Library Juice 5:22 - June 13, 2002

So what's up with Library Juice?

You may have asked yourself this question recently if you are used to
seeing it in your inbox on Thursday mornings. I wish I were able to send
this note out to readers by email, but, unfortunately, due to circumstances
I will explain here, I am not, at least not for a short while. The reason
for this is the first news I have to relate. The second bit of news is a
change is the publication frequency of Library Juice. Starting now,
Library Juice will be a biweekly publication, instead of a weekly. (Off
weeks will occasionally see special issues or notes like this one.)

First, the drama with my ISP. I have no problem naming names. My ISP for
web hosting for the last couple of years has been a company called Cedant.
They are based in Davis, California. I have been very happy with them as a
web host. There have never been any problems, the services that have been
available to me have been more than adequate, and the support has been
excellent. By doing traceroutes I was able to discover that Cedant used
a company called Alabanza, located in Maryland, for their datacenter. I
looked up Alabanza and found out that they supply web hosting for web
hosting companies! They supply the whole package - the server space, the
billing software, the account management software that customers use;
everything. It almost seems as if there are multitudes of web hosting
companies all providing the same product - Alabanza with different
branding. I was perfectly happy with this, especially since Alabanza
doesn't sell web space directly to the public. They are strictly B-to-B.

Well, at the end of May things started to get screwy. The first thing I
noticed was that reverted to the state it had been in the week
before. The Library Juice homepage showed the previous week's issue. I
checked and found all of the updates I had made in the previous week to
pages on were no longer on the server. I did some further
checking and found that the directory structure in my account had been
changed around. Further checking brought the really bad news: I no longer
had access to the email distribution system I use to send out Library
Juice, as well as to provide listserv-like service to a few groups I'm
involved with. A quick traceroute check showed that Cedant was no longer
using Alabanza. The new domain is on the web leads to a
company called, which provides web hosting to individuals as well
as a service to web hosting companies that is similar (but apparently not
equal) to Alabanza.

I wrote to my friendly tech support guy at Cedant, Lowell, who
understandably took a long time to reply. According to him, he is limited
in what he can tell me, but there is potential for a lawsuit between Cedant
and Alabanza, and things heated up to the point where Cedant had to get
their accounts off of Alabanza's servers in a big hurry. As a consequence,
users and tech support people were plopped onto a new system with no
opportunity for training or even sufficient documentation. And it is a
system that apparently doesn't have the bugs worked out. Theoretically, I
have email distribution software at my disposal, but the tech support
people are flummoxed as to how to set it up so that it works with my large
list. It isn't so much that they are incapable as that they are swamped
with requests from 10,000 frustrated users who want their websites to work

I am getting out of that mess. A week ago I found a new web host,, which is an invitation-only, non-commercial server run by a
generous, happy individual. I will have hip librarians Abigail Plumb and
Katia Roberto as server mates. I will be sharing space with the cool kids;
among my neighbors on dangpow will be such bohemian, punk rock type
websites as,,,,,,,,, and All of my files
have been moved over onto the dangpow server. Running the Library Juice
email list will be no problem - majordomo is installed and running. The
holdup is Network Solutions, who are taking their sweet time transfering
the domain name. Until that happens I won't be able to use majordomo to
distribute the email version, because of the way we are getting the list
set up.

So, I think that should explain why is limping along at the
moment, though it would be nice to know exactly what happened between
Cedant and Alabanza.


During this interlude, I've done some thinking about what Library Juice is
and what makes it different from other offerings for librarians that are
out there. When Library Juice started back in January of 1998, the library
weblogs that you are familiar with -, lisnews,
newbreedlibrarian, etc. - did not exist yet, so there was nothing redundant
then about Library Juice publishing these notices of new stuff on the web,
including newspaper articles, with brief annotations. Now all that has
changed. Now I find that much of what goes into a typical weekly issue of
Library Juice are links to new content on the web that have already been
linked from library weblogs, when the items were a little more fresh. I
like expressing my opinion about these items in my brief annotations, but I
don't like the overlap it has created between Library Juice and the
weblogs. I hate it when people send me a donation check with a note that
says "Love the blog - keep it up." Library Juice is not a blog, I keep
saying, emphasizing what is different about it. A weekly issue when printed
out runs for 15 to 20 pages and it's mostly text, and that means articles
and discussions. Yet, because there has been so much content overlap with
the weblogs, many people consider it a weblog.

So, as a remedy, I've decided that Library Juice will move to a biweekly
schedule and will concentrate on original content with a much smaller
number of links. This will help differentiate it from what others are
doing. Publishing half as much will probably be about right, since
I have been including so much that weblogs are already covering, with
paragraph-length, or longer, annotations. There will still be some
annotated links to items that the webloggers haven't seen yet (such as new
stuff on, but the focus will be on original content.

I don't want to discount what webloggers like Jessamyn, Blake, and Juanita
are doing. I feel that I am taking this step to differentiate from them
because they do what they are doing so well. But many Library Juice
readers, especially email readers, aren't necessarily visiting the weblogs,
so I plan to have a section at the end of each biweekly issue called "From
the weblogs," where I will provide links to items that I find in, lisnews, newbreedlibrarian and other places, with full
credit given to the source where I found it.

As I alluded to above, occasional supplements or special issues will come
out on "off weeks," in between regular issues, instead of at the same time
as a regular issue. The "supplement" post-script to the volume/issue
number for these issues will cease; each supplement, or special issue, will
now have its own number.

Feel free to contact me if you have comments about any of this: