Lynn and I have a running argument about the JMLA cover. When I asked her to take on the role of cover editor, it was to compensate for my own lack of graphics skills. She accepted the job primarily as a favor to me and, working with the EBSCO corporate communications designers, has produced a series of covers that I've been very pleased with -- in general. What I did not expect, and have never entirely approved of, is that she uses my editorial as the starting point for each cover concept. With every issue we have the argument, as I try to point out that there is a great deal of other worthwhile and interesting content in the issue and that it is unseemly for me to appear to be focusing the cover on myself. She just laughs and says I'm being oversensitive.
When I saw the initial mockup for the cover of the July issue I tried to put my foot down. Since the editorial is about blogging she used a screen shot of my own blog. That would have put my picture on the cover of the JMLA. Too much. We compromised. The screen shot is now scrolled down a ways so that my picture doesn't appear and it's not immediately apparent that it's my blog. I can tolerate that, but it still makes me uncomfortable.
Reading the essay itself makes me uncomfortable too, of course. It's very rare that I can read something that I wrote some months ago and not find a whole raft of sentences that make me cringe. And the slightly stilted language that the official house style requires (no contractions, no sentence fragments) never seems quite like my real voice.
Leaving the details aside, however, I'm reasonably pleased with the overall shape of the piece, and still agree with most of what I said. I'm happy to see that Roper and Cohen have seen fit to mention it on their blogs, and I've gotten a couple of complimentary emails from people who've read it.
Still, it's already quite dated. Natalie Biz has been retired (I suspect that once it became widely known that she was a work of fiction, keeping it up wasn't as much fun for Guthrie anymore), and Saucy Librarian appears to have become password protected. The blogosphere is a very malleable place.
The main points of the essay are still sound, however. The transformative effect on the MSM continues apace. More and more libraries are experimenting with the technology, and the amount of junk and the smattering of worthwhile content continues to expand. I keep reading the stuff. I keep writing it. I still don't know where it's going.