UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Archive for November, 2006

Exploiting Networked Applications At Events

Posted by Brian Kelly on 27 November 2006

As described in a previous post, the Stargazing Conference 2006 on Social Technologies – Pioneer to Mainstream exploited the WiFi network available in the room and also made the talks available to remote users through use of video-streaming and allowed the remote participants to join in with the discussions using a chat facility.

As described in Using Networked Technologies To Support Conferences (Kelly, B., Tonkin, E. and Shabajee, P. EUNIS 2005 Conference Proceedings (CD ROM) UKOLN has been an early pioneer in exploiting networked technologies to support events.

More recently we have published a series of documents which aim to provide practical advice on best practices for supporting use of networked applications at events, including briefing documents on Guidelines For Exploiting WiFi Networks At Events, Exploiting Networked Applications At Events, Guide To The Use Of Wikis At Events and Use Of Social Tagging Services At Events.

As the advice provided in these documents does not seem to be widely known, I thought I’d include the details of the Exploiting Networked Applications At Events briefing document in this post. Your feedback on this would be appreciated.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, Web2.0 | 3 Comments »

Let’s Not Forget RSS Statistics

Posted by Brian Kelly on 27 November 2006

Pete Johnston, Eduserv Foundation, emailed me about the statistics shown in a previous post.

To clarify things, the graph showed the number of visits to the HTML pages on the WordPress Web site. It does not include views of the RSS feed from people who make use of RSS viewers (and many of the initial readers of the blog are likely to be those who make use of such tools).

The statistics for the feed views is shown below.RSS statistics

Posted in Blog | Leave a Comment »

Star Gazing Conference 2006

Posted by Brian Kelly on 26 November 2006

How should an institution seek to address deployment strategies for Web 2.0? One approach would be to hold a high-profile event, with talks from some of the early adopters of Web 2.0 technologies and senior managers in the institution, external speakers to provide insights from outsiders (who will have a disinterested view of local power struggles and political intrigue!) and, if you are feeling brave, perhaps including views from the student contingent. And as well as talking about Web 2.0 technologies, you might even seek to embed the technologies in the event, with remote participants, chat facilities and perhaps even a Podcast.

Sounds good, but difficult to achieve in practice? This is what the University of Edinburgh did recently, with myself as one of the external speakers. Read on for my thoughts on an excellent event, which I would encourage other institutions to emulate. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blog, Events, IWMC | 3 Comments »

Word of Blog – 3 weeks later

Posted by Brian Kelly on 26 November 2006

In a previous posting I described how I had launched this Blog on 1 November 2006 (ten years since I had started work at UKOLN). As an experiment in seeing how Blogs become noticed and attract traffic I deliberately avoided announcing the Blog on mailing lists and, instead, just claimed my Blog on Technorati. Details of the findings to date are given below. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blog | 5 Comments »

Web 2.0: What Is It, How Can I Use It, How Can I Deploy It?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 23 November 2006

On Wednesday 22 November 2006 I gave a talk on “Web 2.0: What Is It, How Can I Use It, How Can I Deploy It?” at an ASLIB Engineering Group seminar on Engineering information: today and tomorrow. This was a very successful event, and provided further evidence that academic librarians are aware of a change in the Web environment and that this will necessitate a change in their culture.

The event was aimed at engineering librarians working in academic, public and private institutions. The sessions looked at present and future resources available to the engineering community, with talks covering the needs of users of engineering library services and some of the resources available, including grey literature and validated data,ways of keeping up to date and the importance of an information literacy strategies, especially in a Web 2.0 environment, with a growth in the amount of user-generated content. In addition to my talk, which provided an overview of Web 2.0, Roddy MacLeod gave an amusing and informative talk on a user-centred vision for access to resources in which the technologies become invisible, and the users are presented with a user-friendly interface. This talk was based on a proposal for the ‘puntasticly’ named TicToC proposal (ToC referring, of course, to Table of Contents),  Paul Needham, an electronic information specialist at King Norton Library, Cranfield University spoke on “From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 in the engineering information world – yesterday, today and tomorrow” (and has demonstrated his willingness to evaluate emerging technologies by uploading his slides to Slideshare).

