Jane McGary
Wed, 19 Nov 2003 11:25:22 PST
Mary Sue wrote,

>I'm finally having a moment to respond to Jane's post. I think if she is 
>willing to do a Reference page for us it would be a good addition to the 
>wiki. I'd link it to the home page.

SOmebody else will have to set up the actual page, which I can't do, 
although I can edit it. I will also have to be told how to make the links, 
if that's something I'm supposed to do.

And she asked: "And although I really like the brief annotation idea, since 
this will be in the public domain should we be careful about what we write? 
For example might it be better just to say "Useful for color photos" 
instead of "Riddled with errors, but useful for color photos." I know we 
are eager to expose some of the books that drive us crazy, but would there 
be a liability issue?"

Answer: No, we would not be legally liable for expressing a negative 
opinion of a book. Thousands of people do it every day, in print and on the 
Internet. in formal book reviews and in the thumbnail reviews such as are 
found on Amazon. The worst thing that could happen would be incurring the 
animosity of the author. The References page should, however, contain some 
sort of statement to the effect that "Subjective evaluations are those of 
individual contributors to this web page and do not reflect the official 
policy of the Pacific Bulb Society, its officers and board of directors." I 
think it important to warn people away from spending money on bad books, 
and then using the information in them in further publication; I say this 
as a person who has had an editorial hand in a lot of books, both good and 
bad, and who recognizes the flaws of the latter sort.

Regarding what the headword of the entry should be, it should be the 
author's name, not the title, because if you use the title you get into the 
problem of whether the alphabetization and link include initial articles 
(a, the, la, les, etc.). Better to use something less subject to 
interpretation (leaving aside the alphabetization of French and Dutch 
names, which has its peculiarities!).

Let me know when the page is set up.
Jane McGary

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