"I certainly never write a review about a book I don't think worth reviewing, a flat-out bad book, unless it's an enormously fashionable bad book." --
says, John Gardner in Conversations with John Gardner
Quoted from 'Dictionary of Library and Information Science Quotations'     Edited by Mohamed Taher & L S Ramaiah. ISBN: 8185689423 (New Delhi , Aditya, 1994) p.150. Available @ Amazon.com

Monday, November 05, 2007

THE GILLER: Which book is likely to win the Giller?

Nov 05, 2007 04:30 AM Vit Wagner Publishing Reporter, Toronto Star

Winning a Scotiabank Giller Prize or a Governor General's Award is guaranteed to boost the sales of any author, with relatively unsung writers having the most to gain.
That's good news for whoever wins this year's Giller, being handed out tomorrow night in Toronto at a gala televised live on Bravo!
Last year's winning book, Vincent Lam's Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, experienced a 464 per cent sales increase in the first week after the win, while Peter Behrens' The Law of Dreams received a 360 per cent boost in the first week after its GG win for English-language fiction last fall. continue reading

The jury named the finalists. They are:

Elizabeth Hay for her novel Late Nights on Air, McClelland & Stewart

Michael Ondaatje for his novel Divisadero, McClelland & Stewart

Daniel Poliquin for his novel A Secret Between Us, trans. Donald Winkler, Douglas & McIntyre

M.G. Vassanji for his novel The Assassin’s Song, Doubleday Canada

Alissa York for her novel Effigy, Random House Canada

Friday, October 26, 2007

Library Anecdotes Revisited: Free For All

Library historians, social scientists and library fundraisers will find this book interesting and a readable tell tale--about what makes the present day's public library from inside and how it looks from outside. I feel this is an excellent addition of existing works that support qualitative studies in libraries and librarianship in the USA.

Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library
by Don Borchert

Book Description
In Free for All, Borchert offers readers a ringside seat for the unlikely spectacle of mayhem and absurdity that is business as usual at the public library. You’ll see cops bust drug dealers who’ve set up shop in the men’s restroom, witness a burka-wearing employee suffer a curse-ridden nervous breakdown, and meet a lonely, neglected kid who grew up in the library and still sends postcards to his surrogate parents—the librarians. In fact, from the first page of this comic debut to the last, you’ll learn everything about the world of the modern-day library that you never expected.

Library Confidential@ Annoyed Librarian comments:
A forthcoming book should give the ALA and library schools a great marketing opportunity. Have you heard of Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks and Gangstas in the Public Library, by Don Borchert? According to the cover, it "puts the shh! in shocking." I read a review here, and boy does it sound exciting. (Note: the review is of Library Confidential, but the American edition seems to be entitled Free for All.) This is going to be such a great marketing opportunity, because after reading this everyone will want to work in a public library. We're always hearing about how librarians provide information and videos and stuff for people and how noble they all are, but we don't usually hear about things like this: continue reading

See also:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

From those who stumbled upon

PS. This review of StumbleUpon is not mine and this stumbling has nothing to do with a Review of Today’s Social Sites » Mughal king who stumbled in his royal library at Delhi--In the words of the British orientalist Stanley Lane-Poole, "Humayun stumbled out of life as he had stumbled through it."

"I must say I was disappointed to find out that Ebay had recently bought Stumble, though. It seems that all the sites I most love are being snapped up by these huge corporations. One cannot blame the site developers, really, after all there is serious money to be made, and yet, my idealistic self would love to see these types of sites unfettered by corporate for-profit ties. But I guess that, across the board, things will be moving more in that for-profit direction rather than less… take a look, in fact, at my next post to see another chilling move in that direction." Read the full article @ Bookishdesi's blog

Putting Librarian Expertise to Work:
"StumbleUpon is a browser add-on for finding and sharing great websites. Unlike directories or search engines, StumbleUpon uses member ratings to form collective human opinions on website quality." [via MetaFilter]
This is somewhat similar to the tool I want for librarian pagerank. Instead of "good" or "bad," a site would be "authentic" or "trustworthy."

See also:
  • Good Gear Guide - StumbleUpon - Reviews - Software - Utilities - Desktop Search

    Google it

    Thanks to Dr. Smith for sharing his knowledge of how he stumbled...

    Come see why The Wall Street Journal says:
    "Next time you want to wander the Web, forget about Googling it. Stumble it."
    – Chief 

  • Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Creating a Website that Works

    PS. I have seen a lot of stuff on how to start and how to do defense driving. The following article is, nevertheless, one of the best and most precise.

    Five Easy Steps to Starting Your Web Page

    From Jennifer Kyrnin,
    Your Guide to Web Design / HTML.

    Ideas for Content On Your Site

    If you are just starting out on the HTML trail, there are several steps you can take to create your first Web page. Keep in mind that this is not a tutorial, but it will help you get started with your Web page.

    1. Discover the theme or content of your site.
    2. Determine what type of tools you will use to create your pages.
    3. Learn HTML or your editing software
    4. Find a place to put your page.
    5. Let people know about your site.... click here, for the highly illustrated article
    NB. If the above this sounds too much, go fly and sign up for a blog with blogger or wordpress and you will find much of this is easy to learn as you get set go.

    see also:

    Monday, October 08, 2007

    Top 25 Nursing Blogs (By the Numbers) - Webmetrics revisited

    PS. Web metrics (or Web analytics) applied to blogosphere is attracting the interest of many quantitative and qualitative visualizers. Here is one such by Rod @ Informaticopia:
    "The Nursing Online Education Database has recently published their collection of the Top 25 Nursing Blogs

    I think the piece highlights some difficult methodological challenges in assessing the "reach" of various web 2.0 technologies.

    In ranking the top nurse blogs, their goal was to show — using objective data from reliable third-parties — which blogs are the most popular, according to visitor traffic and site backlinks. To this end, we used data for these four metrics to calculate the rankings: ... continue reading
    See also:

    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    You can't beat free advertising! - Media Convergence’s

    This is not a review, rather an example that helps you consider how to reach out and outreach, as well suggests the positive advantage of the push and pull medium-- a reflection on Dr. Ranganathan's Five laws, esp. books are for use.

    "We received a multiple book order from a library today.
    After replying to the librarian I checked our website to see if I could tell how she found us. What I learned was that our company and our two new local history titles were mentioned, along with a link, in the Kentucky Literary Newsletter which has over 1,700 online subscribers..." continue reading Biblio-Technician

    Monday, October 01, 2007

    What book would you most want your kids to read?

