UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Posts Tagged ‘ili’

The ILI Conference – Looking at the History

Posted by Brian Kelly on 4 Oct 2018

Since finishing work at UKOLN in July 2013 and at Cetis in May 2015 my professional activities have focussed primarily on organising the annual Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) which, earlier this year, celebrated its 22nd anniversary.

Abstract for “Getting Better Search Results” session at ILI 2003

However I still maintain my interested in Web developments  and continue to engage with my many professional contacts. And I’m pleased to say that I will be keeping updated with web developments at the forthcoming ILI 2018 conference. Perhaps more importantly the event, which will be the 20th anniversary since the launch of the Internet Librarian International conference, will provide an opportunity to renew contact with members of the library community I have met over the years.

I’m particularly pleased to have been invited to chair the final talk at the event, in which Phil Bradley will “reflect on the key themes, ideas and innovations that have emerged over the past two days, surveys some of the innovations we have encountered over 20 years of ILI, and looks ahead to future challenges and opportunities for libraries and information professionals.”

I have known Phil for at least 15 years – and I can date this from viewing the abstract for Phil’s talk on “Getting Better Search Results” which he gave at the ILI 2003 conference on Tuesday 23 March 2003 (see programme in PDF format).

The web sites for most of the previous ILI conferences are still hosted online. Therefore using the Google Custom Search Engine (GCSE) it is possible to create a simple search interface to the previous conference web sites, as I have done. This interface is available at:

Use of the search interface is illustrated in which I have searched for information on my involvement with ILI events.

For those who might wish to build on this, or develop other services which could reveal information on the history of the ILI event, details of the previous conferences and locations of the web sites is given below.

Year Date Web Site
1999 29-31 Mar 1999
2000 20-22 Mar 2000
2001 26-28 Mar 2001
2002 18-20 Mar 2002
2003 25-27 Mar 2003 Not available
2004 10-12 Mar 2004
2005 10-11 Oct 2005
2006 16-17 Oct 2006
2007 16-17 Oct 2007
2008 16-17 Oct 2008
2009 15-16 Oct 2009
2010 14-15 Oct 2010
2011 27-28 Oct 2011
2012 30-31 Oct 2012
2013 15-16 Oct 2013
2014 21-22 Oct 2014
2015 20-21 Oct 2015
2016 18-19 Oct 2016
2017 17-18 Oct 2017
2018 16-17 Oct 2018

What Can the History of an Event Tell Us?

The IWMW (Institutional Web Management Workshop) celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2006 celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2006 celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2006. The anniversary also marked the launch of the IWMW blog. The launch of the blog provided an opportunity for delegates to reflect on the event, the impact it had had over the years and the influence the talks and other sessions had provided. No fewer than 32 guest posts were published, including posts on the web management community (“Andrew Millar’s Reflections on Recent IWMW Events“), the influence the event had an career development (“What has IWMW done for me?” and “In 1999 I was a freshly fledged World Wide Web Coordinator”“), the changing nature of events in a networked environment (“Amplifying IWMW“)  and on a number of areas addressed at IWMW events (e.g. “The Portal is Dead. Long Live the Portal!“, “Looking Back at Web Accessibility Sessions“, “Beyond Your VLE: Strategic Challenges”  and “Web Security: More Important Than Ever“).

The authors of these posts were helped by the availability of all of the previous event web sites together with links to much of the content (mostly hosted on Slideshare) and to report on previous events, including reports posts on blogs, as well as aggregated collections of  Twitter posts.

Access to UCISA conference web sites, back to 2009

Access to ALT-C conference web sites, back to 2009

I hope that describing this approach may be of use to the ILI event organisers (perhaps for the 25 anniversary), as well as for organisers of other long-standing conference series such as UCISA conferences and ALT-C conferences.

Long-running events may therefore benefit from sharing of stories provided by delegates who have attended events over the years. The recollections will benefit from triggers such as event programmes, descriptions of themes, titles and abstracts of talks and speaker biographies. This provides good reasons for continued access to event web sites, as the ILI event organisers have done. However the maintenance of the content – and of links to the content – is not necessarily easy. For the UCISA Management Conference and ALT-C conferences links are provided only back to 2009, although the web site for the UCISA 2005 Management Conference and ALT-C 2003 Conference can still be found using Google.

An Opportunity for LIS Students?

But beyond recollections for event speakers and delegates, event web sites might also provide information for the wider community about the evolution of ideas relevant to the community (and, incidentally, when I found the ALT-C 2003 Conference web site I noticed a (broken) link to a text-only version of the web site (who remembers when providing such links was felt to provide accessibility benefits??)

So perhaps the access to 19 of the 20 ILI conference web sites might be of value to LIS students, who are likely to have an interest in the development of thinking in information management over the past two decades.

Creating the Google Custom Search Engine interface was a trivial task. However a meatier student project could perhaps make use of more sophisticated indexing tools to analyse the content provided over 20 years and the speaker profiles.

Might this be of interest to any LIS academics?


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The ILI Tenth Anniversary

Posted by Brian Kelly on 21 Aug 2008

The Internet Librarian International Conference Is Ten

This year sees the 10th anniversary of the Internet Librarian International (ILI) conference. This year’s event, ILI 2008, will be held at Novotel London West, London, UK on 16-17th October 2008. And, unfortunately, it will be the first ILI conference I won’t be able to attend. I have spoken at all of the ILI conferences and have also been a member of the programme committee and chaired sessions for a number of years.

