I’ve been doing a lot of writing in my newsletter lately. You might like to read it but I do still post here from time to time and I keep my talks list and my booklist updated.
This week I had my most popular tweet ever and it was an interesting experience and I thought I’d spend a few words talking about it since we’re wrapping up National Library Week. Ivanka Trump, the POTUS’s daughter and special assistant, made a fairly banal “Go libraries” tweet. This is to be expected from politicians and celebrities, but maybe not so much ones who are involved in an administration actively working to defund IMLS, one of the major federal organizations that helps libraries nationwide. IMLS gets about $200 million annually, less than the cost of one of those mega-bombs. So, you can imagine how well that went down. It’s actually amusing (to me) to read the top replies. Mostly librarians being like “Are you fucking kidding me?” Top reply tweet was from Margaret Howard who, I am assuming, took the brunt of the haters.
Most of the people replying to or retweeting me were people who agreed and the occasional grump who doesn’t know how to use an Oxford comma. But then someone called me a whore. Which, I have mixed feelings about. I mean, most people don’t like being called a whore. I didn’t take it personally, that person doesn’t know me. I even redacted his personal information before I complained about it, because I didn’t want to turn it into a thing.
However, I did want to see if Twitter’s abuse system was working any better than it has in the past. So before I blocked him, I reported his tweet for abuse. And, unlike in the past, I got an email that said “Hey we received your report and we’ll let you know what happens.” Which, sure, it’s easy to send a “We’re handling this” message. Much easier than it is to handle things. And then today when I woke up, I got a specific email that said his account had been locked and wouldn’t be unlocked until he had agreed to follow twitter’s policies.
Now I’m not fooling myself I know this probably just involves clicking an “I’m sorry” link and getting right back in the game. I also think my verified status may have helped here, though it’s hard to tell just what the verified status thing really means. I’m also a polite middle-aged white lady who doesn’t lose my shit about this sort of thing which shouldn’t matter and yet might. As I mentioned to someone else, I’m not even sure if the insult was directed at me, there’s a slim chance that the guy was trying to insult Ivanka but that’s still actually not okay. As far as Twitter’s abuse handling, I do feel that this may be too little too late, but I do marvel that it’s even working at all. If you’re someone who deals with harassment on Twitter and gave up on their abuse team long ago, consider trying again, or looking into tools like Block Together which can really help keep the noise down. No one deserves your attention. No one deserves online abuse.
I know it’s linkbait. It’s also a re-tweet, as a blogpost, and then tweeted. Sorry folks, but I liked this link. RT @hipsterbookclub: Damn. Michael Jackson had a cozy library. Some nice photos of some nice celebrity libraries. [via].
I made a little video for Follow a Library Day and so did a lot of other people. I enjoyed this small awareness-raising exercise. It made me look up a few new libraries on Twitter, it helped me meet a few new Twitter-aware librarians in the larger blogosphere and it was fun watching it ripple across my group of friends on Twitter. No nagging, no hectoring. If you were into it, you could post a little something. If not, no big deal. Nice successful campaign folks, good job.
I sort of have a “How can I miss you if you won’t go away” feeling about ALA most years. I went when I was a councilor. I went when it was near me. I went when I was speaking at it. This time, none of these things were true and I was still a little exhausted from ALA Anaheim last year where my credit card number was skimmed and I had to drive an hour to get a decent restaurant. This year ALA is sounding fun, from the reports. ALA is always a better time when it’s in Chicago. More of the staffers can go and more people are used to the location and can get decent hotel rooms and the weather isn’t horrible. At least that’s been my experience. My work travel this month is going to consist of a trip to New Orleans next week [another popular ALA summer venue] for MetaFilter’s Tenth Anniversary where I will be paid to drink beer and eat alligator and wear a catchy t-shirt. Here are a few links I’ve been seeing about what I feel I’ve been missing at ALA.
It’s just like being there, only I’m still in my pajamas, and I slept til 11.
I’ve been reading more, typing less. My super-bloggy friends told me lat year sometime that a lot of their friends were blogging less and Twittering more. I was surprised to hear that since it hadn’t really trickled down to my neck of the woods yet, but lately it has. While I still stay on top of my RSS feeds, I suspect that I can only do that because people are blogging less. I don’t know if they’re twittering more, having babies, buying houses or doing something else. I know what I’ve been doing: reading.
I’ve also been travelling which is probably not a totally fun thing to read about [if I could delete everyone’s tweets from airports, I would — unless they’re me looking for someone to hang out with when my flight has been delayed] but I go through periods of educating, followed by periods of learning, etc. I also made a resolution to myself for this year to write new talks (some similar slides okay, all similar slides against the rules) so when I give talks, they’re more work but also better, I think. I’ll be doing a 2.0 talk in upstate New York for NCLS and then a few talks at NJLA next week. Lots of writing, good stuff to pass on.
What’s been really on my mind lately is the Google Books settlement. I happen to be lucky that an old time friend of mine from the blogger days, James Grimmelmann, is one of the major players in the “explain this to everyone” field day that is going on. He’s also a keen legal mind and a great writer so it’s been a joy to read what he and others have been writing. Here are some links to essays that may help you understand things.