    PS. This is not my comment. Thanks to Prof. Norma Bruce Faculty Emeritus, Ohio State University Libraries, for her creative visualizations.
    Here's a really odd response, showing great narrowness of mind and ignorance of what's on the shelves of bookstores and libraries, from an Ohio State University Professor of English, Kathy Fagan:
      "I would be glad for my kids to read anything. Except maybe books by Anne Coulter." onCampus, Sept. 20, 2007, p. 16
    See? Didn't I tell you about banned books starting in the selection process? I wonder what sort of grades she gives to conservatives. A sample of her poetry

    Labels: , , ,

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    36 Blog Rules to Keep You in Business

    If ou are a corporate blogger or interested in what works in blogsphere, you have Nancy Flynn's excellent book that tells you have far, how much and how deep should you go, and more so what are the boundaries that you should be aware. [Info courtesy: Microsoft Momentum, June 2007: 7]

    BLOG RULES: A Business Guide to Managing Policy, Public Relations, and Legal Issues by Nancy Flynn (AMACOM Books, 2006)
    Here are some rules to keep you and your business in business and out of court.
    Blog Rule #1: The blog is an electronic communications powerhouse.
    Blog Rule #2: Business blogs are not necessary or appropriate for every organization.
    Blog Rule #3: Savvy business owners and executives must learn how to strategically and successfully manage the blogosphere today.
    Blog Rule #4: It’s the casual, conversational, anything-goes nature of the blog that makes it both so appealing to blog writers and readers.
    Blog Rule #5: An organization without an external blog program may risk losing position, market share, reputation, and sales to tech-savvy competitors.
    Blog Rule #6: The strategic management of blogs or any other electronic business communications tool begins with the establishment of written rules and policies governing usage and content.
    Blog Rule #7: A business blog opens the organization up to potential disasters.
    Blog Rule #8: Management, technology, and the legal system have not yet caught up with the potential benefits and risks of business blogging.
    Blog Rule #9: Strategic blog management begins with the establishment of a clear objective.
    Blog Rule #10: Don’t allow IT (or legal, records management, or human resources) to dictate your business blog program.
    Blog Rule #11: Require employees to sign a confidentiality agreement to protect trade secrets and confidential data belonging to the organization, employees, customers, business partners, and other third parties.
    Blog Rule #12: Use discipline to maximize employee compliance with blog rules, policies, and procedures. continue reading Blog Rule # 13 - 36

    From The Critics
    Business Times (New Haven, CT):
    Blog Rules is the one guide readers need to help ensure that their organizations are helped and not hindered by this revolutionary tool.
    Niche Magazine:
    Since the rules about business relationships and blogs can be hazy, Nancy Flynn has written an essential guide..
    Library Journal:
    Flynn's book... is more strictly for CEOs fearful of blogging. [continue reading these critical notes at bn.com]

    Table of Contents (sample, see full list at bn.com)
    Ch. 1 Why blog rules? 3
    Ch. 2 Blogs pose unprecedented risks to business 13
    Ch. 3 Start with a clear objective : why blog? 20
    Ch. 4 Proceed with caution : self-assessment for would-be business bloggers 26
    Ch. 5 Treat blog posts as business records 39

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    GANGA: A Journey Down the Ganges River

    Om Jaya Ganga Mata: Theme music

    PS. This review is not mine.
    Jai Ganga Maatey, by Sardar Khushwant Singh
    The Ganga is 1,516 miles long from its source at Gangotri to the Bay of Bengal. Many of the world�s rivers are much larger and broader, e.g. the Nile, Amazon, Yangtze and Mississippi are more than twice as long. Many are much larger than the Ganga as well and have steamers plying on them. A few are historic, e.g. the Indus from which India derives its name.

    All are loved by people who live along their banks. To the English their biggest river is Father Thames. The Mississippi was immortalised by Paul Robeson singing Ole Man River. But no river in the world has commanded so much worship as the Ganga. She comes from the Milky way through the tresses of Lord Shiva down to the earth. Most Indians revere her as their mother. Even a Muslim like the poet Mohammed Iqbal referred it as the base of Aryan settlement in India:

    Ai aab-e-rood-e-Ganga
    Voh din hai yaad tujh ko
    Utra teyrey kinarey ttha kaarwaan hamaara

    (O ye limpid waters of the Ganga
    Remember you the day
    When our caravan reached your banks
    And settled down to stay.)

    Even a non-believer like me used to make it a point to go to Hardwar once a year to watch the aarti at sunset at Har-ki-Pauri and join the throng in shouting "Jai Ganga Maatey � Victory to thee Mother Ganga."

    There is no logic behind worshiping the Ganga, nor any basis for believing that its waters have healing properties.

    Nevertheless, from times immemorial our rulers, including Muslims, get their drinking water from Hardwar.

    The same water channelised in canals or taps is not sacred; only that brought from Rishikesh in Hardwar passes the test of sanctity.

    It is from that that Kanwarias in their thousands fill their water pots and trudge to distant towns and villages to sell it. People anxious to go to heaven come to die or at least be cremated by the Ganga�s banks. Around Varanasi there is a taxi and rikshaw service to bring corpses from adjacent towns and villages to the Ganga: it is known as the Swarg Mail. Though we worship the Ganga, we rob it by diverting its waters into canals, block its flow by erecting dams, and foul its stream by human excreta and factory effluents. At places you can�t bear the stench it emits. We are that kind of people.

    You can read all about it in Ganga by Julvana Grandall Hollick (Random House). He is columnist and TV film producer. He & his wife did the entire length of the river Alpha to Omega. It makes delightfully informative reading. Source: Deccan Chronicle

    About the book / author:
    Combining travelogue, science, and history, Ganga is a fascinating portrait of a river and a culture. It will show you India as you have never imagined it.

    Julian Crandall Hollick is an award-winning producer and writer of radio documentaries. His programs have aired on NPR, the BBC, and CBC in Canada, and his writing has appeared in publications including Smithsonian and The New Republic. Hollick was described by Peter Jennings as “the person who taught me about Islam,” and by countless Indians as “the man who knows more about India than we Indians” (Radio Midday, Mumbai). Island Press"

    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    Energy-saving Google black screen version - Blackle

    Due to a demand from energy conscious users, Google have created a new black screen version of their site called Blackle on www.blackle.com. If everybody used it instead of the white version, it is estimated that 750 mega watts/hour per year would be saved.

