also learned that Apple partnered with Pearson, McGraw Hill, DK, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to create inexpensive textbooks.

This reminds me of how technology companies are increasingly competing with publishers.  If you think of Amazon, it is basically structured like a startup in each of its divisions.  I was also reading about O'reilly media and they announced that they were creating a system called Agile Publishing.  This is a session from the February Tools of Change for Publishing conference.    Why this is important is that Agile software is a form of project management software that is used in startups to plan for growth.   It is just an idea that I find interesting.

I also mentioned which to me is very much like a Twitter for books.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/20/2012

Drawing of the Reading Room, the People's Palace, Mile End Road, London. Illustration from the Century Magazine, December 1890, p. 175.  This is a link to a kind of interesting article on the institution.

Daily Thoughts 04/20/2012

I read some more of Too Big To Know on the way to work this morning.  David Weinberger is writing about crowdsourcing which I find rather interesting.  For example, Kickstarter  is a crowdsourced way to fund creative projects.  Another crowdsourced idea is the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing which runs different programs from a screensaver on home computers.  It is a way to use excess computing power while people are not using their computers.  The project originally started as SETI@HOME a screensaver which would help the process of searching for alien signals.

This morning, I updated the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the library.  We are having Ellen Datlow who is an editor run a panel with three authors, John Langan, Gregory Frost, and Laird Barron on May 8, 2012 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the anthology Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe

Thinking ahead to May, there is also the Book and Bake Sale by The Friends of the Library on May 4 and May 5.  It is always nice to get some coffee, buy a few books, and have a baked treats.

It reminds me that I checked the gift books this morning and picked out a few titles to add to our collection.  I also checked the displays to see that they were in order.  I am working with Title Tales to pick out books which we plan on ordering.

I also spent some time thinking about programming today.

I found one of those odd events that is a little puzzling.  The title is The Future: What Does It Mean?  It is sponsored by Metro and ASIS.  I am a member of My Metro.  It should be quite interesting.  It is an open discussion about the future of information with a mixture of information professionals and science fiction authors.

I read some more of Too Big to Know on the subway going home.  I learned about how complex data is now being shared in specialized networks of experts.  Some of the data is too knowledge intensive to fit in standard texts and is stored in computers.  On an outside thought, I have noticed two recent startups in New York focused on expert communities, the first is which is a community focused on funding interesting scientist projects,  and the second is which is a social community focused on product development.  This is a bit different than what David Weinberger is writing about, but there is connection because of the focus on specialized data.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/19/2012

Evening Reading, oil on canvas, 74 x 90.5 cm, Frederick Zezin

Daily Thoughts 04/19/2012

I read a little bit of Too Big to Know Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Eveywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room by David Weinberger.
David Weinberger is writing about networked information inside computer systems.  In this environment none of the information is destroyed, and it is also often filtered by groups of people in a social network.  This is a very different method of filtering information than what happens inside a library where people acquire books then deselect them when they no longer are needed.  His descriptions are quite interesting.  They remind me of the concept in science fiction of the "Final Encyclopedia" or a computer system that contains the sum total of all human knowledge.  This book also introduces concepts like the data commons.  It also reminds me to find out a little bit more about "Big Data", or emerging ways to view very large amounts of knowledge.

There are very real applications in the library setting for big data.  Overdrive Inc. is bringing "big data" to the world of library e-books.  It is also an emerging concept in ASIS the American Society for Information Science.  With very large open source systems, massive amounts of data can be sifted to learn new things about libraries, library patrons, and how we read and learn. 

This morning, I finished checking through the New York Times Book Review and checked the current events display.  I am also going to look for some more books on abstract art.  I spent some more time finding books on abstract art, mostly American abstract painting.

I also spent some time this afternoon in the computer lab helping people with job search and how to fill out basic online applications.  We had the computer lab open between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. today.  I also took time to speak to our computer instructor who comes in on Tuesdays to teach a basic and an intermediate computer course.