As one might expect at an event aimed at librarians, there was much discussion about the quality of resources. This discussion reminded me that we had this discussion over 10 years ago, when Web services first became widely-deployed within our institutions.  I think there is now an awareness that, rather than seeking to control access to resources (“you’ll be safe if you stick to resources catalogued by services such as Intutute“) we know that users will wish to seek resources for themselves (and, indeed, carry out other transactions on the Web, whether that’s buying goods on eBay, or even seeking a partner on an Internet dating site).  From these examples, we can clearly see the importance of providing our users with the skills to evaluate and select information for themselves.

It was very pleasing to attend an event in which there seemed to be an awareness of a changing culture and the need for a profession to engage in such changes.  It also brought home to me a valuable aspect of the way that the ‘Web 2.0′ term embraces the need to ‘trust the user’.  This sentiment was made by several people at the event – if ‘Web 2.0′ had been defined only in terms of technologies such as Blogs and Wikis I think we would have lost the opportunity to highlight trust issues in this way.

A suggestion I made before leaving:

Look back at previous projects (e,g. projects funded by the JISC eLib of IE/DNER programmes, for example, or projects funded internally) and give some honest thought to the successes but – more importantly – failures and limitations of the projects. And think about how you might do things differently.  As Paul Needham described, there are so many (now aging) experts in the defence industry. Being able to tap into and collate such expertise can (in an example mentioned by Paul) potentially save millions of points. So look to not just update an aging service with an AJAX interface, but at tools such as Blogs and Wikis to allow the users to provide information for themselves.

Posted in Events, Web2.0 | 2 Comments »

Web 2.0 Hip or Hype: New Ways to Engage Users with Content?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 23 November 2006

On Tuesday 21 November 2006 I gave a talk on “Web 2.0: What Does It Mean For The Publisher?” at an ALPSP Technical Update Meeting on “Web 2.0 Hip or Hype: New Ways to Engage Users with Content?”.  A summary and a response to the feedback we received follows. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, Web2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Reporting back from discussion groups

Posted by Brian Kelly on 20 November 2006

Over the past two years at venues with WiFi networks I’ve tried to make use of Wikis to support note-taking in discussion groups. This means that the discussions and recommendations can be disseminated across all participants and with the wider community – no need for the participants to frantically scribble down notes, or for my to take home flip charts, knowing that I’ll never get around to freeing the notes from the non-interoperable real world and transferring them to a digital environment.

However the feedback from several events shows that the final report back session seldom seems to work. The criticism seems to have been applied to last year’s CETIS conference, as this year the required the workshop session facilitators to sum up the discussion groups deliberations in one sentence or a single image, cartoon or equivalent.

This seemed to work well – and the notes are always available for browsing on the conference Wiki. I’ve suggested to my colleague Marieke Guy that we take a similar approach at IWMW 2007. Anyone reading this posting who plans on attending next year’s institutional Web management might like to give some thoughts on ways of summarising discussions in an informative, amusing or innovative way (a poem, a lyric, a movie tie-in, a mash-up, a video clip, …). Who knows, we may even provide a prize.

Posted in Events, IWMC, Wikis | 1 Comment »

CETIS 2006 Conference – Part II

Posted by Brian Kelly on 20 November 2006

As described in my previous post, I attended the CETIS 2006 Conference on 14-15 November 2006. I have already reviewed the plenary talks. Here I review the two workshop sessions I attended: part 1 of the Future of education media session and the Thinking the unthinkable session, which I co-facilitated. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events | 1 Comment »

CETIS 2006 Conference – Part I

Posted by Brian Kelly on 19 November 2006

I attended the JISC CETIS Conference 2006, which was held at The Lowry, Salford Quays on 14-15 November 2006. I found this to be a very stimulating event, which led to much discussions at the event and subsequently. A brief summary of the plenary talks is given below. Details of the workshop sessions are given in the following post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events | Leave a Comment »

Embedding YouTube Video Clips In Blogs

Posted by Brian Kelly on 19 November 2006

I’ve noticed that John Dale, University of Warwick has published a Blog posting which contains an embedded video clip from YouTube. The video clip shows Billy Idol dreaming of a white Christmas. I would agree with John when he says “is there something terribly, terribly wrong about this?”. But this posting also caused me to reflect on how we (professionals in the HE sector) should engage with the legal minefield of mashups (I’m assuming this music video is copyrighted material).

