16.167 commercial & individual notices of publication

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Tue Aug 20 2002 - 10:07:49 EDT

  • Next message: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty : "16.169 online workshop: The Shrinking Public Domain"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 167.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 06:53:31 -0700
             From: Philip Cadigan <pcadigan@MIT.EDU>
             Subject: Re: 16.164 commercial & individual notices of publication

    Disclaimer: I have a professional interest in this topic. It's my job at
    The MIT Press. Though this is the case, my list subscriptions stems
    primarily from personal interest.

    It's understandable that marketing has a bad reputation. I can think of
    more than a few pejorative associations: pervasive, invasive, insidious,
    self serving, etc.. As a list subscriber I would rather keep "ads" and
    "spam" out as well. That said, I don't think that informing and selling
    has to sully the fine raiments of scholarship. The main arguments as I see
    them is that one side objects to commercialism while the other side
    appreciates the informational aspect of new title alerts. My point is that
    I don't think it's as simple as commercialism=bad & misleading and
    scholarship=good & relevant. On the practical side of things, without a
    sale a company would go under; and without discussion and currency, an idea
    can become buried as well. In the case of publishing, ideas and companies
    need each other to survive.

    I think an explanation of our means and motives might help to clear up some
    issues. As a university press, we're here to promote scholarship. We're
    also here to stay afloat financially. As a not-for-profit publisher we
    often bring to market books and journals that commercial presses turn down
    for lack of a sizable audience. Like other publishers we use email to
    reach an audience/market we might not otherwise have access to. (It
    heartens me greatly to see discussion of our published materials on this
    list.) We make sure that the audience has elected to receive updates in
    email form, or else it's unwanted spam. I hasten to note that we've never
    tried to post anything commercially to this list. All postings to the
    Humanist list of MIT Press material have come from independent parties
    taking their own initiative. If somebody passed along to the listserv an
    alert that they were subscribed to, then all the standards and mechanisms
    of the listserv are invoked. Nobody is being manipulated or cudgeled by
    advertising, everyone is free to respond to postings. A party with no (or
    very limited) commercial interests was involved in the posting and
    moderating the list as they saw fit. Somebody other than the publisher
    thought that the materials were of significant utility. At that point, I
    don't see a difference between word of mouth and advertising. If we start
    with the premise that advertising is objectionable and then devalue word of
    mouth referrals, haven't we taken a valuable tool away from ourselves?

    Philip Cadigan

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Philip Cadigan
    Journals Internet Marketing Manager
    The MIT Press
    Five Cambridge Center
    Cambridge, MA 02142 USA

    At 08:31 AM 8/19/2002 -0700, you wrote:
    > Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 164.
    > Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
    > <http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/>
    > <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>
    > [1] From: Willard McCarty <w.mccarty@btinternet.com> (8)
    > > publication
    > [2] From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi (23)
    > <tripathi@amadeus.statistik.uni-dortmund.de>
    > Subject: 16.159 commercial & individual notices of publication
    > Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 07:14:39 -0700
    > From: Willard McCarty <w.mccarty@btinternet.com>
    > Subject: Re: 16.161 commercial & individual notices of publication
    >From: Norman Hinton <hinton@springnet1.com>
    >I don't like getting ads in my e-mail whether they are spam or for
    >scholarly publications.
    >In medieval studies, we have an on-line review List which brings scholarly
    >reviews of new medieval publications - the reviewing standards are the
    same as
    >in scholarly journals. I must prefer that.
    >But is they were all in one note and it hd a title like "ads", or "scholarly
    >spam" then we could skip them.
    > Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 07:15:07 -0700
    > From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi
    > Subject: 16.159 commercial & individual notices of publication
    >Dear Dr. McCarty,
    >I think, members of the humanist list comprises of scholars who are having
    >varied interests with crossing many disciplines of science, technology and
    >application of computers to the humanities. I think, I come under critics
    >(currently) because I, for one always post the note of new publications
    >from MIT Press or others. I think, it is good if we allow to post certain
    >announcements of books and conferences related to application of the
    >computers to the humanities and at the same let people discuss
    >intellectually on the scholarly, pedagogical, and social issues.
    >At times, I feel like working as "a walking encyclopaedia of Cyberspace."
    >On the other note: I believe and appreciate that Humanist Listserv is have
    >limitations, and that again makes quite good and different than other
    >listservs on the internet. Thank you!
    >Sincerely yours,
    >Arun Tripathi
    >"Die Wissenschaft wird nicht nur durch das gepraegt was sie tut, sondern
    >auch durch das, was sie nicht tut." So umreisst der Philosoph Gernot
    >Boehme seine Auffassung von forscherischem Handeln. Bei einem Gespraech im
    >Schloss der Universitaet Darmstadt berichtet er von abgelehnten
    >Forschungsantraegen, der Angst um den guten Ruf und verlorenen

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