I read a little bit more of Too Big to Know on the way home.  He is describing how the idea of facts was created.  It is a relatively recent invention.  With the idea of "facts", we get the creation of experts and knowledge.  Books store static knowledge creating a "canon" of acceptable and vetted facts in a limited contained area.  In contrast, the internet is a giant ever expanding mass of often self-contradictory, inaccurate information.

One idea that strikes me is that e-books are not similar to books, yet they are still packaged and sold as a self-contained product.  I rather like this O'reilly article called The Line Between Book and Internet Will Disappear.  I do not agree with the idea that all books should be locked to the internet.  Many are perfectly fine as self contained objects.

I also had a chance to read some more of An Economist Gets Lunch New Rules for Everyday Foodies.  I rather like that the author likes food trucks, local ethnic cuisine, barbecue, and disdains fast food, big name restaurants, and junk food.  His tastes are appealing to me.

Web Bits

Why One in Five U.S. Adults Doesn't Use the Internet

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/18/2012

La Roche Guyon, Circa 1881, Theodore Robinson
Daily Thoughts 04/18/2012

On the way to work, I read some more of It's Your Biz on my Kindle Touch.  The author was writing about partnerships.

This morning, the book, The Power of Habit Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg came in for me to read.

I also had a chance to update the Twitter and Facebook pages for the library as well as check the gift books this morning.

Right now, I am in the computer lab helping people look for jobs and fill out applications.  The session runs from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There is a gallery exhibit called Contemporary Rhythms of abstract art in our rotunda.  I have been selecting books to supplement paintings and display in the glass cabinets.   The exhibit runs from April 19 to June 14, 2012.

I put a hold on the book, Straphanger: Surviving The End of the Automobile Age by Taras Grescoe.  I am quite a fan of trains because they let me read without having to drive.

We had our Board of Trustees Meeting tonight.  I saw a couple of colleagues who used to work here.
I also had a chance to catch up a bit on my reading of the New York Times Book Review.  I am saving the Bestseller lists for tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/17/2012

Abraham Van Strij, Merchant

Daily Thoughts 04/17/2012

I checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library this morning.  I also updated the current events display with a few books on oil and healthcare.   I checked the gift books also and added a few books for young adult as well as some audio cds.

I finished reading the latest Forecast from Baker and Taylor.  I am starting on reading Publishers Weekly.

I took a break and did a few exercises on .  They now have exercises for CSS and HTML as well as JAVA.  I also watched a little bit of a video on during lunch for Wordpress 3.

I have been reading a lot of reviews from Booklist and other sources.  We have our computer training classes tonight.

On the way home, I read some more of An Economist Gets Lunch.  I like his argument that more immigrants from a wide variety of backgrounds improves restaurant quality.  Immigrants often start new restaurants.  I also like his descriptions of shopping in a Chinese grocery store.

Web Bits

The Decline and Fall of the Library Empire 
Written from LSSI, library outsourcer and barbarian at the gates of the empire.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/16/2012

Photograph of Representative Gerald R. Ford Paging Through a Bound Copy of 1952 Congressional Hearings

Daily Thoughts 04/16/2012

I am back at work today.  I spent some time checking the gift books.  I also updated the current events display.  There are some interesting activities happening around the Arctic.  As the ice melts, more resources become available.

I also spent some time reconsidering things like programs and other things.  I have quite a lot to think about.  I had a huge stack of mail to go through.  I also have to look through my old advanced reading copies. 

I printed up some more bookmarks for the display stand for Inspirational Fiction, Poetry, and Graphic Novels.  People like them.  They are a pathfinder because they list books in our library.

The book, An Economist Gets Lunch by Tyler Cowen came in for me to read.  I took a walk at lunch today to relax.

I also went through a bunch of my old mail.  I have Library Journal, Booklist, Forecast from Baker and Taylor, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly to read.  I have a little catching up to do.

I also am planning on reading Too Big To Know by David Weinberger.  I am looking through Forecast right now, The book, Birdseye: the Adventures of A Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky seems intriguing.  It is the story of the person who invented the freezing process for vegetables.