    See also:
  • Blackle.com: Energy Saving Screen.....Bahhhhhhhhh!!!!
    In the spirit of this, CableOrganizer has taken to some additional testing methodologies with regard to the internet. Some of these have some very real world ecological implications. On this occassion, we've taken to getting to the real story behind Blackle.com.

  • Microsoft surface,Flickr and Blackle
  • Friday, August 24, 2007

    How to tell what I am, or What to Write Using a Life Story Template

    Wonder if there is a topic more significant, compelling, or familiar to us than our own life stories as we have lived? Believe it or not, I picked up Victoria Ryce's By me, About me, in a store, and felt that this is a perfect subject that would inspire us to spell many tiny little moments that we have lived.

    Moreover, this book with its templates* to write every little bit, helps ANYONE desirous of doing all-of-the-above. It also helps those who are interested in any of the following areas, such as, developing writing skills, dig the creative insights, externalize the moments to show and tell what you are, in fact. Call it autobiography or showing your true colors, to say: I am real and experienced, as well."

    In short, here is an opportunity. Answer what YOU want to answer using this book's templates. There are 140+ questions at your fingertips.

    *The book is full of templates or blank pages for you to fill, each page offers a question (aka clue to whatever details you could possibly add), such as:
  • My name, or names, and how I came to be called that (in the chapter: Childhood and family adventures)
  • The best boss I ever had and the worst one (in the chapter: Life as an adult)
  • The role spirituality has played in my life (in the chapter: Views of the world)
  • The saddest day in my life (in the chapter: The inner self)...

  • About the author: Victoria Ryce is a caregiver based in Picton, ON. She is also the author of Marketwise
    . And the book By me, About me is published by Raincoast Books--Raincoast Books is the Canadian publisher of the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    Everwood Television Show

    Welcome to the TV.com Blog for Everwood

    From Booklist
    Epstein, author of Crafty Screenwriting (2002), draws on his experiences writing for the television shows Naked Josh and Charlie Jade to create an essential guide for those hoping to break into television writing. Epstein starts with the big picture by examining what great television series have in common: a hook that draws viewers in, compelling characters the audience cares about, and stories that unfold naturally on the small screen and make people want to return to the world of the show every week. From there he gets into the specifics of how to write a good script. Here he tells writers to create a beat sheet--something similar to an outline--of their episode before sitting down to write the script. After offering insightful writing hints and tips on how to write comedy, Epstein walks writers through finding jobs writing for television--and how to get along with everyone from story editors to show runners once one does. Enlightening and straightforward, this is a must for anyone who wants to write for television. Kristine Huntley

    Table of contents
    I : The Hidden Structure of a TV Series 3
    What Makes Great TV? 4
    A Hook 8
    An "4Attractive Fantasy" 11
    Characters We Never Get Tired Of 14
    A Place Where Stories Walk in the Door 28
    Episodic vs. Serial Stories 33
    Demographics and Networks 36
    The Show Bible 38
    2 ° Great Episode Ideas 41
    The Springboard 42
    What Makes a Great Springboard? 46
    How to Come Up with Great Springboards 51
    What Makes a Bad Story idea 56
    Mixing and Matching 62
    Themed Shows 63
    Continue Table of contents

    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    Amazing Pace: Turbo-Charged Business Development

    NB. The following is not about a book with a similar title, Amazing pace : the story of Olympic champion Michael Phelps from Sydney to Athens to Beijing, by Paul McMullen.

    Here we are sailing in a different pace and in a different style, called busienss development. Amazing Pace: Turbo-Charged Business Development
    Dr. Earl R. Smith II, ISBN: 1424186277, 183 pages.

    Following is a description of the book:
    I’ve never met a CEO who was really happy with the way business development was working. They all end up saying the same thing. “Traditional solutions fail to produce expected results while regularly generating unexpected costs. There needs to be a better way.”

    Amazing Pace shows you how to turbo-charge business development. Over decades of experience as a CEO, board member and senior advisor, I have developed a unique approach to turbo-charging business development. It involves: 1) a board of advisors, which is populated by very senior people who are dedicated to driving the top line; 2) a different approach to resourcing and organizing a company’s senior management team; and 3) an approach that focuses on building revenue in large chunks.

    This book will show you how it’s done. It will also help you avoid the pitfalls and leverage the strengths of your company. Read on—this really works!

    Table of Contents
    The Conundrum that is Business Development
    Chapter 1: Five Reasons Why Business Development Is So Difficult To Get Right
    Chapter 2: Seven Reasons Why Advisory Boards Don’t Produce
    Chapter 3: Battle at the Cottage Gate
    Chapter 4: Dysfunctional Advisory Boards – A Family of Problems
    Chapter 5: Advisory Boards as Business Development Engines – The Beginnings
    Advisory Boards
    Chapter 1: Turbocharged Business Development
    Chapter 2: Benefits and Costs
    Chapter 3: John’s Questions – Round Two
    Chapter 4: Change Management
    Planning for Two Journeys
    Chapter 1: Change Management
    Chapter 2: Board Design and Population
    A Working Board
    Chapter 1: The First Board Meeting
    Chapter 2: Conflict, Renegotiation and Removal
    Chapter 3: First Blood
    On Leadership
    Chapter 1: Leadership That Empowers – The Fire of the Mind
    Chapter 2: Leadership that Limits - The ‘Completeness Doctrine’
    Chapter 3: A Balanced Senior Management Team
    Managing Mt. Rushmore
    Chapter 1: Anniversary
    Chapter 2: Assessing the Impact
    Final Thoughts
    Contact Information

    Like this book? Send an Electronic Postcard Now!

    Shelf Location:
    Business > Industry
    Economics > Business and Industry
    Finance > Business and Industry
    Business > Management

    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Best Practices in Book Marketing

    Interesting insight and Web sight of authors to promote books:

    http://bighominid.blogspot.com Water from a Skull
    Web Analytics: An Hour A Day

    http://multifaith.blogspot.com Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspectives

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    Wiki Demystified - Plus Google and Minus Google, and No Google

    Two stories motivated this post:

  • Search Google without wikipedia - a Firefox search plugin

  • Recently there has been quite a stir within the SEO community with people seeing a huge dominance of wikipedia in the Google search results (Graywolf has been one of the more vocal critics recently with a whole load of posts - although he’s been writing about it for some time).

