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WHY we ask for special format for Best of Year Booklists


By Theresa de Valence - Posted on 13 December 2009

Pardon my soapbox but in 20+ years of teaching people how to use computers, I’ve found it almost universally true that people react to a new computer system with anger and hostility. People feel like they are being told they are stupid. That’s not true, of course; it’s the computer who’s stupid. But it doesn’t change the way most people react to computers in general and new software in particular. Later, there is a Eureka! moment when comprehension occurs. The "user" becomes cheerful and willing to do whatever is necessary to make the progam work efficiently.

For this reason I think it’s important to allow those people, the ones who don’t yet GET IT, to post their Best of Year Booklists any way they want to DL.

Then there are the curmudgeons who are going to do what they’re going to do no matter what anyone says. The only option one has with these folks is to shoot them or accept them.

For everybody else, here’s the important information--this job is not automated; it’s done by human volunteers. If you DON’T post your Best of Year Booklist to DL in the format we ask, you turn the job of converting your booklist into one that’s 4 or 5 times longer than it needs to be. That’s the rub, the job is pretty tedious in the first place, and when people make the job worse, it’s very irritating. That’s why I get cranky every year--it’s soooo unnecessary to make me (now us) go through all this extra work.

So unless you really don’t understand how or why we want a particular format, or you’re a curmudgeon, please post your Best of Year Booklists in the format we ask. Here's our requested format for submissions.

Thanks for listening.