My last post, in case you were wondering, was me testing out the StoryStarters system, currently under development by the Information Institute of Syracuse, & currently in beta. My response appears on the StoryStarters site here.

Critique of using StoryStarters from the point of view of an answerer: pretty damn good, guys. Nice work by the IIS, once again. So far there’s only a plugin for WordPress, though more are supposedly on the way. Setting up the plugin was very easy — way easier than setting up AuthImage, for example. And all I had to do was have the text of the question in my post, & it got picked up automatically by the StoryStarters site. Pretty nearly seamless.


  1. Is it possible to have a plugin create a new Category in WP? I’d like a category called StoryStarter, or something like that.
  2. Some feedback mechanism would be nice, so that when I post my response, I get some indication that the StoryStarter site has picked up my response. An automatically-generated comment to my blog post would be best, but an email would do.

A note to my students in Reference: Here we have yet another medium for providing reference service. We’ve discussed email- and webform-based reference, we’ve discussed chat, but we haven’t discussed blog reference — though we will later in the semester. Blog reference is asynchronous, but how does it differ from email and webform? In writing my Galactic Network response, it seemed to me that the “rules” (such as they are) for composing a StoryStarter response should be different than the rules for composing a response for the VRD. But I’m not sure why that should be. What are the norms for communication via email, chat, blog, etc.? How do the norms for conducting reference via those media depend on and/or differ from the norms for “normal” communication via those media? What I think may be the more interesting question, though, is this: What types of questions are appropriate (or inappropriate) for one medium or another?