I had similar thoughts recently when I read Michael Stephens’ TameThe Web Blog in which he posted an article which contains details of an excellent video clip – a staff development resources which illustrates how busy a public library can be, using a speeded up video of St. Joseph County Public Library (where Michael used to work). The video clip uses “Ray of Life” by Madonna as a sound track. Interestingly Michael’s link to his original posting is now broken, although the clip is still available on YouTube.

The issues these two examples raise for me are:

  • Embedding content from third party Web sites
  • Embedding content for which copyright ownership and permission for reuse is not clear
  • The persistence (in the short term and the longer term) of such data and the integrity of the service which hosts the embedded content (i.e. the Blog posting with the embedded video clip, in this case).
  • The ethics of doing this, in light of the issues given above.
  • The dangers of being over-cautious.

I’m inclined to applaud John and Michael in their risk-taking. It seems to me that the sector has shown in willingness to take similar risks in the past e.g. installing caches, despite the fact that they infringe copyright, and ‘deep-linking’, when the legal implications had been been clarified. To a certain extent, the risk-taking can lead to establishing a new consensus which can help to develop and refine mainstream orthodoxies which nay be needed for the information age. Such experimentation may also lead to new business models being developed with new sets of relationships being forged between copyright owners, service providers, content providers and end users. It has been argued, for example, that mashups (perhaps like the Ray Of Light video clip) can help expose content to new audiences or that fees for use of such content could be paid by the service provider rather than the content author (i.e. as the popularity of the St. Joseph County Public Library video generates traffic to the YouTube’s Web site, a portion of the income received by YouTube on their Web sites from the advertising revenue can be used to pay the royalty fee to Madonna’s record label). End result: popular video mashup produced by St. Joseph County Public Library and viewed by many satisfied users (as can be seen from many of the comments on the YouTube Web site) and additional advertising revenue for YouTube, a portion of which goes to the record label. Benefits for all of the players?

This still leaves open the issue of the long term integrity of mash-up service. I’ll give some thoughts on this in a future posting.

Posted in Web2.0 | 3 Comments »

Risk Assessment For Use Of Third Party Web 2.0 Services

Posted by Brian Kelly on 17 November 2006

This posting contains the content of the “Risk Assessment For Use Of Third Party Web 2.0 Services” QA Focus briefing document. It has been posted here in order to explore the use of a Blog to receive feedback on a document, as described in my previous posting on “Blogs – Suitable For Reports“.

The briefing document was the initial attempt at providing advice for organisations considering making use of third party Web sites. I’d like to build on this initial work, so comments on the advice, suggestions on other approaches and details of any experiences people have had working in this area would be welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in IWMC, Web2.0 | 1 Comment »

Blogs – suitable for reports?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 17 November 2006

A recent Technorati search for JISC (which, incidentally, included a sponsored link suggesting that I search for JISC on eBay!) led me to a JISC-funded report on “the use of learning technologies in delivering art and design courses to HE students within an FE environment“.

The study was available using Blogging software, rather, than as one might normally expect, in PDF and possible static HTML. This approach was clearly described as an experiment:

The study is delivered as an interactive website based around a wordpress blog, the blog allows and encourages feedback and comments – at the end of each section feel free to leave any comments you may have, however there is a system of moderation of all comments that means they may not show up immediately.

Seeing this has made me reflect on the possible benefits (and possible weaknesses) of using Blogging software in this way – and also on other ways in which Blogs can be used.

Obvious benefits include:

  • The WordPress software provides comments as a standard.
  • The software provides ‘permalinks’ for the individual sections.
  • RSS feeds are provided as standard.

