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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Policy question: How to link to books about OpenOffice?
Date Tue, 02 Oct 2012 21:22:43 GMT
On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 1:03 PM, Kay Schenk <kay.schenk@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> On 10/02/2012 09:37 AM, Rob Weir wrote:
>>
>> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 12:01 PM, Donald Whytock <dwhytock@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Amazon can be considered a publisher.  They have a mechanism for
>>> publishing one's own ebook.
>>>
>>
>> I just noticed this when I looked to see if there are any new books
>> from 2012 not on that page.  There are a few books for the Kindle, not
>> available anywhere else but on Amazon, and having no neutral
>> identifier like an ISBN number.  So in that case I'd agree that the
>> publisher is Amazon.
>>
>> My concern was more that we don't show favoritism toward a particular
>> book seller for those old-fashioned paper books.
>
>
> I *like* old-fashioned paper books! :/
>

Me as well.  But I've run out of room in my house for them, and my
wife won't let me double-stack them in shelves ;-)

> see more...
>
>
>
>>
>>> If you're going to allow authors to make their own entries a la
>>> consultants, they should probably be allowed to submit whatever link
>>> they'd prefer.  That might be an Amazon or B&N link, as the author
>>> might not otherwise have his own page.
>>>
>>
>> I was not going down the self-submission of book links path.  I was
>> just thinking of what we should do to normalize the links we already
>> have.  But the next step would be that either we maintain the list or
>> ask the authors to.
>>
>>> Different but related question: ASF would not want to certify,
>>> recommend or otherwise vet consultants because (among other things)
>>> they're changing entities, and may unexpectedly defraud, default or
>>> retire.  Books, on the other hand, are fairly static.  Should there be
>>> a list of AOO-vetted books, which have been reviewed and proven to be
>>> reasonably helpful and accurate?
>>>
>>
>> I'm not sure how we could do this fairly unless we received and
>> reviewed a copy of each book.
>>
>> We could provide a comprehensive list of titles that meet some object
>> criteria, e.g., list "OpenOffice" in the title.  This would be
>> fair/impartial, but would be less useful to the site visitor because
>> it would have a lot of junk, e.g., books auto-generated by scraping
>> Wikipedia content.
>
>
> A bit of history on these. In the past, authors directly contacted OO.o and
> asked for placement on this list -- no review by OO.o, no direct entry by
> authors. You will note that a fair number of the entries are from
> ODFAuthors, but there were others who were regular contributors as well.
>

OK.

>
>>
>> We have three goals/constraints, and they are somewhat conflicting:
>>
>> 1) Help the site visitor (typically a user of OpenOffice) to become
>> more proficient in the product.   Ideally we'd recommend the best
>> titles to them.
>
>
> ...and, in truth, do we know what these are? What we love in terms of
> explanation, someone else might hate
>

True.   And we have even less ability to do this for non-English titles.

>
>>
>> 2) Encourage the overall ecosystem, by making users aware of the best
>> titles
>>
>> 3) Be fair, impartial, and tread carefully when we touch on commercial
>> ventures, per our non-profit status.
>>
>> What is best for 1 and 2 is worst for 3.  Filtering based on quality
>> is the difficulty.
>
>
> ...yes, and maybe something we don't want to get involved in really
>
>
>>
>> One way out would be to not list books at all, but to just make a
>> statement along the lines of: "There are many books about OpenOffice,
>> including eBooks and self-published books in additional to traditional
>> titles.  Users should be able to find these easily by searching the
>> catalog of their favorite bookseller".
>
>
> I would be in favor of this approach, don't list anything but provide links
> to resources where some might be found: Lulu, Amazon, etc.
>

That could work.  Put yourself in the mind of a user.  You are looking
for a book to learn OpenOffice.  What will help you most?

1) An unannotated list of titles on the OpenOffice website?

2) A list of titles and reviews and star ratings at a retailer like Amazon?

3) A blog post, "Top 7 books to help you learn OpenOffice", with
reviews and comparisons among the books.

I think #3 would be the most useful, but that is not something we
would do at Apache.  But it might be fine for a personal blog post.
#2 is useful, and I think that would be the natural thing that almost
all users would do.  They would not naturally come to our website to
find book listings.  They would go to Amazon and type in "OpenOffice".
  #1 is what we have today, but that is probably the least useful to
users.

And the other goal, of promoting the ecosystem, it might be better to
do this by occasionally interviewing book authors for the project
blog.

Anyone else have a thought on this?  I tend to agree with Kay here,
that the book listings should be removed.

-Rob

>
>
>   That would let the user find
>>
>> quality via, say, the rating system at Amazon, peer reviews, etc.  And
>> we could accomplish #2 by offering to interview book authors on the
>> project blog.
>>
>> I have no strong opinion on the long-term maintenance of the book
>> listings.  I mainly just want to get the current listing in
>> conformance with emerging policy in this area, and perhaps suggest
>> this as another topic that the policy might speak to explicitly.
>
>
> When I made a few modifications yesterday to the Support page, I was
> strongly tempted to just get rid of the books list. I value the
> contributions these authors have made to the ecosystem, but, I honestly
> don't see how we can become book reviewers in the long term. So, I am happy
> you have brought raised this issue.
>
>
>>
>> -Rob
>>
>>
>>> Don
>>>
>>> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> On our support website, at the bottom, we have a list of
>>>> OpenOffice-related books:
>>>>
>>>> http://www.openoffice.org/support/
>>>>
>>>> As you see, we have links to 3rd party pages for purchasing the books,
>>>> usually Amazon or Lulu.
>>>>
>>>> I'm in the process of updating this page, as part of adding a list of
>>>> consultants, and it occurred to me that we should probably think about
>>>> how Shane's draft linking policy applies to books:
>>>>
>>>> http://www.apache.org/foundation/marks/linking
>>>>
>>>> One way to think of it is to treat the publisher or author (for
>>>> self-published books) as the "consultant" in the terms of the policy.
>>>> They are the ones providing the service, via their book.  So we would
>>>> allow linking to the author's website or the publisher's website which
>>>> describes the book.  But we would not link to Amazon, since they are a
>>>> retailer, not the author or the publisher.
>>>>
>>>> Otherwise, same criteria as consultants -- factual list, respect
>>>> trademark, impartial,  rel="nofollow", etc.
>>>>
>>>> Does this make sense?
>>>>
>>>> -Rob
>
>
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> MzK
>
> "Just 'cause you got the monkey off your back
>  doesn't mean the circus has left town."
>                     -- George Carlin

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