My Involvement In ILI Conferences

Details of all of my talks at ILI are available on the UKOLN Web site. In light of the forthcoming anniversary I thought it would be interesting to produce a timeline of my involvement with the conference. I used the Dipity software to produce the timeline of my involvement in the ILI conference series, as illustrated below (and I should add that an embedded version of this is available on the UKOLN Web site, which also provides access to a locally managed copy of the data, so that potentially the service can be recreated if the Dipity service is not sustainable).

ILI Timeline

The conference has been of particular relevance to UKOLN, as it has provided an opportunity to actively engage with the communities served by both of our core funders: the academic libraries and the JISC development community together with those working in public libraries. Producing this timeline has provided a useful opportunity to observe and reflect the topics which have been of interest to these communities over this time.

Talks On Web Standards

My first talk was entitled “New Standards on the Web” and I described emerging new Web standards, including a range of XML standards (XLink and XPointer) and RDF. Looking back at the presentation (and the references to related work such as Eric Miller slide’s on support for RDF in Netscape) I can see how naive I as in my expectation that the emerging new W3C standards would be quickly deployed in a mainstream service environment. I gave another talk on standards at ILI 2003 entitled “HTML Is Dead! A Web Standards Update” in which I avoided the complexities of Semantic Web standards and focussed on data formats including SVG and SMIL. Again I was soon able to appreciate that the market place had little interest in these standards, although my comments on the importance of and XML and CSS, for example, were appropriate and timely. The final talk I gave related to Web standards was given at ILI 2005 and was entitled “Facing The Challenges Of A Standards-Based Approach To Web Development“. Here I reflected on the failure of various Web standards to gain acceptance in the marketplace and described the ‘contextual approach to use of open standards’ which I had been involved in developed for the JISC to help avoid repeating the costly mistakes made in the past when open standards (e.g. Coloured Book software) had continued to be advocated even after their failures had been widely acknowledged.

Web Accessibility

A talk on “Benchmarking Of Library Web Sites” given at ILI 2002 included a description of use of automated Web accessibility testing tools. The following year, at ILI 2003, I took part in a Web accessibility panel session entitled “Web Site Accessibility: Too Difficult To Implement?” and this time I gave one of my first presentations in which I argued that the traditional approaches to providing accessible Web resources, based on implementation of WCAG guidelines, was flawed. Two years later the joint UKOLN/Techdis holistic approach to Web accessibility had been developed and at ILI 2005 I was able to run a half day workshop with Lawrie Phipps on “A Holistic Approach To Web Usability, Accessibility And Interoperability“.

Best Practices For Publishing E-Journals

ILI conferences have provided a dissemination opportunity for various projects I have been involved in. I gave a talk on “Electronic Magazines: Issues in Implementation” at ILI 2000 which described the EU-funded Exploit Interactive e-journal. The following year, at ILI 2001, Marieke Guy and myself ran a half-day workshop session on “Publishing Web Magazines, e-Journals & Webzines“, the first of four workshop sessions I have facilitated at ILI conferences.

Other Areas

Other topics which I’ve covered at ILI conferences have included advertising on Web sites (at ILI 2001), new devices on the Web (ILI 2002) and quality assurance for Web sites (a half day workshop at ILI 2004).

Web 2.0

Since ILI 2004 the main focus of my involvement at ILI has been related to Web 2.0. The first talk was entitled “Beyond E-mail! Wikis, Blogs and Social Networking Software“, with a talk on “The Sceptics View Of New Technologies” being given in a panel session at the ILI 2004 event.

A talk on “Email Must Die!” at ILI 2005 described the benefits of various Web-based collaborative and communications tools, and, at the same event I continued to argue the need to adopt a critical approach to the new technologies with a talk on “Folksonomies – The Sceptics View“.

I was invited to chair a session on Wikis at ILI 2006 and, due to the late unavailability of one of the invited speakers, also gave a brief talk on “Reflections On Personal Experiences In Using Wikis“. My main talk that year was on “Web 2.0 and Library 2.0: Addressing Institutional Barriers“.

Finally at ILI 2007 Kara Jones and myself ran a masterclass on “Using Blogs Effectively Within Your Library” and I gave a talk on “The Blogging Librarian: Avoiding Institutional Inertia“.

Returning To ILI 2008

I had intended to participate at the ILI 2008 conference, but as I have been invited to present a paper at the Bridging Worlds 2008 conference, I will unfortunately not be able to attend. I will be there in spirit, though with my colleagues Marieke Guy and Ann Chapman this year facilitating the half-day blogging workshop.

I would like to take this opportunity to give my thanks to everyone who has helped to make the ILI conference series such a great success, especially the conference organisers (including Marydee Ojala, Jane Dysart, Nancy Garman, David Raitt, Bill Spence, Jean Mulligan) and the people I’ve met at ILI (too numerous to mention, but I should include Michael Stephens, Mary Peterson, Frank Cervone, Karen Blakeman, Phil Bradley, Darlene Fichter and Peter Scott). All my best wish to everyone at ILI 2008 – and all the best for the next 10 years.

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