Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Word of the day

Today's word is courtesy of the past, and is the term vanity network publishing. I used (invented) this term in a paper I gave at a national conference on web publishing and legal deposit in 1995. I pointed to the plenthora of published work that was possible in an open and networked environment. I unkindly described this as vanity network publishing. I see from my Google search on the term that Tony Barry took it up at the Online conference in 1997.

I said, in a legal deposit context: "Some publishers demand that their material be accepted and retained - there will be many more of these as the vast new possibilities for vanity network publishing are exploited. We will not be able to make everyone happy."

In fact, although I was right about the proliferation of vanity network publishing - I am indulging in it now, as so many of us are - I was not right about people demanding that the National Library preserve it. Perhaps they fondly imagine that it will remain just where it is now, on a server somewhere in the United States that will remain on the Web forever. But I know that that is unlikely and (looking back on that paper from 1995) I wonder whether I should ask the National Library to archive this blog. The question gains added relevance as the Government ponders the responses to the Attorney-General's discussion paper on legal deposit released late last year.

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