When I was a kid, I hated when people made puns out of my name–keep up the pace, do you like picante sauce?, your parents must have been pacemakers. Those of you with punnable names will sympathize with the one-sided hilarious laughter that usually followed such a pun, as if it were being made for the very first time. Groan.
So it was with some reluctance that I came to accept “Hectic Pace” as a name for my first solo blog, but I finally acquiesced–as a companion to my Technically Speaking column, hectic was a pretty good moniker. If you’ve seen me on the vendor floor at ALA, you would agree that hectic is fitting. When I mentioned the proposed title to family and colleagues, they nodded, obviously more accustomed to my obsessive-compulsive multi-tasking personality than I myself was. And, of course, coming to grips with the title was a great distraction from the fact that I was finally agreeing to blog.
What is it, and why now? Believe me, I am anything but a trend follower. I have avoided the blogosphere for a long time, and only recently began reading library blogs in other than a passive/reactive mode. And as I start this blog, I have some specific goals of what it will be, and what it will not be.
This blog is first and foremost about the library technology business and business side of library technology
I have grown increasingly frustrated with print as an outlet for timely, pithy, and even glib reactions to announcements, press releases, mergers & acquisitions, and product releases. Moreover, it is impossible to announce, establish relevance, and editorialize in 75 words. I want to write it when I first hear about it, not 2 weeks later for readers to see 6 weeks later.
I want to light the fuse and get away
I want to provide a platform for commenting on the library technology business where people smarter than I am can be part of the conversation. I even hope that vendors themselves won’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. What other forum is there for that?
This blog is not a database
I don’t want to supplant the excellent work of folks like Marshall Breeding in maintaining the historical record of technology. Nor do I want to cut & paste marketing department superlatives into what is really an editorial journal. Believe me, under most circumstances, marketing departments will issue a press release if a customer sneezes three times in a row. The posts here are intended to add some conjecture, prod libraries and vendors, and (if I’m lucky) even provide a poignant thought now and again.
I am not looking for my muse
I’ve never been much for navel-gazing, and I will try to keep it to a minimum here. I will try, with readers’ patience, to avoid what so many blogs have already become: posting, flame, clarification, apology, flame clarification, group hug or group snub.
I invite your comments on- or off-blog. This is still very much an experiment for me, and unlike so much of the library technology out there, I hope this blog will actually evolve!
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]