Out of Print - Home
A Bad Penny
Evan Butterfield
DEC 10, 2012 15:33 PM
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More than 500 years ago (or April of 2010, whichever seems more likely), I started this blog with the big, bold, brilliant idea of keeping it limited to 300 words or less about (and I quote): "The Glamorous and Exciting World of Publishing." Yeah, I talk like that.

The Glamorous and Exciting World of Publishing…and any interesting things going on in CS publications, the wacky shenanigans of the publications staff, vicious gossip about competitors, and occasional prose-poems about how pleasant it is to live in Southern California. And expect a goodly dollop of opinion about copyright, fair use, open access, non-print models, and tech gadgets, because I like that stuff, and it's all relevant to publishing.

I also promised "occasional thoughts, rants, and opinions" updated "unreliably once or twice a week, irregularly, more or less." Apparently the earth opened up and swallowed me on June 1, 2011, which is the date foretold in Mayan prophesy when I would stop posting blogs because some other shiny object caught my attention and I sort of forgot about doing it.

So let's take a quick look at how I did during those 14 brief, glorious months during which Out of Print graced the virtual pages of computer.org, shall we?

I promised 300 words, more or less. I delivered an average of 1,338 words. This suggests that perhaps I underestimated how many words it would reasonably take to clearly and succinctly express my insights about the fascinating minutiae of the publishing world. (It might also suggest that I'm prone to lie, but speaking as a 24 year old prodigy with a great mane of hair cascading over my broad and muscular shoulders, I believe that is not the case.)

I wrote 16 entries in this blog, covering such diverse topics as open access; the general superiority of the Kindle e-reader over any comparable Apple product; the scary possibility that we might leave nothing of our culture behind for future archaeologists but a cloud of electrons; fingerprints on mobile devices; Roger Ebert; video games; and tattoos. Many of those topics had some tangential relationship with publishing, so I think I'm OK there. I'm still disinclined to admire Apple (particularly given what seems to be their current business strategy of suing rather than innovating their way into market dominance). I try not to worry too much about whether or not future generations will be aware that I existed. I'm still a little grease-pot, and Roger Ebert is not only still wrong about video games, he's grudgingly admitted it. While he didn't cite me, I like to think Out of Print changed his mind (but of course I also like to think that I'm responsible for the movement of the tides, for the Earth spinning around the Sun, and for Fruit Loops, so my opinion may be subject to question).

There was a marked lack of shenanigans reported. This is not because the publications staff do not engage in shenanigans, but more likely because no one tells me about such things when they happen. Prose-poems were, mercifully, in short supply (although I did write a poem).

Out of Print has been viewed 30,999 times. I like to think that that's 31,000 individuals who find my opinions so compelling that they have to seek me out on the web. More likely it's three people with a lot of time on their hands. Or possibly just me, running up the numbers.

In any case, due to popular demand — or, rather, the Marketing & Sales Director at the Computer Society making an ill-considered suggestion that maybe I might want to post something more frequently than once every fifteen months — I'm happy to announce the triumphant return of Out of Print.

Please hold your applause until the end.

This time I make no promises regarding brevity (this entry, for instance, is already pushing well past 600 words, none of which really matter very much except for the last two, which you haven't gotten to yet). I will, however, try to be at least generally predictable and post with reasonable regularity.

But this time, it's not just about publishing. Mostly about publishing, probably, but also about a lot of other things that the Computer Society has going on: conferences and events, professional education, new media development, webinars, ComputingNow…the products and services that serve the community of technology leaders (if you read the Computer Society's tagline) or all of humanity (if you read IEEE's). In either case, it's a big job, but somebody has to do it. I guess that's me.

Welcome back.



Evan Butterfield has led the IEEE Computer Society's publications, conferences, and education operations since 2008, in addition to responsibilities for administrative services and the Los Alamitos facility. Previously, he was Vice President of Product Development and Publisher for Kaplan Professional in Chicago, and before that taught undergraduate English courses at George Washington and American University. Butterfield received his JD from DePaul University in Chicago, a master's degree in English and bachelor's degree in history and English at the University of Illinois at Urbana, and a postgraduate certification in educational technology from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. He has written several articles (and co-authored a CS ReadyNote) on copyright law and intellectual property, and his photography has been published and exhibited internationally.

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