Standard for "Events" in CK?
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From the description on the LibraryThing blog, I've always assumed that the "Events" field of CK was for world (or, at least, notable) events. Lately I've noticed it being used for events that are work-specific, like "Character A dies" "Character X wears ridiculous hat". Some examples:
http://www.librarything.com/work/2934 (which has some "normal" entries)
Any opinions on this?
I'm also wondering what people think of entering things like "1800s" "1930s" etc. Are time periods really "Events"?
I'm thinking the Wiki could use some information on this.
Yeah, I dunno about putting the time period into the event box - that's better suited for book description.
But for "Character A dies" or "Character x wears a ridiculous hat", I could see it as being worthy of the events field if it's important to future books in the series. "Book 3 where X happens", which is something that's useful to know when reading book 5 and X is referred to, or it's an important plot point. That's not really something to put into information about book 5, but if you're trying to figure out when it happened, having it attached to book 3 is useful, and the events field is probably the most suitable place for it.
Looking at the first three - the Winnie-the-Pooh events appear to be summaries of the chapters, am I wrong? It's been a decade, at least, since I read the book. If it is a summary of each of the chapters, then that would fit better in the book description. If the events are truly important (referenced in future Pooh books or other books alluding to Pooh), then they could probably do with rewriting for concision and important bits.
The Lord of the Rings one looks right to me, but the Beowulf one seems kind of silly - of course those are important events in Beowulf, but Beowulf isn't part of a series where someone might need to know in which book the event occurred, and none of those are things that happen in other books (like "Christmas" or "VE-Day" or whatever). If the Beowulf events were attached to individual volumes of Beowulf, I could see them being useful/worth having. X happens in the first volume, Y and Z in the third.
People like putting stuff in CK fields, even if not strictly applicable. They just feel this little tidbit has to be recorded somewhere, so they'll pound that square peg.
We could stand to have an Anything Else Important You Can Think Of CK field for all this stuff.
#2 > Interesting point about events in a series. I guess I can see how that might be useful....
#3 > So the question is, should the square pegs be deleted? Should the plot summary-esque entries be moved to Book Description?
Part of what's bugging me about this is that adding "events" that are unique to one book seems totally pointless to me, because they don't (usually) link to anything else.
I wouldn't hesitate to move things around and fix it, if I were in the mood to mess with the CK. Also, deletion of singular events for non-series/split-into-volume works.
I did just flash to some very specific series - I'd be interested in seeing "Christmas" or "beginning of school year" or "Last Day of School" as events for certain series, such as the Baby-Sitters Club or the various Sweet Valley lines, when the characters never age but the series has well over a hundred books. (Or even "Big Dance!" for SVH.) But I'm not sure that there's a way to see a list of the number of times each event would appear for a specific series.
Hmm - I think this is an abuse of the system, and not a particularly useful one where the 'fictional' events are very specific to a single book as in the Pooh example above.
I would also say that time-periods do not meet my standard of what an event is.
As keristars says stuff like "last day of school" can be linked to other books. Who knows maybe someone has a particular interest in books that feature a 'last day at school'. However it is again a little broader usage than intended.
Finally looking at The Dead Zone we have "Interpreting The Catcher in the Rye" which is obviously junk.
Then we have "Gerald Ford Presidency". To my mind this isn't really specific enough unless the entire presidency is core to the book. IIRC Gerald Ford was mentioned in passing in the novel and his presidency is not really core at all. In a similar way naming a war can be acceptable if that war is important to the book, but not acceptable if it is irrelevant, or has little relevance, to the book.
To repeat myself from that thread, here is the actual CK example text for Important Events:
Great Fire of London (1666), Battle of the Bulge (1944|1945), Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1963-11-22), Battle of Hoth
Keep in mind that only one book on LT has Battle of Hoth listed as an Important Event.
I'll cut to the chase and save you some reading of that other thread. About some back and forth with various people saying "no, it's not for that, it's for THIS", I came to this conclusion:
The more I think about it, the more I'm forming the opinion that the real explanation is that this field isn't well thought out or implemented, and what it's "for" might vary a lot from person to person. It's pretty ill-defined compared to some of the other CK fields.