    But don’t just take Greywolf’s word for it - there’s plenty of articles about this, most notably recently the google cache wrote about how 96.6% of wikipedia articles rank in the top 10 of google.

    It has been noticed outside the world of SEO as well - PR Blogger has just written an analysis of Fortune 100 companies’ wikipedia pages.

  • Yahoo gets upper hand over Google
    "Larry Freed, president of Foresee Results which did the survey for the university, pointed out that users don't see anything different in Google's portal from what they saw three years ago. But Yahoo has refurbished its portal and gained in points." More on this Yahoo! Overtakes Google in Latest American Customer Satisfaction Index survey

    My 2 cents:
    The above search result, limiting search, is and was a common practice already and offered by Google. What's new that adds with a plugin? I don't know.

    FYI. Search Google with a minus sign (or go to advance search feature and select: without the words), and see the results for: medicine -wiki, -wikipediahere and here for medicine here (without any search restrictions)

  • Wikipedia edits

    There was significant interest in our piece yesterday on the online tool that shows the identity of organisations where employees have changed Wikipedia pages.

    The focus of the story was changes the CIA had made to pages, but other organisations - including The Vatican, the US Democratic Party and US company Diebold - didn’t escape our attention.

  • New tool exposes self-edits in Wikipedia
    A new tool can help trace anonymous Wikipedia edits -- and improve the reliability of the online encyclopedia.

    DUSSELDORF, GERMANY (08/16/2007) - A word of caution about editing entries "anonymously" in Wikipedia: a tool has been developed that can show who made the changes.

  • Organizational Anonymous Editing of the Wikipedia for Public Relations Benefits

    My 2 cents:
    Does identifying the organization or collective group of people editing it (more so do that without expertise), doesn't increase or decrease the value of tool. And comparing this Wiki, with Enclyclopedia Britannica has already been dealt in the media: Wikipedia study 'fatally flawed'

  • How To Find Sites Faster Online Without Using Google by Rohit Bhargava

    See also my previous posts:
  • Top 7 Alternatives to Wikipedia
  • 'Wiki' Wins Place in Oxford English Dictionary
  • Wikipedia and Academia Hit News Headlines Again
  • Is this yet another Wiki in Library and Information Science
  • Researchers Turn Web Blather to Books

    Labels: , , , ,

  • Thursday, August 02, 2007

    Editorial: Ten Years of Reviewing the Web, 1997–2007

    Editor and Publisher IRVING E. ROCKWOOD

    PS. This is not a review from me.

    CHOICE August 2007
    Web X

    Nine years ago this month, Choice published its first issue devoted to the Web. That August 1997 special issue, Web I, was a milestone in many ways. It contained Choice’s first Web reviews, some 190 of them. It was, so far as we can tell, Choice’s first August issue. And to our subscribers, who received twelve instead of eleven issues (July-August is combined), it was an example of a lagniappe, that delightful New Orleans practice of rewarding one’s customers by giving them a little something extra.

    That little something extra has evolved over the years into something a bit larger. Today’s Web issue is hard to distinguish from a regular installment of the magazine. In fact, with 756 reviews and an expanded set of editorial features that includes Choice’s first ever Outstanding Academic Web Site list (page 68)—not to mention Laura Cohen’s bibliographic essay “Blogs in Academia: A Resource Guide”(page 7), the 2006 edition of Susanne Bjorner’s “Buying Guide: Online Resources for Academic Libraries,” and “Recent & Forthcoming Internet Publications, 2006-2007” (page 17)—Web X is actually one of this year’s largest issues.

    But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Web X is that it exists at all. That wasn’t something those of us who were present at the creation of Web I ever anticipated. Web I, we thought, was a one-time special production whose primary purpose was to announce that Choice was now reviewing the Web. continue reading

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    How Doctors Think by Jerome E. Groopman

    Info courtesy: Ricklibrarian and a suggestion: "Groopman's book is already very popular. Every library should have it."

    From Publishers Weekly
    Starred Review. SignatureReviewed by Perri Klass:
    Every reflective doctor will learn from this book—and every prospective patient will find thoughtful advice for communicating successfully in the medical setting and getting better care.Many of the physicians Dr. Groopman writes about are visionaries and heroes; their diagnostic and therapeutic triumphs are astounding. And these are the doctors who are, like the author, willing to anatomize their own serious errors.

    See also:
  • Information Seeking Behavior of the Believers
  • Information Seeking Behavior - Quote of the day
  • Words of Wisdom from Technology Guru Bill Thompson
  • Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Harry Potter book pages found online

    Kevin Griffin, CanWest News Service
    Published: Monday, July 16, 2007
    A 33-year-old Vancouverite has downloaded what appears to be about 60 per cent of the seventh and final Harry Potter book — even though the children’s novel isn’t supposed to be officially released until midnight Saturday. continue reading

    See also:
  • Read the review of the new "Potter" movie
  • Much more @ Google's

  • Saturday, July 14, 2007

    Interfaith Minister's Manual

    About the bookThis book is a labor of love. When I was ordained as an interfaith minister, I looked for a minister's manual which would have ceremonies and prayers appropriate for people who had been raised with a particular religious background but who now did not want to be affiliated with any religious organization. Initially the only purpose for doing this was for my own ministry but there is an obvious need for a single manual in which the major religions (Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Yogi, and Native Medicine people) are represented. This book is my effort and has been very well received. It is now in its fourth edition [source: Yahoo! shopping see also: Angela Plum's home page]
    What do others say:
    Other Christian traditions are ignored. The complete lack of anything from the Anglican/Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, for example, seems a glaring omission.

    Non-Christian traditions comprise perhaps 10-15% of the book. There are brief descriptions of some Jewish, Buddhist, and Islamic holy days, two paragraphs from an Aztec baptism, the traditional Jewish prayers for the dead, a description of Kwanzaa, and two Native American prayers. That's about it, except for some very brief references in the definitions section.

    If you're looking for a fusion of New Age and Catholic Christianity, this might be the book for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere. I was truly disappointed that this book did not live up to its "Interfaith" title or the positive reviews given by others. source: Andrew Shults (Chicago, IL USA)

  • Much more on Interfaith Dialog
  • A section of my book for an article on interfaith dialogue:
    So much of visual literary genre, so little time to categorize it
  • Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Great minds like a think: “Hey, vertical and horizontal! You ‘da mensch!”