Another book which caught my attention is The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create A New Future by Chris Guillebeau.  I think the author was reading this book at an event at New Work City in Manhattan on May 8, 2012.  Chris Guillebeau has a very interesting blog called The Art of Non-Conformity

I started reading An Economist Gets Lunch.  His argument is that inexpensive food does not have to taste bad or be bad for you.  Right now I am reading about how prohibition destroyed many of America's best restaurants and changed the way Americans eat.  The ideas are a little bit unexpected.

Web Bits

The London Book Fair 2012:  The Great Debate Will Publishers Perish?

There is a second thread which is happening about the survival of bookstores.  The question is will Barnes and Noble not do too well?  It is not being discussed here.  The IDPF International Digital Publishing at Book Expo America in June should be quite revealing about the survival of the book industry.

On-demand Printing Helps Sustain the Printed Page 

The Portal Problem Part 2: The Plight of the Library Collection

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/14/2012

In March read the books you;'ve always meant to read.  Poster for statewide Library Project showing a windblown woman and books by authors such as Scott, Dumas, Thackeray, Dickens, Austen, and others. Date Created/Published: Chicago : Ill. Art Proj., [between 1936 and 1941]

Daily Thoughts 04/14/2012

I spent some more time learning about Wordpress on  I was learning about self hosted sites.  I probably would need to upgrade my computer before I did any kind of self-hosting for Wordpress.

I also read some of It's Your Biz on my Kindle.  It is about starting a small business.

Mostly I took some time to relax.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/13/2012

Abraham Lincoln, full-length portrait, reading by fireplace., 1868

Daily Thoughts 04/13/2012

Right now, I am at My Metro.  As a member you can have two hour blocks of time to use their computers.  I just checked my different social networks, email, and read Library Journal and Publishers Weekly online.

I thought this was very interesting:

Queens Library is Lending Free E-Readers
Beginning today, Queens Library will be lending 50 e-readers pre-loaded with e-books at the Central Library in Jamaica, NY. It is a pilot program.  It is the first time the service has been made available in one of NYC's public libraries. The e-readers have books on one of five themes: best sellers, romances, mysteries, teens' or children's books. There are also 50 works of classic literature loaded onto each reader. Library users may present a Queens Library card and photo ID to check out the devices free for 7 days, with the option to renew twice. Customers will also be asked to sign a one-time lending agreement.
As the pilot is evaluated and funding becomes available, e-readers will be introduced to other library locations.

I think this is very interesting.  Hopefully it will give a better understanding of what it is like to lend e-readers in New York

Web Bits

Libraries Are Obsolete An Oxford Style Debate

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/12/2012

 During the Middle Ages, paper and parchment were expensive, and many people took advantage of less permanent forms of written communication. One side of an ivory tablet was coated with wax; then a message was incised in the wax with a stylus (which looks like a large pin) and protected by an ivory lid. The little box would be sent to the recipient, who smoothed the wax and responded. The sliding cover depicts three ladies in the town, looking over its walls at two embracing couples seen to the left. The bottom of the box shows the same town at greater distance, a tent with two more lovers, a hawking expedition, and a hermit reading outside his rustic cell. Several writing boxes are known from the same, otherwise unidentified workshop. Made by Atelier of the Boxes.

Daily Thoughts 04/12/2012

I am slowly putting together a Wordpress blog and taking the class on how to do it.  So far it has been eye opening.

Right now, a lot of people are using Wordpress.  There is even an extension of Wordpress called Buddypress which turns it into a full social network.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/11/2012

Ion Theodorescu-Sion - Natură moartă cu ulcică şi fructe, ulei pe pânză, 46x55 cm, semnat şi datat stânga jos, cu coada de pensulă în pastă, Theo-Sion, 1920 - I - 23.
Daily Thoughts 04/11/2012

I spent some time this morning learning how Wordpress works in comparison to Blogger on  My impression is that it is a very different platform with many more features.  It will take me some time to understand it better.

I also spent some time relaxing and reading today.  Mostly the news and similar material.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/10/2012

Interior with poppies and reading woman (Lizzy Hohlenberg), 1905, Anna Ancher

Daily Thoughts 04/10/2012

These are slides for Business Development II Partnerships for Startups.
I found them to be quite interesting.  A lot of it was learning about partnerships.

