In the lives of many a child, there comes a time when he or she realizes that the spotlight is not for them alone: another small being has come into the world, and now the once-only child must compete for its parents’ favor and dotings. Most kids act out for a while, then settle into the newly configured family life.
As it is in life, so it is with our beloved PressLog. After being the star of the show for the past three-plus years, suddenly there were newcomers on the scene – namely, something called a Facebook page and the even more strangely titled Twitter feed. Hey, PressLog asked itself, who are these upstarts? What's up with 'friending,' and what’s with this business of 140 characters, anyway?
Did it take PressLog a moment to get used to the new, reconfigured mediascape? Did it act out a bit? Maybe so – it went a little edgy with William S. Burroughs and gays in the Muslim world. And who’s edgier than Glenn Beck, who got a kick out of shouting about one of our books? We were even presented with a pile of dead fish, Godfather style. Hey! PressLog seemed to shout, Have I got your attention now?
Having gotten all that out of its system, the little whippersnapper went back to what it does best: keeping the digital world informed about the comings and goings of the MIT Press and its stupendous books and authors. It has been a challenging, even difficult, year, and we were right there reporting on H1N1 flu, cyberbullying, and the complex ethical issues surrounding the conservation movement. We asked hard questions about the fiscal bailout and told you about what people read during the Great Depression.
As we seem to do every year, we marked the passing of important figures. This year it wasn’t a Press author, but librarian Judith Krug, founder of Banned Books Week and a great First Amendment advocate. And as it conscientiously does every year, PressLog reminded you to pay your taxes.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. As always, we found time to talk about games old and new. A new Administration arrived, and two of our authors got posts in the new regime. We journeyed far and wide with Perspecta. We won awards. And speaking of those, Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize. Yeah, yeah – big trade publishers, New York Times, whatever. Krugman was recognized for work on trade he did while he was our author. So our guy won the Nobel – got it?
One post deserves of special mention. The trade journal Book Business recognized our director, Ellen Faran, as one of the 50 top women in book publishing. We were both deeply proud and unsurprised at the acknowledgment – Ellen’s fearless and intrepid leadership has been our blessing since she came here. We’re just glad the recognition is spreading.
And so, as it ends its fourth year, the PressLog is steaming ahead, ready to work with its new siblings without losing its special place in the MIT Press family. As always, thank you all so much for reading, following, friending, and tweeting. However, in perhaps its last act of selfish, only-child behavior, PressLog has informed us that it will NOT be sharing any birthday cake with us – or you. I know we keep promising, but definitely next year.