Possible limitations include:

  • Difficulties in obtaining a simple printout of the entire report
  • Printouts may not be designed for reading (i.e. Blog navigational features may be included).
  • The software may not support HTML and CSS standards (although this does not seem to be a significant problem in this case).
  • The URI structure may be imposed by the software and it may not be possible to manage preferred best practices.
  • The URI structure may impose a flat structure, which makes it difficult to exploit traditional hierarchical structures (e.g. select a directory for use by an off-line browser).
  • Users may chose not to make use of the annotation features, calling the use of this approach into question.

In this particular case, the experimental approach has been clearly identified, and I hope the project gains useful feedback.

In the meantime I’ll try and give some thoughts to ways in which Blogs may be used other than providing a personal set of opinions and thoughts, organised in a diary fashion.

Posted in Blog | 4 Comments »

Web 2.0: How Should IT Services and the Library Respond?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12 November 2006

I’ve been invited to facilitate a meeting on Thursday16 Nov 2006 on “Web 2.0: How Should IT Services and the Library Respond?“which is being hosted IT Service managers in East Midlands Universities.  As well as the IT Service contingent, a number of library and e-learning staff have been invited.

I’ve prepared some materials, but I’m also  going to suggest  that there’s a need for  such staff to engage with use of Web 2.0  services and to participate in social networks.

I’d appreciate feedback and suggestions from readers of this postiong who have been through the process of embedding Web 2.0 services.   It would be great to have some suggestions which I could show at the meeting.

I’ll post a report on the meeting.

Posted in Events, Web2.0 | 3 Comments »

LibraryThing

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12 November 2006

Michael Webb has recently posted an article on LibraryThing. I have also recently signed up for this service and catalogues about 100 of my (many!) books. The interface is very slick, and I particularly appreciate its thriving community, as can be seen by the statistics page.

Initially I started to use it to catalogue my novels. However it has occurred to me that this might be a useful service for cataloguing books in small departments (like UKOLN, perhaps). This might provide a simple way of getting departments started in exploring use of a Web 2.0 service. And, if you are worried about potential loss of your data, there is an export function.

Technorai tags: librarything”

Posted in Web2.0 | 1 Comment »

“Seek forgiveness, not permission”

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12 November 2006

As described in Tom Roper’s Blog, the main theme of the ILI 2006 conference was Web 2.0. I spoke to a number of people who would like to deploy services such as Blogs and Wikis to support their user community, but encountered inertia and resistance within their organisation. It may have been Michael Stephens who proposed an approach based on “seek forgiveness, not permission”, suggesting that it may be better to take a bottom-up approach to such services, rather than wait for approval from on-high, which may take time in slow-moving, conservative organisations. And it seems that this phrase was also popular at the Internet Librarian conference two weeks later.

This approach is nothing new, of course: the Web became popular within the University sector in 1993-4 due, in part, to the innovations of researchers in academic departments, with central services within institutions often being committed to either proprietary CWISs (Campus Wide Information Systems) or Gopher .

An example of this approach can be seen in the Library at the University of Bath, where Kara Jones has set up not only a Bath Library Science News Blog and a Wiki for discussin and planning a Podcast service for the library.

An advantage of this approach is that the intended user community for the applications will be better informed of not only the technical requirements, but also issues such as usability, functional requirements and training implications.

Clearly there are also limitations with this approach. If things go wrong, there may be a need to seek forgiveness! What is the preferred approach – leadership set by central service departments, as described in my previous post, or a bottom-up approach? Or is there a third way?

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments »

Blogs published by IT Service Departments

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12 November 2006

I’ve added to my Blogroll links to two Blogs published by senior managers of IT Service department in UK higher educational institutions. These are by:

I have met both John and Michael. John, head of development at e-lab, University of Warwick, gave a talk on “Being Agile” at a UKOLN workshop on Initiatives & Innovation: Managing Disruptive Technologies. And Michael gave a plenary talk on “Developing a Web 2.0 Strategy” at the Institutional Web Management Workshop 2006 (where, incidentally, Michael mentioned that Newport College was inspired to develop a Web 2.0 strategy following my talk on “What Can Internet Technologies Offer?” at the UCISA Management Conference in 2004).

John and Michael have successful Blogs, covering both strategic issues and more technical ones, with the occasional reflections on a wider range of issues. John’s Blog is also very successful in providing an area for discussion and debate with his user community. As can be seen, John is willing to share examples of best practices and invite encourage others to provide other examples, which John might not be aware of.

I think this example provides an illustration of a deployment strategy for Web 2.0 technologies such as Blogs which could usefully be adopted more widely with the community: senior managers setting a lead and demonstrating examples of best practices, such as engaging with the user community.

Are there other examples of Blogs published by other senior managers in IT Service departments? Or, indeed, within Libraries?

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments »

Blog statistics – 2006-11-11

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12 November 2006

In my “I’ve a Blog – What Next?” posting I described how I had created this Blog and included it in Technorati. I deliberately did not post details of the Blog on any email lists or inform anyone in order to investigate how the Technorati entry, followed by word of mouth (and, do we have an expression for this, word of Blog) would generate traffic.

Blog statistics The statistics for the Blog on 11 November 2006, 5 days after the first visits to the Blog, are shown.

So what has happened so far? A couple of people (whom I didn’t know) commented on the “I’ve a Blog – What Next?” posting. So there’s a clear advantage in posting an open question and inviting feedback and help.

My former colleague Paul Miller then spotted the Blog (possibly through Technorati? – Paul, can you tell me how you found it?) and emailed Michael Stevens and Phil Bradley, my fellow speakers at the ILI 2006 conference. Phil has commented on this Blog about my Blog as well as (as commented on in an earlier post) Michael in his Tame The Web Blog. Both of these are high profile Blogs – so it will be interesting to see how these posting affect the traffic to my Blog.
Incidentally the Blog is now number two in a Technorati search for ‘UKOLN’, as shown below.

technorati statistics for 11 11 2006

I’ll report on the statistics and comment on possible reasons for changes to the usage pattern in the future postings.

Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »

Vonage V-Phone – phone on a stick

Posted by Brian Kelly on 11 November 2006

Vonage V-Phone

I’ve read a number of articles recently about the Vonage V-Phone – a VoIP phone application which runs from a memory stick. The device costs £19.99 with a £7.99 monthly rate which gives free local and national calls to landlines.

Some thoughts:

It runs directly from the memory stick (no software installed on the PC). So you should be able to run it from any PC (but not Apple Macintosh) with a USB. This has the potential of freeing the user from the limitations of the IT Services provided.  Or, from another perspective, portable applications like this have the potential to degrade the network by letting users run potentially disruptive applications.

This is the first device of its type which I’ve seen.  We can expect the price to go down  as competitors release  similar products (or, alternatively, the feature  set may become richer) .

I have a memory stick which runs Portable Firefox and Portable Miranda.  I’ve used Portable FireFox on a couple of occasions, when only IE was available. We are seeing a growth in the number of portable applications. In the future will the student carry their preferred applications around on their memory stick (as a key ring, or bracelet, perhaps) leaving the institution to provide the monitor, keyboard and operating system environment?

Posted in Gadgets | Leave a Comment »

Slideshare.net – a repository for slides

Posted by Brian Kelly on 9 November 2006

I’ve recently been evaluating the Slideshare service. Andy Powell has recently commented on Slideshare, pointing out its ease-of-use, community-based approach and trusting the users (in contrast with digital repository services developed in the UK). Andy’s comments have been picked up by Stephen Downes, who has added some of his slides to Slideshare.

I’ve also been uploading a number of my slides. I’ve also embedded some of the slides into pages on my Web site (as has Lorcan Dempsey, another of my former colleagues).

So what are the benefits of this? Is it just the latest Web 2.0 fad, or does it have the provide to provide real benefits?

