Conference Themes Ideas 2010

Conference Themes 2010

There are certain areas that we need to build on from last year i.e. the next chapter of the story and then new areas we need to bring in.
Comments/contributions made by Executive Committee members are initialed, additional comments are also included from members of the Expert Advisory Committee (EAC)

- The social web is making the world more open/transparent (which means a loss of control), what is the impact of this openness for the future of organisations and how can the info pro lead through this change (ties in with Charlene Li’s keynote)

- Strategic roll out of 2.0 across the organisation and how the info pro can shape/lead this (would this make a good focus for the opening keynote i.e. Prof Andrew McAffee talking about Enterprise 2.0).
Embedding social media activity within the processes, structures and systems of organisations. A lot of the activity so far has been by a small number of enlightened individuals, meaning that it isn't really sustainable. Collaboration and innovation within organisations needs to become part of people's day to day working lives.
(Comment by Dave Briggs, Learning Pool - member of EAC)

- Info Pros presenting the case for 2.0 to management who don’t understand the value (how do those at the bottom educate/lead those at the top?)

- Session with ‘old way’ and ‘new way’ of leading; comparing the old world and the new world

- Ownership of the information space in organisations
Social media appears to have been colonised by a range of professional groups depending on who got in first at the organisation in question, and in some instances the late arrival of the information professionals here has caused problems, particularly with perceptions of tools and their value for information delivery. Can we offer a session on how to exercise/wrangle power in the organisational information space?
(Comment from HH)
Leadership 2.0

- Managing personal digital identities, information professionals need to be able to train end users on how to manage this, addressing issues of security and personal information management (e.g. as related to keeping home and work life balances in check etc.)
(Comment from HH - this also fits under Challenges for Information Professional theme)
Links with:

- Guarding your privacy online
The recent outcry over certain aspects of Google Buzz indicate that there is a limit to what most people are willing to divulge in order to receive better services and that limit has been reached. Privacy has become even more complicated with the introduction of consumer end tools for facial recognition and geotagging of photos. Information Professionals need to educate end users about this
(also fits under Challenges for Information Professional theme)
(Comment from Suzanne Koch, - member of EAC).

- The impact of using social media tools on cultures and attitudes in the workplace, what role the info pro can take in shaping this
- Barriers to use of social media in the organisation (Phil Bradley good on this)
- Legal issues around using 2.0 tools
- Exploiting social media from an information management viewpoint
- Search and social media linking is changing access to information (and quality of information)
Monitoring social media continues to be important, a number of high quality search tools will be in use by the end of the year.
- Balance between practical tools and examples of use with techniques for engaging use
- How will communities grow in the future; metrics for measuring the value of communities
- Behaviours of (young) people using tools and what can we learn from this, transfer to the workplace (KB/DW/EM)

Semi -linked to this (use of online tools and increased user participation) is:
- e-democracy and e-participation. Presentations could be both from the general perspective (which would interest local and central government delegates from the wider Online audience) and angled to the context of the core audience who need to operate in an environment where online information tools encourage great expectations of user participation. Given that the call for papers goes out just before the UK election and the conference takes place within 10 months of the new administration, this may be a hot/popular topic. Peter Cruickshank and Colin Smith at Edinburgh Napier work in this area and would be good speakers
(Comment from HH)

- Can we start to simply view Web 2.0 and social media as a natural progression in the way that the web is going, rather than try and see it as something unique and discreet - does this in fact cause more problems in the adoption of these technologies? Could also link in banning/censoring/filtering these applications.
Comment from Phil Bradley, Independent Internet Consultant and member of Expert Advisory Committee


(providing faster access to information)
- How can info pros move from a document centric to a data centric world; important for librarians to understand and keep up with web trends such as the semantic web as it offers great potential for new ways of viewing collections

- The semantic web, and the huge amount of data created through the use of social computing tools, offer opportunities to researchers. How are these new (and effectively free) data sources being exploited for improving services delivery within their organisations.
Linked to this are issues about whether/how we archive such data – hashtag heaven or hell?
(Comment from HH)

