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DIRECTOR’S DESK
Questions to Ponder: Is the Internet a Big Garbage Dump?

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I was searching for something
on the Internet the other day and realized that what is happening on the ’Net
is something similar to what happened at Mount Everest and other remote
climbing spots . . . over the years they became huge garbage dumps.

 

Like Everest—where climbers
discard their water bottles, photo supplies, and sometimes even people who
don’t complete the journey—the Internet has become a repository of trash.
Along with valid and valuable information, it offers material that is worthless
or, worse, harmful because people accept it as true.

 

For example, I was trying to help
someone find information on a publishing company that had seemingly vanished
from the face of the earth overnight. When you search the Internet, you can see
its phone number (but the phone no longer works), its fax number (which doesn’t
work anymore either), and its Web site and email address (also defunct). But the
page about it that comes up makes it appear that this company is still in
business; it looks no different than pages about companies that really are
alive and well today.

 

Also on the Internet as with
Everest, there seems to be no way to clean up the vast amount of garbage. Once
listed on the Web, everything may always be there . . . whether the
consequences are good, bad, or indifferent.

 

So, here are my questions: Who
cleans up the Internet, and how valid will the information be for anyone in the
future?

 

PMA’s New Board and New
President

 

The following people were elected
and/or reelected to the board of directors during PMA’s annual meeting in
Washington, DC, on May 17, 2006, for the 2006–07 term, which starts this
month:

 

Florrie
Binford Kichler, Patria Press, Indiana.
Heading up the PMA board of directors as president this term, Florrie
first joined PMA’s board in 2002. Her company, which publishes the <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Young Patriots

Series of biographies for the YA market, was founded in 1992 and has grown from
a one-book press to a firm with several titles and an active backlist. During
her term on the PMA board, when Florrie served as membership chairman, PMA
membership reached its highest total ever. She is responsible for developing
our great printed and electronic membership material and is always interested
in hearing from our membership. [See “PMA Is You,” this issue.]

 

Cevin
Bryerman,
Publishers Weekly<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>, New York.

Associate publisher of Publishers
Weekly
and previously general manager for Reed Business Information’s
publishing group, Cevin Bryerman oversees PW’s business development and sales
operations.

 

Kassahun
Checole, Africa World Press, Inc., New Jersey.
<span
class=95StoneSerifSB>Kassahun
Checole is president and publisher of Africa World Press and The Red Sea
Press—founded in 1983 and 1985, respectively—which focus on African
and African-American issues.

 

David
Cole, Bay Tree Publishing, California (incumbent).
<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> David, who chairs PMA’s Publicity Committee, is the
voice of the small independent publisher on the PMA board. He helped develop
the very successful San Francisco Book Festival and worked in marketing and PR
at Nolo Press before establishing his own company.

 

Rod
Colvin, Addicus Books, Nebraska (incumbent).
<span
class=95StoneSerifSB>Rod
Colvin’s midsize publishing company does books for the consumer health
community. He currently chairs PMA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards committee.

 

Robert
Goodman, Silvercat, California.

Bob Goodman founded Silvercat in 1988 and published <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>The Travel Health Clinic Pocket Guide to Healthy
Travel
and Not in My Back Yard, among other titles. In 2002 he
co-founded Silver Threads as an imprint to publish memoirs and books about
writing. He was instrumental in organizing and growing PMA’s affiliate in San
Diego, CA.

 

Maggie
Lichtenberg, Open Heart Publishing, New Mexico.
<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> Previously an executive in mainstream New York and
Boston publishing for 20 years, Maggie moved to the Southwest in 1996 and
launched a career as publishing coach and consultant. This past year, Maggie
became a publisher by self-publishing <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>The Open Heart Companion: Preparation and Guidance for
Open-Heart Surgery
. As a publisher, she will specialize in books
for patients and caregivers..

 

Rudy
Shur, Square One Publishers, New York (incumbent).
<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> Publisher of one of the fastest-growing midsize
independent publishing companies in the United States, Rudy currently chairs
PMA’s Member Benefits Program, establishing new benefits for all members of
PMA.

 

Carlene
Sippola, Whole Person Associates, Minnesota (incumbent).
<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> Carlene, whose company produces training manuals, is
the voice of midsize publishers active outside the book trade. She currently
chairs PMA’s very successful Affiliate Program, offering assistance to groups
and publishers throughout the United States.

 

Kent
Sturgis, Epicenter Press, Washington.

The immediate past president of PMA, Kent will remain on the board as an
ex-officio member. He has worked tirelessly on our members’ behalf, and his
thoughtful questions and insights into our ever-changing industry helped PMA
develop new programs and gain new stature. I think we all owe Kent a huge round
of thanks, and you can send yours personally to him at <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>gksturgis@earthlink.net
.

 

 

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