Odd, isn’t it? TeleRead is a plan for well-stocked national digital libraries, which, among other things, would offer fixed links and reliable archiving so that e-books and other digital items would be safe. And yet here I am experimenting with that most ephemeral medium, a Web log. Actually, however, the two concepts go hand in hand. The blog world would be better off if people could reliably point to ebooks and other items and know that the links would keep working. In fact, even blogs have provisions for archiving. While not as permanent as the library variety, this archiving shows an understanding of the needs of ordinary mortals. Perhaps someday, like photos, blogs will be saved for future generations.

Addendum inserted June 8, 2002: Actually this is hardly my first brush with blogging-style activities. Come to think of it, when Jim Fallows and I did Fallows Central, started in 1996, we offered bloggish items. The site was even called “The Works and Links of James Fallows.” Now the media are finally catching on about the importance of the genre.

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David Rothman is the founder and publisher of the TeleRead e-book site and cofounder of LibraryCity.org. He is also author of The Solomon Scandals novel and six tech-related books on topics ranging from the Internet to laptops. Passionate on digital divide issues, he is now pushing for the creation of a national digital library endowment.


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