I started doing the Codeacademy exercises.  Once it reaches arrays it becomes incredibly challenging for me.   I'll probably be spending a bit of time on this every single day.  I also spent some time on listening to videos on software.

I read Shelf Awareness today  which is a newsletter on the book trade.  There are two editions which I read, Shelf Awareness for Readers and Shelf Awareness Pro.  It is a good way to keep up with the book industry.

I made a mistake today and went to the open house for the Masters in Publishing which is different than the Certificate in Publishing at New York University.  I did learn about some new resources from the dean of the school and had an excellent cup of coffee, but I was at the wrong meeting.

A few things which I found interesting were

David Carr's Media Equation Column from the New York Times

An article with the title Apple's Ipad Is the Only Table People Know

Web Bits

A Feast of Data To Interpret in New Pew Survey of Book Readers About E-books

10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs

Monday, April 9, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/09/2012

Daily Thoughts 04/09/2012

I took a break yesterday and got a little extra rest.  This morning, I took a look at 
It is a site about the e-book industry.

I didn't do a whole lot today.  I watched a little more of the video on Dreamweaver CS5 and that is about it.

Web Bits

How We Will Read by Clay Shirky

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/07/2012

Yogoto ni au koi Print shows head-and-shoulders portrait of a woman, facing right, reading from a scroll. Date Created/Published: [1793, printed between 1918 and 1923] 

Daily Thoughts 04/07/2012

I finished reading Sacre Bleu A Comedy D'Art by Christopher Moore.  The author set out to write a book about the color blue and ended up wrting about the impressionists in a fantasy set in and around Paris between 1860 and 1890.  I very much ended the characters, especially Henre Toulouse-Lautrec and Georges Seurat.  There were lots of paintings from the time period which was interesting.  They were small color pictures throughtout the book.  Also, the type was set in blue.  The ending was satisifying.  I will give no more away.  I enjoyed reading it.

I joined today.  They send a weekly lesson in computer coding.

I found another publishing startup that is kind of interesting.  They publish a short story a week    I could easily see someone creating a series book like Star Trek or Star Wars or some other space opera and publishing a story a week, then compiling all the stories together in a single volume.  You could even bundle the story with a short web comic to make it more interesting.  Selling it for a $1.00 to $2.00 per story depending on the author could work.  Something that could be sold as a Kindle Single, or an EPUB 3 Document.

I checked out the Kobo for the PC program.  I like the design; it is much cleaner than the Kindle.  The style of the Kobo seems to be focused on solely being an e-reader.  I started reading Free As In Freedom Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software by Sam William on the Kobo for PC.

I signed up to get the Earlyword newsletter in my personal inbox. 

Web Bits

Robert Darnton Promises Digital Public Library by 2013

Nation’s Libraries Key on Pew E-Book Study; 14% of Readers Got Book at Library

Friday, April 6, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/06/2012

Camille Redon Reading by Odilon Redon (1840-1916)

Daily Thoughts 04/06/2012

I finished watching Dave Crenshaw, Time Management Fundamentals on  I also read some more Sacre Bleu by Michael Moore.  I especially liked Michael Mooe's description of Monet painting trains.

Stripping Covers off the Hunger Games by Thad McIlroy

I sat down and read Stripping Covers Off The Hunger Games by Thad McIlroy today.  It successfully describes the battle between Amazon and Barnes and Noble for control of the book industry.   The book has a solid muckraking feel to it and exposes how Barnes and Noble may eventually fold changing the book industry forever.  The battle is more than just a corporate battle; Len Riggio is enemies with Jeff Bezos.

Not only does Thad McIlroy cover the death of Borders Bookstores, but he also describes how Best Buy, the electronics store is also slowly losing to Amazon. Thad McIlroy describes how the sole remaining major source of profitability for Barnes and Noble is the college bookstores.  Even here, the e-book companies Coursesmart, Flatworld Knowledge, and Inkling are better prepared than Barnes and Noble for an e-book future.

E-books have also affect used bookstores.  There are no resale rights for licensed software or remaindered copies of e-books.  There are also no used e-books.  They are a major blow to the used book industry.

We get a sense of how technology companies like Kobo, Apple and Amazon are outcompeting the book industry and taking over the e-book industry. There is a powerful message underneath what is being said that unless people are willing to adjust and compete, many publishers will close.

It is not just e-books which are changing things, it is also the fast growing market for tablets.  The Barnes and Noble Nook is not as good as the Apple iPad and can barely compete with the Amazon Kindle in the tablet and e-reader marketplace.   There are also more and cheaper e-books on the Amazon Kindle than the Barnes and Noble Nook.

Thad McIlroy mentions a few things and people that I recognize.  Guy LeChalres Gonzales worked at Digital Book World.  I also occassionally read PublishersLunch The Publishing Industry's Daily Read which is a major newsletter of the publishing industry.

There is also a suggestion to read Let's Get Digital  How to Self-Publish and Why You Should  by David Gaughran.   There is a free PDF version on this webiste

This book is very informative.  It is a solid reminder that the publishing industry is changing and needs to be prepared to fight for its life.  This is also true for libraries.  The book is quite strong in its condemnation of Amazon.

Web Bits

Pew Internet now has a libraries site.

New York Tech Made In New York

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/05/2012

The Letter, Julian Weir, 1919

Daily Thoughts 04/05/2012

I watched some more of Time Management Fundamentals on this morning.  I also read some of The 250 Job Interview Questions.   The book goes through hundreds of different common job questions with standard answers that people might give.  It is very straightforward.  It helps you think about what people might ask.  I finished reading it on my Kindle Touch.  It gave me enough of a basis to understand the most likely questions I would get.

I also took a tour of General today.  It is an educational startup.  It is also a kind of meta startup or a startup which helps startups.  They rent out their space to select startups, offer discounts to classes and provide support to their member startups.  So far they have only been open for a single year.  Once the size of a startup reaches about fourteen people, it leaves the General Assembly space.  I found this to be a bit different.

There are also people who rent use of the communal space where people can work.  They also host Meetups.    I took the class on Publishing, Art, and Technology earlier..   I also took their Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship online at   A lot of their classes are focused on entrepreneurial skills;  ruby on rails, css, html, angel investing, web design,  and similar matters.

I had a chance to ask about different things they do there.  A lot of it is about helping people make connections and grow a business.  Some of the skills are very entrepreneurial, not the kind of thing which is taught in a university setting.

It feels similar in a way to Skillshare which is another edicational startup that teaches a variety of skills.  I took the Introduction I to Business Development at Skillshare.   Skillshare is running a conference on April 20, 2012  which it is calling Penny University

On the way home, I read some more of Sacre Bleu by Michael Moore.  I am finding it relaxing and a bit odd.

Web Bits

The Rise of E-reading

 How Publishing Execs Should Use Social Media to Help Their Companies and not Get Fired

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/04/2012

Louis Wain at his drawing table around 1890. From the book "Louis Wain - The man who drew cats". ISBN 1-85479-098-6  Published with the authorisation of the books author Rodney Dale See discussion.

Daily Thoughts 04/04/2012

This morning, I spent some time cleaning the house and organizing things.  I also watched a bit of the Time Management class.  It gave some suggestions for improving how I organize things.

I am taking a Skillshare class tonight Intro I To Business Development and Partnerships for Startups.  It is being held at Dogpatch Labs which is an incubator.  I have been a bit curious about Dogpatch for a while.

The Introduction to Business Development session was interesting.  It gave me an idea of what all the different business development people do at meetups.  They are there to find partners, create relationships for potential future sales, and develop contacts between different businesses.  They have to collect quite a few business cards in a carefully prepared manner.  It was informative.
This is the Powerpoint of the Presentation on Business Development.