    Googling for vertical and horizontal worship (religious / spiritual practices) I came across the following comment by a Rabbi and in a broader discussion on if “Abraham” and “Brahman” might be etymologically related:
    "... the first five commandments have to do with man’s relationship to God, while the second five govern man’s relationship to man. quoted and posted by SC&A @ Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

    see also:
  • SPIRITUAL GEOGRAPHY: The Horizontal and Vertical Communities of our Dual Citizenship
  • Vertical and tacit: Multifaith and Knowledge Management in Perspective
  • Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means
  • Basic duties of the Muslim… by Muzzamil Siddiqi [with reference to relationship with God and and people-to-people]
  • Saturday, July 07, 2007

    Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means

    by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, the nation's foremost expert in the new science of networks,
    Linked: Networks from Biology to the World Wide Web
    Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, professor, physics, Notre Dame @ WGBH Forum Network

    Best comment @ Amazon:
    Cotton Candy--Lots of Air, Some Sugar, No Bibliography, June 3, 2002
    By Robert D. Steele (Oakton, VA United States)
    "I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it is coherent, thoughtful, and tells a story about the emerging science of networks that anyone, who can read, can understand. This is a non-trivial accomplishment, so 4 stars.
    However, the book is also--being brilliantly designed to be understood by the lowest common denominator, an undergraduate--somewhat shallow and empty.... especially when compared with Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science", 1197 pages not counting the index, which is at the other extreme.
    Although there are good notes, there is no bibliography, and the author fails to use network methodology to illustrate and document the emerging literature on networks--called citation analysis, this would have been a superb appendix to the book that would have taken it up a notch in utility."

    From Publishers Weekly
    "Information, disease, knowledge and just about everything else is disseminated through a complex series of networks made up of interconnected hubs, argues University of Notre Dame physics professor Barabasi. These networks are replicated in every facet of human life: "There is a path between any two neurons in our brain, between any two companies in the world, between any two chemicals in our body. Nothing is excluded from this highly interconnected web of life." In accessible prose, Barabasi guides readers through the mathematical foundation of these networks. He shows how they operate on the Power Law, the notion that "a few large events carry most of the action." The Web, for example, is "dominated by a few very highly connected nodes, or hubs... such as Yahoo! or Amazon.com." Barabasi notes that "the fittest node will inevitably grow to become the biggest hub."

    see also:
  • Business : Your Network - What type is it?
    by Ellis Pratt (Technical Authors) on 16-Jul-05 10:39pm
  • Monday, July 02, 2007

    If You Build It . . .Ontario's Electronic Toll Highway

    [PS. This review is not from my desktop]
    "If you build It . . ." charts the history of Ontario’s Highway 407, the world’s most technologically advanced toll highway, from its development as a toll road in the early 1990s, through construction and operation by a crown corporation, to its subsequent privatization in 1999 by means of a 99-year lease and its performance thereafter..." continue reading

    See also:
  • A review at InterGovWorld Blogs
    About the Authors: Chandran Mylvaganam & Sandford Borins
    To contact the authors: Chandran Mylvaganam: chandran@chartermi.net & Sandford Borins: borins@utsc.utoronto.ca.
  • Saturday, June 23, 2007


    NB. Beware: This is a zone you must enter ONLY if you want a critiq / deconstruction of your mindmap as a citizen of the blogosphere.


    Better: Comments
    Up to date: Regularly
    Bad: Post dated: Posted by blogger at 6/30/2007 [although the calendar shows it is posted around 20th June]
    Competitive intelligence: folows good practice [I give a three star to this Blog] -- see other critiq blogs:
  • Zaib Kaleem's Blog Review Series
  • XOM Website Reviews
  • Between Friends....
  • The Blogger Review
  • A Blog for Bloggers - Blog Directories Reviews
  • Bestest Blog of All-Time
  • Famous Blogs - Blog Of The Day Awards - Top Blog Awards - 2007 Weblog Awards
  • Share The Love Blog Awards
  • Seventh Annual Weblog Awards

    See also my previous blog posts:
  • Reviewing a blog - benchmarks?
  • Visualizing Comments on Blogs
  • Visualizing Traffic At My Blog Via Mapping The Pathways
  • Blog As A Teaching Tool
  • A Visible Pathfinder for Increasing Blog Traffic in 2007
  • Blog: Vanity Presses or Archives of Human Thought
  • An Army of Davids - It is All About Blogs and Infostructure
  • Friday, June 08, 2007

    Top 7 Alternatives to Wikipedia

    [NB. This is not a review or view from my Desktop. This is courtesy: Jimmy Atkinson]

    Published on Thursday 7th of June, 2007

    Touting itself as "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", it's no wonder that Wikipedia has garnered so much bad press lately. After all, it is hard to imagine that millions of anonymous users could accurately maintain a factual and unbiased living encyclopedia. Wikipedia is a non-profit site that is policed by hundreds of volunteers, yet very few of these volunteers have the experience and knowledge of a professional writer/editor. A cultural bias has seemed to have washed over many entries on the site, as general consensus replaces cold, hard facts. There is also a matter of vandalism, which the site is susceptible to. These problems, coupled with the almost obsessive behavior of many of the volunteers (try placing an external link on the site without having it removed), have led people to other sources for information. If you are looking for a different kind of online encyclopedia, try the seven alternatives to Wikipedia listed below. Read the full article
    1. Scholarpedia
    2. Citizendium
    3. Encyclopedia Britannica Online
    4. MSN Encarta
    5. Infoplease
    6. Conservapedia
    7. Uncyclopedia

    What do others say about an alternative to Wiki
    Then the question remains:
  • Can we compare oranges and apples?
  • Can we compare a fee-based product (safe and authoritative) with a freebie (free, almost close to being unauthoritative)
  • Is there an equation in an (open source) document with what comes in a edited and propreitary protected information service?

    See also related posts from my Blog:
  • Wikipedia and Academia Hit News Headlines Again
  • Is this yet another Wiki in Library and Information Science
  • Researchers Turn Web Blather to Books
  • Saturday, May 26, 2007

    Can Internet run your life? Re-Mind

    "Don’t take it personally, Mark Lawson says, "A speech by the chief executive of Google raised the possibility that websites will soon know enough about users to suggest which job to apply for or where to go the following day...