As an prolific PowerPoint presenter (having given about 250 presentations in my ten years at UKOLN) I am very interested in exploring if it do anything useful for me. My thoughts so far (after a couple of weeks of using Slideshare):

  • It’s good for finding slides on the same topic as yours. It can help my find new & interesting stuff – but I can also find myself sometimes surprised by the simple approach by companies from whom I’d expect a more sophisticated understanding (NOTE after pointing out the flaws in this presentation, I subsequently discovered that the presentation had been removed – BK, 28022007). To be fair, though, in this case I don’t have the context of how this slide was used or the target audience.
  • The comments feature seems to have real potential. I’ve already started to receive a few comments, and I’ve notice how this feature can also be used as a teaching aid.
  • It’s good to get greater exposure to my slides. As Paul Miller has said, get the data out to where the users are; don’t wait for the users to come to you.
  • The statistics feature is also useful.
  • As I described recently Slideshare can be used to quickly upload slides for use on-the-fly at events (in my case, when chairing a session at a Wiki workshop I had 2 minutes before the start of a talk to upload the speaker’s slides, to enable a remote user to view the slides while listening to the speaker over Skype. No time for FTPing and VPNing – but no problem in clicking the upload button and stating the URL when my introduction to the speaker was over).

As mentioned, I have also embedded the slides on pages on my Web site. I’m not convinced that I’ll want to do this on a regular basis, but it does demonstrate the potential – and perhaps those who may have reservations about being seen to make use of a third party service might appreciate this feature.

Perhaps the most important benefit of services such as Slideshare for those involved in Web development work is to gain a better understanding of the positive (and negative) aspects of such services, and to feed this into local development work. So I’d recommend use of Slideshare by anyone involved in developing institutional repositories – if you are going to develop similar services in-house, you’ll need to be able to compete with such services, otherwise you may find your users have no interest i using your service.

Anyone else using Slideshare – or have any thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses?

Technorati Tags:

Posted in IWMC, Web2.0 | 5 Comments »

On-the-fly use of networks at events

Posted by Brian Kelly on 6 November 2006

At the “Accessibility Summit II” meeting one of the invited participants failed to arrive at York due to difficulties with the trains at Bournemouth and Southampton. On hearing this, my initial response was “Is she a Skyper?” On hearing that she did have a Skype ID, we set about setting up a teleconference using Skype. As the PC used for the presentations was also running the Skype software we needed to use another PC to provide a chat facility. We made use of Gabbly, associated with a specific URL (to avoid chatters on the Gabbly home page. This on-the-fly use of technologies at an event worked well – and something I would advise others to be able to deploy if needed.

An additional approach I would suggest (and something I did at the “Exploiting The Potential Of Wikis” workshop) is to be able to easily upload PowerPoint files (if they are being used) to allow the remote participant to view them. I have used Slideshare.net to do this, which seems to work well.

It was particularly appropriate to do this at the Accessibility Summit, as it provided a good example of on-the-fly / just-in-time accessibility for a user who couldn’t otherwise hear and take part in the discussions or view the presentations.

Posted in Accessibility, Events | 1 Comment »

I’ve a Blog – What Next?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 6 November 2006

I’ve set up my Blog. So how do I make it visible in the Blogosphere?

My initial approach is to sign up to Technorati and claimed this Blog. I’ll post this article and see what happens to the Blog’s visibility in Technorati.

Posted in Blog | 9 Comments »

Exploiting networked applications at events

Posted by Brian Kelly on 6 November 2006

We are now seeing many events taking place at venues with WiFi capabilities – and many participants (especially at many of the events I attend which are aimed at Web developer and Web user communities) arriving at such venues with laptops, PDAs or other networked devices (or non-networked devices, such as iPods, digital cameras, mobile phones, etc. which can be used to capture content at events and subsequently uploaded to Web services).

Initially we tended to find that laptops were used for reading email or Web surfing. This can be a problem for speakers and event organisers, as it can mean that participants aren’t paying full attention to the talks and discussions. Rather than banning use of networked devices, I have felt there’s a need to be pro-active in providing an environment in which the technologies can be used to enrich the event.

