What is it?

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I took my car in for its long overdue oil and filter change this afternoon. The place I use is right next to a Border’s (a book store) so I looked around there while waiting.

I don’t know if other authors do this or not, but every time I go into a book store that carries books like mine, I always check to see if any of my books are on the shelves. I am ashamed to admit that I never get tired of seeing a book with my name on it in the shelves.

I found the Unix Power Tools book, which isn’t surprising, as it is a popular book. However, finding it on the shelf leads me to a second shameful confession.

A popular book author told me years ago that a way to make a book stand out on the shelf is to pull it out slightly, so it’s no longer even with the surrounding books. This offsetting of the book encouranges people to look at it first, before the competitor books. Ever since hearing this advice, when I find one of my books on the shelves, I always pull it out a bit. I know, bad behavior. And I should be ashamed of my manipulation, and I really am. It’s a Evil Twin thing.

I didn’t find the Developing ASP Component book, which wasn’t surprising, it’s not doing well. The technology is over and done with, as is the technology for my other books I’ve worked on over the years. (The Perl CGI book lasted the longest.)

I looked for the Essential Blogging book, but wasn’t sure what category it would be placed in. Computers? No. Internet? Possibly. Desktop publishing? Again, possibly. I browsed through several sections but couldn’t find any weblog book.

The difficulty with weblog book classification reminds me of the conversations I have with job recruiters about the books I’ve worked on in the last year.

“So, you’ve written a couple of books. What are they?”

“Well, I was co-author for Unix Power Tools.”

“Unix! Great! What else?”

“I just finished a book on Practical RDF.”


“It’s kind of a XML vocabulary for smart data.”

“XML Data! Great! What else?”

“I was also co-author for Essential Blogging.”

“Essential what?”



“Blogging. Weblogging. It’s kind of a web publishing technology.”

“Web publishing! Great! Who’s the vendor?”



It’s times like these that I’m glad I’m not writing about technology any more.


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