Let the wild blogging begin….

Welcome to my blog.

It is newly launched, and I am happy that you have found it. I will do my best to reward your attention, but a word of warning may first be in order:  this will not be your customary bibliocentric blog.  Entertaining literary anecdotes and photos of rare things to covet or marvel at may occasionally slip into the frame, but they will not be the norm.  If this is what you are hoping for then I am sorry to disappoint  (But do check the blogroll).

My postings here will, instead, most often be directed  at a subject of much more limited appeal: the increasingly busy intersection of old books and digital technology.  It is a place I find myself regularly approaching from all directions – as book buyer and bookseller, as programmer and as the operator of a website dedicated to making the internet a useful tool for bibliophiles.  It is an intersection where I believe important things are now happening with an impact we have only just begun to see and understand.  My various occupations take me through that intersection every day, and over time I have persuaded myself that some of the things I observe there may possibly be of interest to others.   Perhaps even you.  You don’t need to be a confessed bibliophile.  It is enough if you care about books,  especially the old ones.  If you do, then I hope I will occasionally have something worthwhile for you to read.  Here. In my new blog.

And if searching for old books on the internet is one of your regular activities, then I hope to have a few tips that will help you along.

But I also have a few practical objectives to serve.  As you may already know, I am the person responsible for a website named viaLibri that helps people find old and rare books on the internet.  While I am gratified by the number of people who use it regularly I am also  frustrated to see how many of its most helpful features are only rarely put to use.  That frustration is compounded when I receive pleasant emails saying things like “I love viaLibri, and would be thrilled if it could also do ____.” As often as not I can only write back to say “Actually, it does do_____.  Just go there and click that.”

But what about the people who never write?

I have only myself to blame for this, of course.  If regular users don’t know about something they can do with viaLibri then it can only be because I have not effectively shown it to them.  I hope to rectify that here.  I would love to sit down and write a user’s guide to finding old books on the internet, but I know full well that I will never find the time. Perhaps, however, I can accumulate one.  Perhaps I can put together a user’s guide in the form of an archive of categorized blog posts written spontaneously over time.  How to do this; where to find that.  Each in its own separate post, organized in a sidebar,  perhaps even linked to the site itself.  It could useful.  At least that is what I have been telling myself.  If you would like to encourage such a project then please tell me about a topic you think I should undertake.  It would be great to hear from you.

With that I think my plate will be full enough.  At least for now.

 

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2 Responses to Let the wild blogging begin….

  1. Mike says:

    Libribot and viaLibri’s Premium Services have truly revolutionized my collecting. I consider my subscription to be best collecting investment I make.

    The one aspect of using the Internet as a collecting tool that has always seemed somewhat under serviced is the collector “public want list.”

    Electronic book-collecting tools are all focused on “dealer push” — a vendor essentially saying, “Here’s what I have. Are you interested.” The tools aggregate and push this information. We know that may large booksellers do not have the time or inclination to post all of their inventories. It would be nice to go back to the old days of “pull” — posting want lists in magazines to let dealers and fellow collectors know what we are interested in and looking for. It’s a service I would readily pay for within the context of a strong collector community like ViaLibri.

    Looking forward to following the blog. Keep up the great work!

    • Jim Hinck says:

      Thanks for the generous comment, and especially for the suggestion about a public want list. There is really a lot that could be said about this idea and how you might implement it with the internet/digital tools that are now available. My head spins with the possibilities. –Jim

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