- 2009 gave us a feeling of hope that Linked Data was about to arrive (and it was); but now we need to grow the developer community, and publishing community, and make end users aware of these data sets and how to use them. 2009 gave us some nice demonstrations - how do we go from the toys to something that is everyday useful?
(Comment from Tony Hirst, Open University, Member of EAC)
Need more examples this year of linked data in action; what are the benefits?
David Pullinger: Examples from; SPARQL

- The open data initiative within government is very interesting, especially after the launch of There are a lot of unanswered questions about this issue - who owns the data, who is responsible for managing it all? Are we handing too much influence to a very small number of unelected programmers who can actually do stuff with this data?
(comment from Dave Briggs, Learning Pool, member of EAC)

- Accessibility and ease of use. Getting data in a format where it can be published in a Linked Data way and selling benefits of why it makes sense to publish data that way (interestingly, JISC has just released a Linked Data publication call - - it might be an idea to invite the programme manager to give a report on that call at Online Info?)
- Comment from Tony Hirst, Open University, Member of EAC)

- End user issues - how will end users access data from Linked Data datastores, assuming that end users are most comfortable using things like Excel. Who will write the queries on the datastores to return the data that end users want?
- Comment from Tony Hirst, Open University, Member of EAC)

- Data quality issues - if we are using data that is pulled together in a Linked Data query, how do we check the provenance of the data and avoid returning datasets that are in some sense meaningless e.g. conflating results from one time period with results from another and presenting them as if they were a single coherent dataset collected at the same time; to what extent might we trust data from different datastores to be authoritative and correct.
- Comment from Tony Hirst, Open University, Member of EAC)

- How will the economy effect service provision in 2010? less innovation and 'nice-to-have' development, focus on core provision.
- Comment from Tony Hirst, Open University, Member of EAC)
Tied to this (but also fits in 'delivering information services on a shoestring/in a recession'):

- Public sector organisations face budget cuts. Corporate services like IM and KM will be under pressure as they don't directly provide a public facing service, nor do they generate much in the way of revenue. There will be a need for IM and KM teams to demonstrate cashable savings as a result of their work.
(comment from Dave Briggs, Learning Pool, EAC)

- Enterprise mash ups

SEARCH (Enterprise focus)

- Search enabled applications (SEA)
Umbrella term for search into:
- customer support
- business intelligence
- financial early warning indicators

Companies to invite:
Fetch Technologies
Kapow Technologies Just bought an Arizona company called KTT
Don’t buy a search product but work with a content processing company to embed search into existing work environment
(Comments from SA)

- No longer text: embracing audio, digitised video, games
Search and content processing cannot be refined to keyword retrieval
Universities/Companies using new media to engage with students/employees, how do you search multimedia
Bolt, Bermac and Newman
Exalead (Voxlead)
iPhone apps with semantic capabilities
Mobile search space/solutions & Google’s role in this.

- Semantic search
Invite: Luca Sog – didn’t catch his name
Expert Systems – they licence semantic functionality
(Comments from SA)

- Social search
Finding specific info across fora instant messaging
Real time search
Microsoft with Twitter tie up (speak to Antonio Gulli)
(Comments from SA)

- Social and real time search. The amount of information generated in social networks is unprecedented but the signal-to-noise ratio is not in the consumes' favor. By the end of 2010 a number of tools and services will have disappeared and the really useful ones will have risen to the top of the pile.
Difference from 2009: The hype is gone and the quality of the search services and the information they retrieve is finally in focus.
Impact on the information professional: Monitoring social media will continue to be important. This will be easier to do and possible for wider groups due to free, high quality tools.
- Comment from Susanne Koch, and member of the Expert Advisory Committee

What is Google doing, Buzz, Wave, what are the alternatives to it?
- Comment from Phil Bradley, Independent Internet Consultant and member of Expert Advisory Committee

