Online Information Conference 2011

Online Information Conference 2011

I was pondering the imminence of this year’s this year’s Online Information Conference (29 Nov to 01 Dec) and was reminded of a quote by Abraham Lincoln: The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time”.

Is it really almost a year since the last conference? Where has the time gone, and has life changed that much? We’ve seen the ‘Arab Spring’ and the riots in the UK; two sides of a coin that shows how social media can be exploited for both good and bad. We’ve also seen the rise and rise of mobile platforms and mobile apps; new digital publishing models that offer consumers a new experience when reading e-books or newspapers; the launch of (another)  new social networking service, this time  from Google (Google plus);… and so much more.

I hadn’t appreciated until taking on the role of Conference Chairman (this my second year) quite how challenging it would be to predict what impact the various technical, product and service innovations would have on the information profession. Add politics, policies and emerging standards into the mix and you begin to appreciate the difficulties in ensuring that we’re on topic for an event that gets planned many months in advance.

However, and with only a hint of bias, I think we (that is the Conference Committee) have got it pretty much spot-on for this year’s conference.

We have two internationally recognised keynote speakers in Craig Newmark and Rachel Bosman.

Craig will share what he has observed by government, not for profits, and NGOs using social media, as well as lessons learned from Craigslist. Called “The Wizard of the Local” by Time Magazine, Craig was named in its “Time 100”. He was named Person of the Year at the 9th Annual Webby Awards in 2005, and BusinessWeek named him one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

Rachel is a social innovator who writes, consults and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing through current and emerging network technologies, including how it will transform business, consumerism and the way we live. She is the author of: What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. TIME magazine recently called Collaborative Consumption “One of the top 10 ideas that will change the world.”

The 2011 conference will once again provide a forum dedicated to learning, debate, professional development, technology reviews and assessments, expert discussion as well as case-study presentations and the sharing of research results and opinion. The tracks at this year’s event will cover:

  • Going mobile: Information and Knowledge on the move
  • Social Media: Exploiting knowledge in networks
  • Building a framework for the future of the information profession
  • New frontiers in information management
  • Search and Information Discovery

Just picking out a few of the highlights, we’ll be looking at the world of “Big Data”. Gartner Research predicts that data will grow 800 per cent over the next five years, with 80 per cent of it being unstructured. Unstructured information is Big Data. It’s that simple. We also have sessions that examine what the industry is doing with structured data, and particularly products, services and apps that use open and linked data.

I’m anticipating there will be a lot of interest this year on the “Going Mobile: Information and Knowledge on the move” track theme. Sales of mobile devices (phones, tablets etc.) are now outstripping the traditional desktop PC. With more and more mobile business apps being developed, breaking the shackles of the office environment is now a real option.

This year we will also be experimenting with a few activities to encourage more delegate engagement and interaction, with a Gurteen Knowledge Café, a business ‘speed dating’ activity facilitated by FutureGov, and maybe an on-line game or two.

However, it’s not possible to do justice to the depth and range of topics, presentations, expert insight and networking opportunities in this brief posting. You really need to be there to benefit from the full experience, and perhaps gain new perspectives on the information industry and the changing role of the information professional. Can you afford to miss it?

I hope to see you there. In the meantime, if you have a few minutes to spare, Richard Wallis from Talis did a podcast interview with me about this year’s event.

Stephen Dale

Chairman, Online Information Conference 2011

3 thoughts on “Online Information Conference 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *