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Say it Loud

This is a brief kibbles-and-bits post. First, I swooned over ZZ Packer’s reading at University of San Francisco last night. Big take-away: read my writing aloud. (We had just been reminded of this in my lit class, too. Reading aloud is like flossing: we know it’s important, and we don’t do it enough.) I refuse to be daunted by Packer’s brilliance; it’s a North Star I will aspire to. I will put a sign on my office door: “Read Aloud (It Catches the Tiny Bits).”

Second, if you thought FRL was down yesterday, you were right. A little file that runneth everything went astray, and thanks to Dreamhost for de-kerflummeling it. E-mail support wouldn’t cut it for a big site, but as hosts go, for the price and my personal needs, they sitteth well with my soul.

Also, yet another reminder to Free Range RSS subscribers that if you pick up the RSS 2 feed, you’ll get updates, including comments, on posts. I mention the last because there’s lively back and forth between FRL and Anil “Movable Type God” Dash on my gripes about Movable Type’s Barbie Doll Syndrome ($10 for the doll, $500 to cover its naked plastic flesh). Neither Anil nor I write as well as ZZ Packer (sorry, Anil: you’re good to read, but not that good), but the back and forth is interesting.

Then props to Jenny (as Steven Cohen once asked, what the heck is a “prop,” anyway?) for blistering the biblioblogosphere with her short but sharp critique of libraries that block IM. Sometimes it’s as if librarians sit around saying “What format can we block today? How can we be just a little more offputting to our users? What have we done lately to ensure our library is a big ol’ unfriendly snore?”
At My Place Of Work, we use IM all the time, and I couldn’t work from a library that blocked instant messaging. (Though, heh heh, these libraries can’t block my Treo, which also has IM.)

Speaking of Random Acts of Censorship, there’s the bit from the Rhode Island ACLU which has concluded libraries are over-blocking sites with filters. I have been saying that for a decade, but librarians would rather talk about “good filtering” and put on blinders than deal with what filters are and how they work, let alone deciding that there is a difference between four year olds and forty year olds. Thank you, ACLU. Imagine, a free speech organization focusing on a core issue and producing a solid, evidence-drive report!

Finally, if you read FRL directly as a blog, keep your eye on the comments on the left-hand nav bar, as sometimes an old post will get lively again. If you only read the feed and never the blog, peek at it once a week to see my links to what I’m reading/have read/have in a pile in the guest room just waiting for me to get through this semester (one more new essay, two major revisions, and it’s Helloooo Summer; I’ll work one on one with an advisor and produce a lot of writing, but no… more… homework, at least not til fall).

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