Some of the ways I have tried to do this at events I have been involved in organising include:

  • Use of a Wiki to support note-taking during discussion groups, and using the Wiki in reporting back. This has been very successful since I started doing this at the “Beyond Email – Strategies For Collaborative Working In The 21st Century” workshop in February 2004 (back then I used Wikalong, and you can see the notes from the discussion group sessions on Instant Messaging, news feeds, Blogs and Wikis).
  • A chat facility – I’ve made use of MSN Messenger, Jabber and IRC. This has seemed to be appreciated, but by a smaller group. The most interesting occasion was when IRC was being used at the IWMW 2005 event on 7/7 (the day of the London bombings). A small group of about 15 IRCers were aware of the news, whilst others in the 150+ audience were hearing about it if they were sat close to an IRCer. The use of such networked technologies in an environment in which we are more acutely aware of potential disasters (terrorism, weather, traffic, etc.) or inconveniences (e.g. delayed trains) is something we should give more thought to, and which I’ll return to at a later date.
  • Social bookmarking: I now tend to bookmark resources I talk about in my presentations in del.icio.us, to make it easier for people to access resources I mention (and also to add their own).
  • Tagging: a strength of UKOLN is its expertise in metadata. So I try to use a scalable approach to defining a tag for an event. Use of this tag is encouraged in social bookmarking, photo and other resource sharing services, Blogs and similar services. Use of the iwmw2006 tag, for example, can help find the resources related to the IWMW 2006 event, as can be seen using Technorati.

Some of the initial work in this area was described in “Using Networked Technologies To Support Conferences” paper by myself, Emma Tonkin and Paul Shabajee in a paper given at the EUNIS 2005 Conference. I need to revisit this work, though, in particular looking at embedding this approach within events and the context of use (not everybody will want to do this).

Posted in Events, Web2.0 | 3 Comments »

Scope, Rationale and Policy for this Blog

Posted by Brian Kelly on 6 November 2006

This Blog will focus on matters related to the Web, in particular Web standards, innovations and areas related to Web 2.0.

As a Web adviser to the UK higher and further education communities and the cultural heritage sector, there is a clear need for me to be better informed on Blog issues (both technological and non-technological areas). In addition a Blog can help me to better inform and engage with my communities.  Use of a Blog will also support my professional development (as was reported in Tom Roper’s Blog it was rather embarrassing to be singled out as the only non-Blogging speaker in a Web 2.0 session at the ILI 2006 conference!).   Fortunately my organisation has a proactive policy on staff development.  This places a responsibility on me to use this Blog in a professional manner.  So I will adopt the policy which my former colleague Paul Miller told me is Talis‘s policy on its Panlibus Blog: “Don’t be stupid!”.

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »

“Exploiting The Potential Of Wikis” workshop

Posted by Brian Kelly on 6 November 2006

On Friday 3 November 2006 UKOLN held a workshop entitled “Exploiting The Potential Of Wikis” at Austin Court, Birmingham. I put together the programme, chaired the morning session and gave a talk in the afternoon. My co-chair, Steven Warburton of King’s College London gave the opening talk in the morning and chaired the afternoon session. The other speakers were Professor Henry Rzepa (Imperial College) and Phil Wilson (University of Bath). All of the speakers slides are available online.

There were about 80 participants at the workshop and the feedback seemed to be very positive. We’ll be analysing the feedback shortly and I’ll post a summary of the significant comments. In the meantime you can access the workshop Wiki, which was hosted on the Wetpaint Wiki service.

Posted in Events, Wikis | 1 Comment »

Welcome to the UK Web Focus Blog

Posted by Brian Kelly on 1 November 2006

Welcome to the UK Web Focus Blog. As my tenth anniversary as UK Web Focus at UKOLN arrives, it is clearly time for me to set up a Blog to support my role as a Web adviser to the UK higher and further education and cultural heritage sectors.

This Blog will give my thoughts, views, opinions, etc. on matters related to the Web.

Your feedback is welcomed.

Brian Kelly, UKOLN, University of Bath, BATH, UK.

Posted in General | 9 Comments »