    "But (this is) based on the assumption that the user would take the advice. How many of us refuse on principle to buy any book recommended by an online retail site…?" continue reading

    See related posts from my blogs:
  • Disconnects Between Library Culture and Millennial Generation Values
  • Google to Digitize 8,00,000 Books at Mysore University
  • Add Sense to your AdSense: Visualizing the Return on Investment?
  • Wheels for Google, Google on Wheels
  • Google Trend - Another Way to Visualize the Blogosphere
  • Saturday, May 05, 2007

    So much of visual literary genre, so little time to categorize it

    Religion and Film Intro

    Religion in film

    Other than traditionally known genre (prose, poetry, fiction, etc.), literature continuously evolves in different dimensions, and hence pop up new genre. Visual literary genre, as some have called it, is yet to become fashionable in the literary circles. Until then, whatever appears in the following themes will wait for an umbrella term:

  • Religion and Film with special contributions from scholars such as, Anton Karl Kozlovic
  • Esotericism in popular culture
  • Religion and infotainment in South Indian literature with special contributions of U.R. Ananthamurthy
  • Qawwali (mystical songs) in popular culture, with a new interface given by Isaac Sequeira in his book: Popular Culture: East and West, etc.

    This just in: BrainPOP Adds “Arts & Music”
    Yahoo untangles licensing web for lyrics service Antony Bruno, Sat May 5, 2007, DENVER (Reuters/Billboard) A new music lyrics service launched by Yahoo illustrates the potential and the challenges of integrating lyrics into digital music products today. File photo shows the letter from the GPO (General Post Office) demanding settlement of an unpaid 'radiophone' bill on the back of which John Lennon wrote the lyrics for the Beatles song 'I'm Only Sleeping', is demonstrated by a porter at Christie's auctioneers in London September 28, 2005. (Stephen Hird/Reuters)

    What's in a name, anyways. I find the work of Anton Karl Kozlovic so much in the field of visual literary genre. For a list of his recent publications click here.

    A word about categories and classification of this genre. Library of Congress uses categories (aka subject heading), such as, Religion and literature, Motion pictures Religious aspects, Religion in motion pictures, Religious films, etc.. Moreover, to catalog and categorize a religious publication about online media (such Cyber worship, guide to religions online), Library of Congress has a single subject representation, and that is, Religions--Computer network resources. The organization of this knowledge is, evidently, long overdue and probably there is no time for this activity. Alternative descriptions for the field of religion-and-film (aka sacred cinema) are spiritual cinema, holy film, cinematic theology, cinematheology, theo-film, celluloid religion, film-and-faith, film-faith dialogue) [descriptions courtesy: Anton Kozlovic].

    Back to Anton Kozlovic's work, I find his visualizations are embedded with analysis, as well as, synthesis. Precisely, what appealed me was his scholarly essay oriented towards building an understanding of diversity and accommodation in today's multicultural and multifaith societies:

  • Consequence #1 - Nothing Happened: Real or Imagined?
  • Consequence #2 - Understanding the Other and the Dialogic Process
  • Consequence #3 - Insightfulness into One’s Own Faith and Sharing it with Coreligionists
  • Consequence #4 - Tolerance and an Increase in the Public Good
  • Consequence #5 - Conversion: How to Ameliorate the Fear?
  • Consequence #6 - Frustration: Suppressed Desire?
  • Consequence #7 - Defection and Beyond: Confirmation of the Worst?

    These seven serve also as taxonomy of the interfaith dialog. And for this analytical article, "Seven logical consequences of interreligious dialoguing" see my book: Mohamed Taher Cyber worship in multifaith perspectives (pp. 188-204). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. [see also this book discussed in the media]

    I asked him to say five things that people don't know about him. The following is what he has to say:

    1. My mother was an Australian country girl (Murray Bridge, South Australia) who left home for the big city (Adelaide) to work as a shop assistant when her Norwegian father and Australian mother died during her teens. My father was an unskilled European migrant (Koper, Slovenia, Yugoslavia) who left home for a better life overseas when his father took him to a cross road and told him to pick a direction, escape and get a life. Given the choice of migrating to Argentina or Australia he asked which was the furtherest away from the war and he ended up in Oz, the land down under, whereupon he was immediately captured by love and got married. Both my parents never completed their basic schooling and saw little value in academic education. My mother wanted grand children (and knitted little booties which she left strategically lying around the house to remind me) whilst my father wanted me to get a trade and a government job as soon as possible, and so he kicked me out of 4th year high school (called Leaving) to start an apprenticeship as an electrician. I wanted to stay in school longer and go to university but my boiler attendant-cum-drain layer father stopped me by saying: “University is for smart people, so why do you want to go there?”

    2. Emotionally crushed, I subsequently won an apprenticeship with the Electricity Trust of South Australia (ETSA), one of 28 out of 1,400 applicants, which made my parents very proud, with my mother counting the board money before I even got my first pay packet! I dutifully did it for 4 years, graduated and worked as an A-class tradesman for 1 year whilst also attending night school to study radio servicing, motor mechanics, supervision, personnel management and public administration before deciding that I really was a nerd and wanted to die a university educated man. At work one dreary day, and at a time when talking about religion and politics was forbidden, I was mentally bored whilst reconditioning fuses and had an imaginary conversation with my future son. Yes, I did say I was bored! During that mental conversation, I was arguing why he should go to university and offered up all my best arguments when this “son” suddenly said: “If it’s so bloody good dad, why didn’t you go to university yourself!” I was gob-smacked and decided then and there to practise what I peached. (Whether this “son” was God, an angel, a guardian spirit, part of a Jungian archetype or my Freudian subconscious, I leave it up to you to decide). So, I left my secure government job, to the dismay of both parents, went back to high school and did my 5th year (called Matriculation) as a mature age student. Amazingly, I passed and was accepted into The University of Adelaide to do a BA studying psychology, anthropology and politics (religion studies was forbidden by university statue and it required me to study at another tertiary institution, which I did). All of this success was accompanied by the further dismay of my parents, who hoped I’d work it out my system, become “normal” again and would return to my electrician job. No such luck for them. During my university years as the black sheep of the family (“He wants to study instead of going to discos, how sick is he?”), I worked intermittently as a drain layer’s assistant digging trenches for my father to pay my board and keep the snide remarks of relatives at bay (e.g., “What’s wrong with you son?, Why doesn’t he want to work?”).

