Searcher's Voice

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					                                                                                                                            EDITORIAL




    Searcher’s Voice
                                       Nag, Nag, Nag
                                             ightmares of a threatening        our profession to the world. Trite but true, right?
                                         N   future loom over all our heads.
                                       Reductions in staff and funding
                                                                               We all want to avoid any of those minor mistakes
                                                                               that garner certain unhappy responses from patrons/
                                       affect extant operations, making it     clients/customers or whatever other title we may
                                       necessary to do more just to do less.   give the users of our services. The responses to
                     Long-standing institutions, which have always             which I refer would include — “Sheesh!!” “Oh,
                     seemed eternal and now seem needed more than              brother!” “Where the @#$@$#@ did this
                     ever, stagger under threats to their very survival.       @#$@# nitwit put…?!” etc. And then there’s
                     Heck, the U.S. Postal Service has gone to Congress        the inarticulate but clearly understandable groan
                     for aid. It’s cutting delivery service from 6 to 5 days   of disgust.
                     and wrestling with issues of health insurance                 What kind of nits have I picked out for this
                     coverage for its retired employees, while at the          discussion? Actually, ones I’ve experienced
                     same time offering early retirement to 150,000            myself in the course of working websites for my
                     workers. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor              journalistic and editorial endeavors. As you may
                     gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift        recall, I write NewsBreaks — a couple dozen
                     completion of their appointed rounds” may stand           each year, usually — for the ITI website [www.
                                                                               infotoday.com]. When a news assignment arrives
                                                                               on my desk, my first step is to gather all the
    The U.S. Postal Service has gone                                           information I can find from websites. My second
                                                                               step is to set up interviews with interested parties
    to Congress for aid. It’s cutting                                          and external experts. The process can be quite
                                                                               educational, but sometimes it involves learning
    delivery service from 6 to 5 days ...                                      the hard way.
                                                                                   First and foremost, maintain the completeness
                                                                               and visibility of your Contact Us section, and, by
                     chiseled in stone at the New York City post office        the way, that is exactly what it should be called.
                     on 8th Avenue, but a lousy economy may sure               Let’s not get cute here. A link to the Contact Us
                     slow those couriers down as more than nighttime           page should appear at the top or the bottom of
                     spreads the gloom.                                        every page on a company website. You can also
                         And yet, in the midst of all this turmoil, I have     add it to any generic section providing information
                     the unholy gall to start nitpicking, to nag my            on your organization, but it should always be just
                     beleaguered readers over teensy mistakes, minor           one click away. And contact information should
                     inconveniences, minuscule errata. How callous!            always be complete. I don’t know how many times
                     How inconsiderate! How holier-than-thou! You’re           I’ve been stuck with a contact presentation that
                     so right! I hang my head in shame. And then I lift        only activated an email message form. People need
                     it again and start nagging.                               to know where you are, full snail mail address,
                         Whether my beloved readers work in                    multiple addresses for multiple operations. They
                     traditional libraries, as independent researchers,        also need to know your phone numbers — main
                     or as information industry vendor employees, we           numbers (including area code, please), fax
                     are all information professionals and represent our       numbers, extensions, or direct dial numbers.
                     profession. Our work can affect the reputation of                                              continued on page 6



4    SEARCHER ■ The Magazine for Database Professionals
                                                                                                              EDITORIAL
                                                                                                                                               The Magazine for Database Professionals


                                                                                                                                     Vice President, Content
                                                                                                                                     Richard Kaser
                                                                                                                                     Editor-in-Chief
text continued from page 4
                                                                 entire org chart or describing in detail how our                   
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: First and foremost, maintain the completeness and visibility of your Contact Us section, and, by the way, that is exactly what it should be called. Let's not get cute here. A link to the Contact Us page should appear at the top or the bottom of every page on a company website. You can also add it to any generic section providing information on your organization, but it should always be just one click away. And contact information should always be complete.
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