I meant to write this almost two months ago, but if you are a regular, Gentle Reader, you know that I’ve been a little busy. I won’t bore you with the list of Big Life Changes again.
SO. Anyway, a little over six months in, and I’m declaring LISvendor.info to be a fabulous success. Granted, my definition of “success” was “someone other than me adds to it” and “I don’t get sued.” I’m pleased to report that people are slowly starting to use it and I haven’t had even a whiff of a cease and desist order. The latter is possibly because no one’s added anything truly juicy to it, but the important part is “Sarah Glassmeyer – Lawsuit Free Since 1975!”
(Although I must note that I have no real assets and a pantload of student loan debt, so anyone getting a judgment from me is gonna have to get in line behind Sally Mae and Bank of America. Good luck with that. Say what you will about the student loan debt crisis, but it does give one a certain sense of freedom. But I digress…)
One of the things that prompted me to remind y’all of the existence of LISvendor.info was a recent blog post by Barbara Fister called “Occupy Knowledge: It’s Ours After All.” Go on, go read it…I’ll wait. You back? Okay. So as you’ve seen, she presents a really interesting parallel between Occupy Wall Street movement and the scholarly publishing world. And like the OWS protestors, she creates a version a protest sign listing out the price increases her library has seen in journal subscriptions. (If you didn’t read her post, SPOILER ALERT: American Chemical Society journals have risen from $29,705 in 2010 to $41,741 in 2012.) Fister also encourages others to do the same, either by tweeting or facebooking it.
You could also post it on LISvendor.info…that is one of the reasons I created it.
Although I’m declaring LISVendor.info to be a fabulous success, it could be better. A lot better. I would love to see more people contribute to it. And not just “secret pricing information” either…for example, I love how the proposed AALL Consumer Advocacy Caucus is using it to organize and share information.
A few weeks ago I saw a report of a study on the roots of collaboration in humans. The pull quote:
When it benefits them, chimpanzees willingly work together. Otherwise, they can’t be bothered…For humans, collaboration is rewarding for its own sake, a behavioral split that may underlie key differences between human and chimpanzee societies.
Having participated in a couple collaborative projects now, I can’t say that this is true. I’m not sure that people will work together on something without an immediate reward. I really believe that contributions to LISVendor will ultimately be very beneficial to all, but I must admit that any benefits will not be realized immediately. It will be a slow building process before the collected knowledge reaches the usefulness tipping point. So, long story short, if you can think of ways to encourage participation in this, please let me know.
Finally, some housekeeping notes…initially I wanted to keep this wiki as open and anonymous as possible because I thought people wouldn’t contribute otherwise. Unfortunately, the spammers keep swooping in and wrecking the joint. (A big thanks to Nicole Engard and Amy Buckland for helping me to clean them out.) I’ve since reluctantly added an email to register requirement and then earlier this week a captcha, Hopefully that will cut down on the spamming. (And hopefully people will learn to not be ashamed to ask their doctor for cialis and stop relying on sketchy people on the Internet for their drugs and spamming innocent library wikis becomes impractical. HEY. A GIRL CAN DREAM.) Amy has been deputized as a admin on the wiki and if anyone else would like admin privileges, let me know…I will be happy to add you. I really didn’t want this to be “my thing.” I’m happy to pay for hosting and stare stupidly at the mediawiki php and attempt to fix problems, but this is something that the community needs to take ownership of for it to be
successful even more fabulously successful.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunsetgirl_creations/