    3. Many years, trials and tribulations later, with bulging biceps and ten degrees, my PhD on the biblical cinema of Cecil B. DeMille was submitted, whilst simultaneously establishing myself as an international scholar of academic articles (approx. 80 publications in 50 different journals in over 10 different countries—see below). I specialised in the areas of Religion-and-Film, Cecil B. DeMille Studies, Interreligious Dialogue, Computer Films, Popular Culture, Philosophy and the New Age. I plan to publish many more articles and a succession of books in these areas before old age claims me and my mind. In short, I had pursued my father’s dream (i.e., a tradesman with a government job) and then I pursued my own dream (i.e., academic success), interrupted by a two year stint as a 24/7 carer for my dying father and blind, invalid mother. Regrettably, both parents died before seeing my full accomplishments but at least I got my wish and can now die happily myself, preferably sometime way off into the future.

    4. I love popular films more than opera/theatre/dance, philosophical debate more than sport, small dogs more than the race track, the gym more than smoking, spring water more than booze and will probably die because some beer swilling hoon hits me with his car as he speeds to his next foot match whilst I’m walking my dog to the local shop to get some spring water and a DVD.

    5. I’m a big science fiction fan and love all the classic movies (e.g., The Day the Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, The Incredible shrinking Man) and TV series (e.g., Star Trek, Dr. Who, Stargate). In the future, I plan to publish more articles and books in this area, most probably highlighting the innumerable religious subtexts hidden within these ostensibly secular films, whilst simultaneously hoping that my many relatives will have finally forgot that I used to be a tradesman and stop asking me to dig trenches or fix their lights and power outlets for free (i.e., love-jobs; because “you love me”)!

    --- End of the Five things ---
    See also:
  • RELIGION & CONTEMPORARY FILM - Course Outline @ American Academy of Religion
  • Certificate Course in Cultural Analysis The course is of interest to students of Literature, History, Sociology, Journalism and Communicative English (with a focus on Christian perspectives)
  • Seamless Structured Semantic Web -Will Tags, Clouds, Ontologies, Taxonomies, and Facet Analysis help?
  • The Souls of Superheroes - Faithwise Review of the Week
  • Friday, May 04, 2007

    Google Books: Whats Not to Like?

    AHA Blog
    April 30, 2007
    Google Books: Whats Not to Like?
    By Robert Townsend
    "The Google Books project promises to open up a vast amount of older literature, but a closer look at the material on the site raises real worries about how well it can fulfill that promise and what its real objectives might be.... "

    contents include:
    Poor Scan Quality ...
    Faulty Metadata ...
    Truncated Public Domain ...

    + comments by academics, bloggers, historians, etc.
    continue reading

    PS. This is not from my desktop. Courtesy: Middle East Librarians Assn List: melanet-l@cornell.edu

    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    'Wiki' Wins Place in Oxford English Dictionary

    'Wiki' finally legit, says OED
    Gregg Keizer, InfoWorld
    Six years after Wikipedia.org debuted, editors at the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) have finally deigned to add the word "wiki" to the OED's online version.
    The term joined a handful of other technology-related entries added to the online OED as part of the dictionary's quarterly update. Also added: "Infobahn," "malware," "undelete" and "virtualize." Continue reading
    See also:

  • 'Wiki' is Now an English Word, Techtree News Staff

    Previous posts from my Blog:
  • Wikipedia and Academia Hit News Headlines Again
  • Is this yet another Wiki in Library and Information Science

    NB. This is not a review from my desktop.
  • Wednesday, March 28, 2007


    P.S This is not a review from my desktop. This review is courtesy: Filipina Librarian in the Land Down Under. As far as I see, this is about a new book and how a librarian is reading between the shelf.

    Out Front with Stephen Abram: A Guide for Information Leaders, by Judith A. Siess and Jonathan Lorig, ALA Editions.

    "This is what I can say of Stephen Abram's book Out Front with Stephen Abram: A Guide for Information Leaders (Chicago : ALA, 2007). I have just finished cataloging the book and intended to read it later but when I started reading the first article I just couldn't stop. (Frankly, for the first time I actually hoped I would miss my train on my way home home so I can read more but I arrived a couple of minutes early at the train station. However, I made use of the train ride and was able to finish the book in time for me to get off the train.)" continue reading the comments

    Previous posts from my blog:
  • Leadership Basics for Librarians and Information Professionals
  • SLA Leadership Summit 2007
  • Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Blooker prize honours best blogs

    PS. This is not from my desktop [Info Courtesy: Thadakamalla Sujatha Rao @ Auckland City Libraries]

    BBC News, 13 March 2007, 15:06 GMT
    The short-list for a literary prize aimed at honouring the best books based on blogs has been announced.
    Among the 15 short-listed "blooks" is one which claims to have invented a new genre of fiction.
    Last year's winning blook - Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously - has now sold over 100,000 copies and is being made into a film.
    The prize aims to encourage cutting-edge literature, more of which is beginning life in the blogosphere.
    "Blooks are the latest landmark in the history of books," said Bob Young of Lulu, the self-publishing website which sponsors the prize.

    Well-known blogs that have become books include The Devil Wears Prada and Belle de Jour: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call-Girl.

    Continue reading

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Health Information and Libraries Journal 24:1 (March 2007)

    P.S. This is not a review, and not from my desk.

    The latest edition of the Health Information and Libraries Journal 24:1 (March 2007) is now available. It has some interesting papers including:

    The emerging Web2.0 social software: an enabling suite of sociable technologies in health and health care education
    Maged N. Kamel Boulos, Steve Wheeler
    Effectiveness of information skills training and mediated searching: qualitative results from the EMPIRIC project
    Alison Brettle, Claire Hulme, Paula Ormandy

    continue reading @ Informaticopia

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Reviewing a blog - benchmarks?

    What is important in a blog's review?
    Is it layout, design, format, context, content, or what else?

    A techie would say, a blog is nothing but a Website. So, the review of a blog, is just like reviewing a website.
    But then the techie may have a second thought, and might say 'wait a minute.' A Website most of the time constitutes distinct components, such as, (a) Web pages, (b) client based or server based content, and c) most important it is a showcase for a business. Whereas, a blog is, by and large, is not a site to host, store, and be-all or end-all in Web architecture. Some may be specific purpose blogs, but general use of the term blog is more with an immediate goal (see e.g., How To Build A Blog Empire).
    Aha, then a blog is in this sense a window, and the Website is most of the time the main door, if not the main house for a business.
    So, what makes a review of a blog different. Let's leave this for another post.
    Here, let us look at how bloggers review a blog. For instance, @ Blog About Your Blog, the description of a blog includes: Layout, Content, Suggestions. A quick glance at these details gives a better picture:

    Great header at the top, as the tagline says “the perfect blend of good and evil”. The template is a darker theme, but it works. Simple but decent. No ad placement or huge banners to take away from the content. You do see a somewhat large picture of the author, I might make it a tad smaller.

