Tag Archives: bookweb

Virtual Identity

A few weeks ago, Martin was musing on what these blogs are, really, and why we maintain them. He, like the blogger who prompted his article, used a number of real-world analogies to make his points.

I’m not so sure how far analogies can take me in describing why I do what I do on the web. (Come to that, I’m not sure I know why I do all that I do on the web.)

First things first, though.

Who are you on the Web, Abi?

My main Net identities are:

Naturally, I have several “spoof” and temporary identities about as well, which I would rather were not linked to my “core” identity. Nor am I alone in this. I suspect that the vast majority of E2 users, for instance, have secondary accounts for various reasons. But these are the ones that I identify as “myself”.

These identities are not all linked up (or weren’t, until I posted this!), but together, they present a multi-faceted image that I am willing to make available to absolute strangers, friends, and family.

Why do you spend all this time on these identities?

For a long time, I didn’t have a web presence. I didn’t feel that I had anything that important to say. Further reading convinced me, however, that most of the other people on the web don’t either. One of my teachers at Napier advised me make a site of all the things I would want to find on the web (and I have, both in my factual work on E2 and in the Bookweb).

This blog came about partly by imitation (because Martin had one), and partly to communicate with my family in California. But its usage has evolved. It’s now part of my “shop window” on the world, an expression of who I am right now and what I’m thinking.

But (to ask a basic writer’s question), who is my audience? Martin and I have received a number of comments and emails lately that have clarified this for me.

  • One of Martin’s high school friends Googled her name and found a reference to herself in Martin’s blog. This led her to get in touch, as part of the re-consolidation of that set of friends from his youth.
  • I got a comment on my blog from someone whom I have never met, who Googled his way onto the Bookweb and followed the trail here. Reading my blog convinced him that I might be worth chatting to, and we exchange the occasional email now as a result.
  • Another email was from someone I knew at St Andrews, who found the site (don’t know how) and sent me a “remember me?” email. Again, contact is being re-established.

Enough verbage. Who is your audience?

My audience is those people on the web who were, are, or might become, friends. As friendship extends into the virtual realm, so will the art of meeting people. My web presence is a shop window, an entry in a Personals column, an extended hand.


So if you think you might want to know me further, click on the rooster at the top of the page and send me an email. Alternatively, add a comment here.

Because it’s a big, scary world out there, I’m not going to fall all over myself to be friends with everyone who drops me a line. I’ve made my pitch, described myself. But friendship is a two-way street. Tell me about yourself, make me care.

And in the spirit of Martin’s friend getting back in touch, I’m going to list a few people I would love to hear from again, even just a brief note. This page is indexed by Google, so if they search on their names they’ll find themselves here. If this is you, click on the rooster at the top of the page and get in touch. Tell me what you’ve been doing!

From Piedmont High School:

  • Liza Groen
  • Lisa Wright
  • Alta Swinford
  • Paul Casey

From Skyline High School:

  • Jason Camara

From Richmond High School:

  • Jetsun Eddy (Or are you spelling it Jetsün Eddy?)

From UC Berkeley:

  • David Corcoran
  • David Beckerman
  • Eleanor (El) Casella
  • Charlton Horne
  • Keith Gordon

From St Andrews:

  • Andrea Kagan
  • William Grant


I’ve been photographing my bookbindings for some time now. And after my (much more artistic) fellow binder Chris asked me the dimensions of some of my things, I’ve even been measuring them. So I’ve had a growing collection of photos and measurements clogging up my hard drive and my notebooks.

At the same time, I’m often looking to show people the work I’ve been doing. I usually have my small green book with me in person, and at work there’s my big black and brown notebook. But anyone I know online has no way of seeing what I’ve been up to since the experiment last May.

And recently, since I’ve started doing more with the covers of my books, my learning curve has taken another steep climb. I find myself wanting to record the lessons I’ve been learning. I take a lot of mental notes about how my bindings go, but then I forget it all as other bindings get my attention. And since I’ve been giving much of my work away, I don’t even have the books to remind me.

It’s amazing that it took me this long to put the three issues together and make a gallery. But it’s up now, with pictures of most of the bindings I’m willing to have seen by the public, plus binding notes on some of my recent works. And with a format is in place, it’s going to be easier to record what I’ve been doing.

(Those who know me best may have a comment or two on the tone of the binding notes. You know who you are, and I know what you’re going to say. But trust me. It’s the flaws I learn from, not what goes right.)

Bookweb Redux

Last year, I started up the Bookweb to document some of the bookbinding work I’ve been doing. After an enormous amount of effort, I created one small area, describing an experiment in spine construction. Then I got wrapped up in, erm, binding books.

So now I’ve taken a week or two to add some more to the site, and to impose a bit more structure on it. I’ve added book reviews, spurred on by my father’s gift of four excellent binding books. And now I’ve finally got my information on equipment, describing how I have made many of my pieces of equipment myself.

Now all I need to do is add a gallery of my best work. If I can find the time between bindings!

Check it out!


Back in April and May of this year, I did an experiment in bookbinding. I took lots of photos, with the intent of writing it up at some point.

Well, I’ve finally done it. “An Experimental Approach to Bookbinding” is up at last, complete with pictures and notes on techniques. If I can take enough time out from binding and chasing the bunny, I’ll add more projects, technical notes, and information on bookbinding. The ultimate goal is to have a really useful site for the amateur bookbinder. (Write what you know…I am very much an amateur!)

Have a look and tell me what you think. It will eventually supersede my old bookbinding page with something much more informative and comprehensive.

Many, many thanks, hugs & kisses to Martin for all the help and support on the Bookweb.

Going off to get a life now…