"Adopt An Author" Program

Scot Kamins kamins at dogeared.com
Tue Oct 25 16:55:22 EDT 2005


Dogeared database pages have become a lot more information-rich than  
they once were. For any given page you'll find one or more of the  
following seven categories:

DJ image: At least one -- usually more -- DJ image per title
Bio icon: Link to a biography about the author
Info Icon: Information about a title as it relates to the Modern Library
Content Icons: Link to complete content of a title in electronic form
ToC Icons: Table of contents for anthologies, short stories, essay  
      with or without links to full content for one or more entries
Metacontent icon: link to information about the contents of a title
DJ Blurb Icon: Blurbs from the panels and flaps of dust jackets

With around 435 authors and around 800 separate titles, and with  
Internet sources appearing and disappearing with breakneck speed,  
keeping the database complete, accurate, and with all links live is  
quite the job!  In fact, it's too big a job for one guy (i.e. me) to  
handle well.

So I'm proposing an "Adopt An Author" Program. You - or a school-aged  
family member needing to develop Internet searching/research skills -  
pick one author in the Dogeared ML lineup. The job of the author's  
Guardian is to keep the links/images on that page healthy. The  
Guardian's name appears at the bottom of hir author's page just above  
the ML Home icon, in a form something like "Author Guardian: John  
Krygier" perhaps with a link to the "Adopt A Guardian" page  
describing the program and encouraging others to join.

Here's a first pass at a list of complete Guardian duties:

For images: If an image on the Author's page isn't that great, the  
Guardian locates a better one and alerts me to its location. Or the  
Guardian might be on the lookout for missing DJs for that author.

For links: The Guardian makes sure that the current links are active  
and of good quality. If the link is busted, the Author alerts me and  
tries to find a good working link. Or if in the mind of the Guardian  
the link goes to information/content of an inferior quality, s/he  
tries to find better links. And if links are absent (no bio, no  
metacontent, and so on) the Guardian tries to find links.

For DJ blurbs: The Guardian types up DJ blurbs and sends them to me.  
This, of course, assumes that the Guardian has a dust jacketed copy  
of the title in question. If s/he doesn't, s/he doesn't -- and that  
part of the Guardian's duties are deferred until s/he gets a copy, if  

For ToCs: The Guardian types up Tables of Contents as appropriate and  
sends them to me. (A jacketless copy will do for this, although  
matching the date will likely be important since content sometimes  
changed with edition.)

For authors with lots of titles (Faulkner springs to mind),  
Guardianship might be shared.

Of course, everyone is still free to send piecemeal additions to  
Dogeared at any time -- a single DJ, a ToC, a link to missing or  
better metadata, and so on.

Comments? Suggestions? Concerns?

-- Scot Kamins

       `\|||/                     Scot Kamins

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