I also learned about some resources that I did not know about before, there is TWIT This Week In Tech which is a weekly podcast on happenings in the technology world

Web Bits

Google Begins Testing Its Augmented Reality Glasses

Is Making Books Social A Good or Bad Thing

LG Bending the Limits of Ebook Design With Flexible Displays

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/03/2012

Knott Wright. "Stop reading that paper!" Four-frame comic strip. Knott and Mrs. Wright sit at a table eating breakfast. When Mrs. Wright asks if Knott can get his mind off baseball for a minute, he replies that her wheat-cakes remind him of baseball because "The batter sometimes misses." She replies "Oh, not always!" as she throws a wheat-cake into his face. Date Created/Published: [between ca. 1900 and ca. 1920]  Part of: Caroline and Erwin Swann collection of caricature & cartoon (Library of Congress)

Daily Thoughts 04/03/2012

I stopped by the WixLounge yesterday which is on 10 West 18th Street, it is a free work space which also has coffee for creatives.  I sat down for a bit, had a cup of coffee and read from my Kindle touch for a few minutes.

I was at Skillshare last night learning how to tell my story.  I now have a much better pitch about what I want.  Skillshare was quite interesting.  They were in the same space as a company called Supply.

I even had a chance to look through their books which were a classic mix of techie oriented reading::  The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blan, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, What's Mine Is Yours  The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers,  The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck, The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Chrstensen, and The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, there were also some books on CSS3, HTML5, and Mobile Applications.  They even had the game, Settlers of Catan which is a classic.

I have been reading more of Sacre Bleu.  There is a lot of mature content in this book  The painters like Renoir, Toulouse Lautrec, Goya, and others rather like their models.  The design of the book is very engaging, the type is set in dark blue which makes the reading experience different.  There are also numerous color pcitures throughout the book.  Some of the pictures are In Rat Mort-- Henri Toulouse Lautrec 1899,  The Swing by Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1899, The Nude Maja-- Francisco Goya 1797,  Hommage a Delacroix, Henri Fantin-Latour 1864, and many others.  This adds a bit of spice and beauty to the book.

I bought a copy of Stripping Covers Off the Hunger Games How 7 Billionaires Are Deciding the Future of Book Publishing by Thad McIlroy.  The book is $2.99 as a Kindle ebook  It is about Barnes and Noble and Amazon and the decisions being made that will change the future of the book industry.  It is an uneasy book.  Part of the unease comes from the new tablet technology which is coming out of both Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.  E-books could very well redefine what a library is in the next decade.  Libraries are traditionally about books. 

I also joined  which is a community of people in the publishing business.

I also saw an incredibly cheap e-book maker, Book Brewer, 
It does not look to have much quality, but it is cheap.

Web Bits

Tech Companies in New York, many hiring, unfortunately no e-book or digital publishers

Public Libraries Expect Change Focus on E-books

How We Will Read by Clive Thompson From the Findings Blog

Monday, April 2, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/02/2012

Studiosul ("The Scholar") or Studiu cu barbat la masa de lucru ("Study Portrait of a Man at His Writing Desk"), ink drawing, 11,6 x 10,3 cm.

Daily Thoughts 04/02/2012

This morning, I watched a little bit more of Richard Koci Hernandez, Multimedia Journalist on  I like how he describes that it is possible for almost anyone to be a storyteller because of the cost of the equipment. It is easy to get a laptop and a camera.

I am going to be speaking to someone this afternoon about digital publishing.

I also am going to The Art of the Night Hustle which is a Skillshare class at 7:00 p.m.

I have been following a number of newsletters lately, Bernardo's List, Gary's Guide, and This is Going to be Big, along with Y Combinator News.  These are all technical or networking oriented lists.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/01/2012

Khushal Khan Khatak, a well known Pashtun poet and warrior from the 17th century

Daily Thoughts 04/01/2012

I spent some time looking at Maz Digital this morning.  I have seen their business development person around a couple of times in various venues

This afternoon, I started reading Sacre Bleu by Chsitopher Moore.  It begins with the murder of Vincent Van Gogh creating a mystery.

I also watched some more of Richard Koci Hernandez, Multimedia Journalist on  He is describing his early coverage of Yahoo and Google when they first formed.

Web Bits

The Book of the Future

E-books are the Fastest Growing Area of Sales Especially for Youngsters