Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2010 Issue

A Misstep and My Apology

New-ae-nqr

The NEW AE, not quite ready


By Bruce McKinney

On October 8th we pointed the Americana Exchange to a new server configuration. We felt reasonably certain that the transition to the new site would be difficult but in short order settle down. That view was too optimistic and the responsibility for that decision entirely mine. It was a mistake and ten days into the transition we pointed back to the original servers. We are now operating both the old and new sites. Paid members are credentialed on both. The new site offers a different experience but must equal, in all respects, the experience on the current site. We are resolving differences and adding new features.

The current site is a homage to the way the world of books has functioned over the past fifty years. The new site reflects possibilities that in a few years will become probabilities and eventually certainties. The new search methodology relies on triangulation - cross indexing all references in the AED with material in Upcoming Auctions and Books for Sale. The results are instantly reported both as statistics and specific records. Material coming up in upcoming auctions and Books for Sale but not appearing often in the AED is, if collectible, probably sufficiently uncommon to warrant an examination of all related lots. In other words, the statistics provide insight into the search results. The impact is clear, its significance unmistakable. It changes our understanding of old and collectible material. It will also be an acquired taste. New collectors are showing a decided preference for it.

All this said, my belief in the importance of this new search approach led me to discount the importance of continuity. While we build a seamless transition to the new AE we are providing both sites. The records on the new site will be marginally less in the short term but the results substantially clearer. We hope to bring both sets of databases into alignment in mid-November. In the mean time you can use either site. If you are a paid member you are credentialed on both sites. On the new site your password is case sensitive.

www.americanaexchange.com

www.wikibibliography.com

As we fine tune the nine general sections of the new site we are running focus groups relating to each. They are:

Search

Auctions

Matchmaker

Appearance and Location

Books for Sale

eBibliographies

Footnotes

AE Monthly

The Entire Site

If you are interested to offer opinions, suggestions and/or criticism send me an email. Most of our communications will be by email but also include your telephone number. Mention your preferences for sectors of interest.

Email Link.

We will get there together.

Rare Book Monthly

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  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
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