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The CODiE awards in San Francisco

Blogging at Berkshire I have always felt free to say what I like. It’s my company, after all, and who’s to complain? (Except David. But I’m safe there. I am pretty sure he has never, and will never, read this blog. Or any blog. He says that somebody around here has to spend their time thinking.)

But now that I’m on the board of SIIA, and elected to the job, too, not just dragged in as a volunteer, I was nervous about coming to San Francisco. What if I were to think the programming at the Content Summit was awful? Would I still blog about it? What a great way that would be to ingratiate myself with my new colleagues, and the guys who keep the Content Division going, Ed Keating and Brian McCloskey. This must be what corporate bloggers feel like, especially if they’re at companies where they know someone is likely to read what they write.

What a relief that it was a good program, packed with information, quite amusing, and varied enough to keep people going for what were two long days. The library world doesn’t loom large for most of the people involved in SIIA, but there’s a great deal going on in the larger world of online content creation that is likely to inspire our efforts to make reference more relevant. And it’s great to see that everyone is struggling with the same thing we are: how to integrate new interactive technologies (the so-called Web 2.0) with traditional publishing activities. I know, this is a form of the ‘misery loves company’ syndrome, but SIIA does give us a venue to struggle together—and surely that’s very Web 2.0 (especially if we put it on a wiki).

And the techies scrub up quite nicely: at the CODiE Awards dinner last night, people really did wear tuxedos and long dresses. I was doubtful when I saw the invitation, “Black-tie optional.” There’s none of this at library conferences! But I was happy (wheelchair or no) to have a chance to wear a beaded evening dress I bought here in San Francisco five years ago. I live in a town, you see, where putting on a corduroy blazer is dressing up; only insurance agents wear ties.

This award has been around for 20 years and is considered quite prestigious. What does CODiE mean? I never noticed that unusual capitalization before, and had never thought about what it meant. It’s about as nerdy as you can get: CODE + i for information. Can’t you see some ’80s software guys getting excited about that?

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