- Microsoft SharePoint & FAST
Do you replace with Lucene, Flax? Or buy a product like Ontoloica, BA Insight
Opportunities and challenges with MS SharePoint
(comments from SA)

- Searching content with a CMS
EMC stores content for CMS, ripped out Fast and Lucene and brought own systems Cazeon
OpenText (CM & search) fighting with Autonomy (who bought Interwoven)
Talk about search solutions for large domains of content
(Comments from SA)

_SEARCH__ (Searching the web focus)

- We didn’t have enough sessions on search tools and techniques in 09
Need presentations that include:
New and alternative search engines
Geosearch (combining search and geosearch): applications of use
Visual search engines

- Image search and Visualisation
Image search offers a lot of interconnected possibilities and challenges, the main challenge being privacy (already mentioned)
Another challenge is developing good algorithms for identifying object in images. A third challenge is utilizing the existing technology to make useful and user friendly products: It is now possible to recognize text and faces in images (text e.g. in Evernote, faces e.g. in iPhoto). By the end of the year we will see a number of new products using these new functionalities.
Difference from 2009: The technology has matured.
Impact on the information professional: Anyone interested in the visual aspect of information and search will have new opportunities for finding and sorting material.
- Comment from Susanne Koch, and member of the Expert Advisory Committee

- Personalisation
Increase in personalised search results and recommendations, potentially leading to confusion about the truthiness of results (eg we if all get different results from the same searches).
- Comment from Tony Hirst, Open University, Member of Expert Advisory Committee)

Karen - as our search expert do you have anything to add here?

Also, is there an IP rights aspect here e.g. see Phil Bradley's recent posts of multimedia search engines - mp3realm links to mps3 downloads and lyrics, but has no obvious copyright warnings : under Legal (at the very foot of the front page in small type, "below the fold") there is a link to a statement offering to remove any infringing links under US law, but no reference to other legal regimes. Does the information professional have a role in corporate and other environments to inform users about and to promote / enforce IP rights? (Comments PG)
Information literacy and risk: using the right tools to source information, understand the risks and legal issues of using certain tools e.g. Google in law firms (Comments GS)


What do we need to cover
Review of SharePoint 2010?
What about intranets? Anything new here?
Taxonomies and metadata (also fits in Linked data theme)
(Comments from LC, awaiting input from James Lappin, member of EAC)

Hot topic at the moment
Ties in with research methods
Case study examples: – Richard Miros (EM)
Wall Street Journal (successfully created new business model)
Will Penn - local communities (EM

MPs expenses
Global warming spin
(social web making the world more transparent)

As this is such a new area think we need to have lots of case studies from government, universities, libraries e.g. University of Wisconsin moved 50,000 email accounts to the cloud
This is a major shift in computing and it's one that libraries are beginning to adopt. They are already alleviating their IT departments by moving to cloud services which makes sense because computing is not the library's primary business. By adopting cloud services they have more time for innovation and more money for resources. I expect to see this shift only continue for libraries as it has for the business world. As Nicholas Carr discusses in "The Big Switch", computing is turning into a utility and companies are moving to the cloud just as they plugged into the grid to get cheap electricity.
(Ellyssa Kroski, speaker from 09 and member of the Expert Advisory Committee - also mentioned by Charles Oppenheim, member of the Expert Advisory Committee)

- Need 3/4 angles of attack, must include security
(comments SA)

- ebooks
- ipad/iphone/blackberrys
- mobile
Academic librarian perspective (using these tools to teach)
Corporate/workplace librarian perspective
Publisher perspective
Could be interesting to have a panel made up of 'buyer's (academic librarians) and suppliers (Publishers)

The theme of new platforms for content delivery is important, particularly with reference to library services for closed user groups, such as academic library users. Given the old fashioned idea of a mobile librarian being someone who drove a van to remote areas I have an idea for a session title: "Everyone's a mobile librarian nowadays"
(Comments HH)

- Sharing information across new platforms
Data on the move
The impact of how data is delivered and getting to the right device in the right format.
So much information is being delivered how do you synthesise the information that you need (Comments GS)

Ties in with:
(Comments from Janus Boye, member of EAC)

- Search is now going mobile (along with many other aspects of online information). Mobile search combined with the geo location provided by many mobile phones makes for many interesting tools for location based search.
Difference from 2009: The number of mobile phones with user friendly web browsers is sky rocketing and there will be a boom of new services targeted at these users.
Impact on the information professional: Anyone with location specific data will have a number of new opportunities and arenas.
(Comments from Suzanne Koch,, member of EAC)

Impact of the iPad
Process involved in creating ebooks
Are ebooks finally going mainstream?
(Comments Peter Godwin, Bedfors University Library, member of EAC)

Consider a panel with Buyers (academic librarians) and Suppliers (publishers) , need a good moderator
The evolution of publishing - the future of publishing - in light of the iPad and Google Book Settlement

3 angles:
Use of personalisation
Use of RDFa
Google Book Publishing project
Google book settlement
(Comments from Peter Godwin, Bedfors University Library, member of EAC)

- How academic librarians are experiencing role changes. For example, their work seems to be moving more into the domain of student affairs where the focus is more on the broader issues student experience than straightforward information services provision. So, for example, the library is more about a place to study than a place to access information. This is all to do with the wider impact of everything online. (HH

Ties in with 'Library as a place' - also mentioned by Ellyssa Kroski.

- Participating in scholarly communication and open access publishing, for example participating in organizing institutional repositories
- Acting as partners in e-research
- Financial challenges at the same time as the prices of "big packages" of scientific journals are going up.
(Mirja Livonen, Chief Librarian, Tampere University Library, Finland - member of the EAC)

- Unique identifiers for researchers, (Paul Peters of Hindawi would be a good speaker for that topic)
- Progress with ONIX-PL for licences (a major bugbear for library managers is their inability to encode licences into a machine readable but user friendly manner – Mark Bide would be a good speaker).
(not sure this fits here but comments from Charles Oppenheim, Loughborough University, member of EAC)


Mobile is not only the wave of the future, it's here already. Libraries need to develop a strong mobile presence in order to stay relevant. They need to develop iPhone and Android applications, as well as mobile websites, develop "push" campaigns which will deliver library alerts when a patrons books are available via SMS, start offering SMS text reference, learn about location-aware applications and think about the possible applicability for libraries, start lending out kindles, ipods, ipads, and other mobile gadgets, etc.
(Comments from Ellyssa Kroski, Independent Consultant and members of EAC; focuses on how libraries can use mobile)



Personal learning networks is an interest - given that people have less money available, how are they coping at keeping up to date? Could widen this out to the whole credit crunch, economics element.
Microsoft have a new product called Pivot, which is actually taking the view that information overload is a GOOD thing, because we can take a step back and look at trends and topics with a broader perspective before drilling down to something specific. If they could demo that it would be pretty mindblowing for people.
(Comment from Phil Bradley, Internet Consultant and member of the Expert Advisory Committee)


This could develop into an important topic later in 2010, especially if there are pressures following the UK elections (local as well as general) to make "economies" (i.e. cuts in direct costs) in public services. Local authorities will be looking for easy savings, and it's clear that public libraries will be high on the list. (Those few councils with internal information services, like Surrey, scrapped them a couple of savings rounds ago). There are new models out there, like library trusts, which are becoming mature as a number of authorities join Hounslow in testing the model. (There was at least one Australian authority - Manly, near Sydney - that tried a library trust, so is there some international experience to draw upon?) A recent article in CILIP Gazette describes current events ( , then see page 3) and CILIP is running an executive briefing in June.

Other sectors may well follow suit - another round of government outsourcing is probably overdue following the market tests of the 1990s. It would be interesting if there is any experience from the corporate sector, especially as issues like client confidentiality then come into play.

(PG comments)


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