    What I like everytime I visit this blog is the number of comments, it’s ridiculous. 39 on some, 42 on another, heres 53! It’s obviously a personal blog so there should be a few more comments than other blogs, but that’s still really good. She must have a nice broad readership. It gives the blog other story to read basically. First the article, then the comments.

    With a blog as big as this one, she should make it easier to find certain posts or topics. Categories or a search bar would definitely help that. Read the complete review

    Another sample Blog Review: by Zaib Kaleem
    This time around my review is for NotSoBoringLife.com. First comment..great domain name…I’m surprised it wasn’t taken already. As always, I navigated to the “About Me” page first to learn more about Nathan Metzger. Right off the bat, Nathan has me interested in learning more about how to lead “a not-so-boring life”. Like him, I’m married with two kids and sometimes things get a little less than exciting. I’m always looking to shake things up…..”shark wrestling” sounds a little extreme for my angling skills but I’m definitely overdue for a game of paintball. Read the complete review

    My own two cents in reviewing a blog (and my own blog, with malice towards none):
    Details of my blog: Multifaith Information Gateway
    Content: general coverage of faithwise information. Meant to promote religious tolerance in a multicultural and multifaith society.
    Strength is in its unique contribution: This blog founded the first ever Multifaith Hall of Fame This Hall has received 14 comments from visitors.
    Weakness: The blog on the whole is too general. Hence, lacks focus and depth.
    User comments (general): very few.
    http://multifaith.blogspot.com/2006/06/multifaith-hall-of-fame-of-21st.html: May 2006; total visitors todate, Bravenet counter is 3729.
    Indexed (cited) in:
    Spirit And Sky Definitive Spiritual Directory
    Successful Blog: SOB A-Z Directory
    All Things Spiritual Directory
    LS Blogs Directory

    P.S. The question then remains, what makes a blog, and what are the components that are a) essential and b) that are recommended?

    NB. This question is not so simple, or simply about description of what are the itmes in a blog that are usable / useful (see such a catalog) or list of contents that make a blog. Furthermore, neither this is a question about functionality of a blog; nor about diffrent types of blogs; see similar views; and much more; and also CRITIQUE MY BLOG!

    Any comments?

    Related posts from my desktop:
  • The real secret to a successful blog/book/business...
  • Citing a Blog, Wiki - Style for bibliographic notes and references Blog As A Teaching Tool
  • Add a little more random to your product
  • A Visible Pathfinder for Increasing Blog Traffic
  • Visualizing Comments on Blogs
  • 25 Basic Styles of Blogging
  • Thursday, February 22, 2007

    The real secret to a successful blog/book/business...

    PS. This is not from my desktop
    "For the last three years, Bert and I have tried to explain the "secret" to the success of the Head First books. We've tried to explain the "secret" to how a little non-news, non-scandal blog could land in the Technorati Top 100. We've tried to explain the "secret" to why Javaranch is one of the largest, most active, and well-loved developer communities on the internet. One big clue: we're not that talented. There is a secret, yet, but it's mostly a if-WE-can-do-it-ANYONE-can-do-it thing."

  • Success no longer has to be a meritocracy (or advertocracy), today it's just as much a loveocracy. Full article
  • Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Cybersins and Digital Good Deeds

    Yet another book, probably fitting in the field of Cyber Worship, Cyber Religion, online religion, religion online, and Digital religion. It is, nevertheless, about ethics, morals, fraud, social networking, technology, so on and so forth.
    PS. This review is not from my desktop.
  • Cybersins and Digital Good Deeds: A Book About Technology and Ethics,
    by Mary Ann Bell, EdD, MLS, BA, Bobby Ezell, MEd, EdD, and James L. Van Roekel, MLS, MA (Haworth Press, 2007) Contents, About the book.

  • Review:
    “EXPLAINS IN LAYMAN'S TERMS THE FAMILIAR AND UNFAMILIAR LANGUAGE OF TECHNOLOGY USE, AND OFFERS INSIGHT INTO THE POSITIVE AND/OR NEGATIVE IMPACT OF THAT USE. Technology opens up such a vast global arena for communication, entertainment, shopping, learning, the same activities we have always done, but with the potential to impact so many more people than ever before. Cybersins and Digital Good Deeds ALERTS READERS TO THE VALUE OR THREAT OF TECHNOLOGY USE AND MISUSE THAT CAN AFFECT US ALL.”
    -- Jan Robin, MEd, BS, Instructional Technology Specialist, Conroe Independent School District more reviews

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    'We brown people are a threat'

    NB. This comment, about a book by a South Indian.

    Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh
    Publishers Weekly : In this revealing study of a Southside Chicago neighborhood, sociologist Venkatesh opens a window on how the poor live. see more reviews @ Amazon And see Table of Contents @ Barnesandnoble.com
    See cataloging information at Library of Congress and World Catalog of libraries
    Following comments, and image: Courtesy Rediff.com India Limited. January 11, 2007
    There are areas in Chicago like Marquis Park, a black neighbourhood, which some people say are not safe to walk into even on a bright summer's day.
    But Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, who has spent many days this past decade in several desperately poor and dangerous black neighbourhoods in Chicago, would not stay away even at night.

    Over six years ago, Venkatesh who grew up in the affluent Orange County area in California, put together his understanding of an endangered community in a book, American Project: The Rise and Fall of Modern Ghetto.

    The 40-year-old professor of sociology and African-American studies at Columbia University, New York, has now published another book, Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor.

    In his first book, Venkatesh, who earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1997 and went on to do another degree at Harvard, revealed a long-drawn struggle in a Chicago ghetto to overcome crime, drug abuse, rape and adultery.

    In the new book, he writes about the role of the underground economy in an American neighborhood. While he provides detailed stories about the dynamics of the alternative economy, he also ruminates about the long-term harm such an institution does to the community.

    The author and sociologist spoke recently to Rediff India Abroad Managing Editor (Features) Arthur J Pais.
    Photograph: Paresh Gandhi

    My 2 cents:
    This book both by its content and context is a good lead as an eye opener. It is, in shot, visualizing--a system of living off the books that is daily life in the ghetto--and that which was, hitherto, invisible to most of the insiders.

    Technorati Tags: Sudhir Alladi