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Archive for the 'Online Information' Category

Adrian Dale looks forward to Online Information 2009

online09 adrian-dale The twelve months that have elapsed since the previous Online Information Conference has seen an explosion in technologies that influence the information world and life in general.  What was being talked about as up coming trends last year, are now core to the agenda of this years conference.

Conference Chair, Adrian Dale, joins me in conversation to discuss these trends an to explore his hopes for the highlights of this years conference.

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Steven Abram – Open in Libraries Technology & Education

online09

stephen Abram Stephen Abram is Vice President, Innovation for library system vendor SirsiDynix.  He is track keynote speaker for the The Open Movement in Libraries, Technology & Education track, on the third day of the conference.

In this first podcast in our Online Information 2009 series, Stephen first explores the meaning of the, often over used, openness concept.  Are we talking about openness of systems, software APIs, open source, approach, minds, libraries, or a combination of several. of these.

With such a broad topic, it was inevitable that we addressed many many aspects of the influences of technology and attitudes on the way libraries are evolving.  Touching on the library system industry, and how it has and is changing, postulating on the future of libraries, and external influences from our rapidly changing world, this is a great introduction to his presentation an the track it kicks off.

Google Analytics to analyse student course activity – Tony Hirst Talks with Talis

Tony Hirst Tony Hirst, of the Open University Department of Communications and Systems, was recognised at the Online Information Conference 2008 for his work promoting new technologies in education by being presented with a commendation in the IWR Information Professional of the Year Award.

The award took place at the end of the first day of the Online Information Conference 2008.  Earlier in the day Tony delivered a presentation entitled “Course Analytics – using Google Analytics to understand student behaviour in an online Open University course”

I caught up with Tony just after his award  and we retired to a side room to discuss what he had learnt from work with Google Analytics.

 

Picture of Tony published on Flickr by MrGluSniffer

Catching the next wave

Catching the next wave was the title of my opening track keynote presentation in the “Catching the semantic wave – or down in a sea of content?” session of the “Order out of chaos – creating structure in our information universe” track at the Online Information Conference 2008.  Presentation below from Slideshare.

[slideshare id=812920&doc=rjwonlinedec08-1228306147696648-8&w=425]

This is a very well attended track.  Standing room only in most of the sessions, great interest in the Semantic Web, Web 2.0, and associated concepts and technologies.  From a lightly attended single session last year, this topic has grown in to an over subscribed 2nd track this year.  Having spent some time bending the ear of conference chair Adrian Dale last year about what was upcoming, I can wear my virtual I told you so hat with pride this year.  

My job as keynote was to provide a broad introduction to, and context for, things like Linked Open Data, the Semantic Web, Cloud Computing and clouds of data, setting the scene for the day.  Hopefully I was successful in my objective, the number of attendees is definitely a measure of the interest in the topics covered.

Considering that a large proportion of the attendees of the conference are librarians it is gratifying to note that they are already looking beyond the current Web 2.0 meme towards what will be washing over us next.    Thinking about this, it is hardly surprising.  The next wave is far more associated with data, metadata, linking and recommending, than the Web 2.0 meme of social networking, blogging and wikiing.  Dare I say it out loud, but by generalisation librarians appear to be far more comfortable with the concerns of data than socially interacting. 

lod-datasets_2008-03-31I get the feeling that these concepts are going to get adopted in libraries far quicker than we would expect once they start to gain momentum.  This would be helped if we could get past some of the terminology confusion.  The main culprit in this confusion being between semantics/semantic analysis and the semantic web.  The web of data, as against [or to be more correct in addition to] the current web of documents, is how I see the semantic web.  A great example of the web of data in action is the Open Linking Data Project.

Clay Shirky opens Online Information Conference 2008

Well actually he was preceded by Conference Chair Adrian Dale who popped up this fascinating counter on the screen.  Although a simulation, it drives home just how much information is being created.
 bytes created
(click for the animated version)

Against this background Clay then presented on the theme from his latest excellent book Here Comes Everybody, that also formed the starting point for the Talking with Talis podcast I recorded with him for the Online Information Conference series.

Don’t get me wrong Clay’s book is good, but you can’t beat having him stood up there telling you about it.   By using examples, such as readers of a blog that covered political unrest in Thailand who then got upset when she then blogged about her new pink mobile phone;  or flash-mobs being arrested in Belarus for ‘eating ice cream’; and many others, he showed the way that the publishing cost has moved to zero for most people which means we can all do it, the ramifications of which is enormous.

For a more detailed commentary on his presentation check out Ewan McIntosh’s post, which appeared whilst Clay was still  answering questions from the stage – a feat I could never attempt to compete with!

New Approaches for Libraries – Jenny Levine in Conversation

online-information-logo-2008 Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide for the American Library Association, and prolific blogger as The Shifted Librarian, Jenny Levine’s views challenge librarians to look to the future and engage with new technology, the web, and gaming.

Jenny Levine In this thoughtful conversation, Online Information Conference Key Speaker, Jenny explores the way libraries should be more open to experimentation, despite the concerns of spending other people’s money to deliver a better service to those people.   Much can be learnt from the wider web about simplicity and planning for a changing environment.  

Jenny also throws out the challenge to those attending the conference for specific questions or topics they would like her to cover in her presentation to get in touch.

Clay Shirky in Conversation – Here Comes Everybody – the social effects of the Internet

Clay Shirky online-information-logo-2008 Online Information Conference 2008 opening keynote speaker Clay Shirky, joins Richard Wallis in conversation about the way the Internet has changed the way we interact.

Clay’s latest book Here Comes Everybody identifies the way that the Internet and social software has enabled groups to interact and work together in ways that were never previously possible.  In this conversation we explore the themes that will form the basis of his presentation, and move on to issues such as the reversal of the information flow across corporate boundaries; the impacts upon academic publishing; and Clay’s thoughts on the Semantic Web.

The economics of scarcity – JP Rangaswami talks ahead of Online Information 2008

online-information-logo-2008 jp_ranaswamiHave you ever met the customer that gained value from having region coding on a DVD?” – Just one of the thought provoking rhetorical questions JP Rangaswami poses in this Talking with Talis conversation with Richard Wallis.

JP is passionate about the way we have to change our thinking and actions around the practices and and controls placed on software and information.  If we don’t get things right “we will repeatedly be wasting money digging out stuff that should have been made available much more cheaply because costs of transmission and reproduction are going down

This is a great insight in to someone who proposes that Librarians should be evolving to become Livebrarians.  Understanding where JP is coming from will add great weight to the opinions he expresses in the Q&A Panel on the first day of the conference.

As well as being Managing Director of Design at BT, JP is closely involved with the School of Everything and publishes the thought provoking and entertaining Confused of Calcutta blog.

Stephen Arnold – A conversation with the closing keynote speaker for Online Information 2008

online-information-logo-2008 Stephen E. Arnold’s career has lead him to be a prolific writer, speaker, and expert on web technologies and their application both inside the commercial enterprise and across the Internet.  He is best known for his work on search and his insights in to the Google phenomenon.

He is presenting the keynote in the closing session of the Online Information Conference 2008 which is being held at Olympia in London from 2nd – 4th December and will have a wide range of speakers of broad interest to all information professionals from all sectors – libraries, academia, government, and commerce.

Stephen talks about his career so far and the themes for his presentation, explaining how the technologies that we have seen emerging over the last few years are ready for use inside the enterprise as well as maturing into delivering services across the web.  He also explores how the componentised nature of these technologies and the applications they power, enables them to be moulded to satisfy the needs of their users.

Conference Chairman Adrian Dale looks forward to Online Information 2008

online-information-logo-2008 adrian-dale As Conference Chairman, there is no better person than Adrian Dale to kick off this short series of Talking with Talis podcasts produced in association with Online Information Conference 2008.

The three day conference held at Olympia in London from 2nd – 4th December will have a wide range of speakers of broad interest to all information professionals from all sectors – libraries, academia, government, and commerce.

Adrian describes how this year’s programme builds on last year’s conference and how the conference committee were impressed with the large number of case studies that were submitted for practical implementations of the subjects talked about a year earlier.   With those case study presentations supporting a quality list of informative, inspirational, and entertaining keynote speakers, the 2008 conference looks like being a high spot.

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