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Wikis, Synecdoches, and LITA Forum

As always, LITA Forum had an exceptionally good wheat to chaff ratio, though to my intense sorrow I could not get to Forum in time to hear Tim Spalding of LibraryThing.

I hope Tim’s session was recorded, though I know ALA has this idea if they record too many sessions No One Will Come To Conferences Any More. I believe the opposite is true — it’s called marketing — but anyway… all I heard for the next two days was “As Tim said…” or “Tim made this really good point…”

I’m aware some folks get irritated by Tim, and this is what I think it’s about: Tim really doesn’t care what we think of him. He’s on Planet LibraryThing, puzzling through the creative problems associated with user engagement and whatnot.

Every once in a while he says something really provocative. You can agree with Tim or not, but it’s not as if he’s calling anyone a pee-pants poopyhead (let alone — to give us a political moment — anything so disgusting as “Obama Bucks,” which so amply underscores the bankruptcy of the McCain campaign).

My recommendation is take a chill pill, and when your library software can do even a fraction of what Tim’s software can do, then you can begin to waste time stewing over him.

Anyhoo, so I’m sitting in the Cincinatti airport waiting for my flight and working on this test installation of Dokuwiki, when I install a plugin called IndexMenu and then begin browsing its demo page. What word do I see? Synecdoche! One of my favorite words, largely because I had to get an MFA to learn it is pronounced close to “Schenectady,” and not — as I had been saying it for several decades — “cynic douche.”

What small neural spark had someone slide “synecdoche” on a wiki page? My guess is it’s the special handshake known among English majors… we are insidious moles. You find us everywhere.

How about that Colin Powell, eh? He joins Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Buckley in the long line of people who say Yes We Can. Tomorrow I go to the polls and vote for Barack Obama for president!

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