Though I agree that the Pooh example is one where more of us can agree that we dislike it, I'm not sure it's altogether that clear-cut from a purely logic-based evaluation that the "Battle of Hoth" is more important to The Empire Strikes Back than "Pooh flies a balloon up into the sky in order to get honey from a swarm of bees, but fails" is to the Winnie the Pooh. The former does have a much snappier name, though.
After reading these posts, I guess I have a different view of what an Important Event is. To me, an event should pertain to the book itself, or a series in which it is part of. The event should: 1) affect a character, 2) effect a character, 3) affect a plot, 4) effect a plot, or 5) cause said character or plot to be affected, or effected.
An example from the manga InuYasha would be "Kagome is dragged into the Bone Eater's Well by a centipede youkai (event)." This is an Important Event, because it significantly forwards the plot, eventually leading to the introduction of the main characters. I'm not sure if one can make this anymore succsinct.
In a more general example, if an historical Event i.e. 'Great Fire of London (1666)", causes the main characters to be separated (effect) affecting the next part of the plot, then it should be listed.
This is just the way I see it, and the way I will call it.
I think the typical user of LT has spent more time entering in events for non-fiction books than for fiction. Yet historical fiction would also be likely to have events listed. So, one can get the opinion that this is the way to go, but I don't think there is any requirement for events to be of some historical importance. You can see what events are most commonly put in LT by looking at the CK clouds (link: http://www.librarything.com/commonknowledge/clouds.php ). One advantage of putting a lot of information into an events category vs. the 'book description' is that CK events are more searchable.
That's good. A large portion of the books I download are non-fiction, but it's fiction ones that I want the information, i.e. events, characters, places, etc. You know, "stuff" that pertains to the plot of the story. Of course, what I put in is what interests me.
8 - As far as I know, I don't think the events field is meant for plot points of a book, like a character being dragged somewhere. It is primarily for historical events that might apply to multiple books, although there are a few fictional events, when those apply to a fictional universe relevant to several books (e.g. the Battle of Hoth example). All the common knowledge fields are really a lot about linking books, putting in information relevant to several books (so you can click to see all the books that have the the American Civil War as an important event, or the French Revolution, etc., or all the books that won a particular award etc.). Plot points would be more appropriate to the book description, I would think, although some members might object to having too many, if they involved spoilers.
It would be good to get staff perspective here -- I think conceptDawg is the person who designed CK and who typically weighs in on how it's supposed to work -- but past usage and the examples under the field have always made me conclude this field is primarily for historical events.
Just to add, on the Battle of Hoth example, which brightcopy also mentioned earlier: I think what's important there is not how many books it's discussed in but that it's relevant to a whole fictional universe that applies across several books. Pooh going up in an air balloon is something I would probably delete if I came across it in the event field. It's a plot point.
I agree that CK is mostly about connecting works together, so even though you can list all the characters in a work, what's really interesting is finding all the books where God or Sherlock Holmes appears as a character.
As an aside, I've noticed that someone is adding "(fictional)" after a bunch of character names. So, where someone had already added Frodo Baggins, someone else is going through and changing that to "Frodo Baggins (fictional)." That seems unnecessary, no? I can understand it for fictional places or events that are deemed important enough to include in CK, but surely it's already understood that characters are often fictional.
#12 by rsterling> I can see what you're saying about the Battle of Hoth example, though I think I disagree on the conclusions drawn. If you look at all the other events listed, you'd find them in many books, even if they're relevant to tons of other books that don't list them. You'd think at least ONE other book would link to the Battle of Hoth under that interpretation.
So I stick by my feeling that if you go by that interpretation, it doesn't really fit Battle of Hoth. I still think as I said before that TPTB just haven't really given it a lot of thought. If they had, they might actually come up with your interpretation, rsterling. Though I think in that case they'd remove Battle of Hoth from the standard examples. :D
I think their reasoning in including the Battle of Hoth example was to indicate that fictional events were also ok. You'll notice that the kind of event it is -- historical event in a fictional universe -- matches the kind of event that the other examples are (historical event in the real universe).
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