UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

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Revisiting Event Amplification

Posted by Brian Kelly on 14 Oct 2018

“Amplifying Your Event: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How”

At next week’s ILI conference Alison McNab, Academic Librarian at the University of Huddersfield, will be giving a talk in a “Quick Win” session on “Amplifying your event: who, what, where, when, why and how“. In this lightning talk she will provide “practical tips on using social media to promote and amplify events”. The session “will be of particular interest to LIS professionals who are new to supporting events whether at a local level or as part of a professional network”.

As this is an area of particular interest to me I felt this would provide an opportunity to provide some reflections on the topic of event amplification.


The term ‘amplified event’ probably arose from a blog post published in July 2007 by Lorcan Dempsey in which he described how “It is interesting to watch how more conferences are amplifying their effect through a variety of network tools and collateral communications.” The post referred to initial observations of use at academic conferences of “pictures on Flickr, the presentations, podcasts, and, hey, there is even a Facebook group devoted to conference interests.

Early Examples

An early example of event amplification was described in a post on On-The-Fly Professional Development And Learning published in October 2008. Around the same time Owen Stevenson live-blogged at the ILI 2008 conference which included a post on Using Twitter to Live Blog ILI08 – some thoughts.

Back then discussions focussed on the various communications technologies which could be used to enrich the experiences at events, including pre-web communications technologies such as IRC (reviewing in a post on Micro-blogging At Events), microblogging tools such as Jaiku (no longer available) and Coveritlive (with archives of use of this tool from 2009 at the CILIP MmIT Conference 2009 – Mobile learning: what exactly is it? and the Future of Technology in Education (FOTE) 09 still available on the eFoundations Livewire web site).

In addition to the communications infrastructure at event there was also much experimentation with tools for resource sharing (with slides often shared on Slideshare and photos taken at events on Flickr, links typically shared using Delicious) and video recordings of talks on Vimeo) and dedicated social networking environments for events such as Crowdvine (no longer available).

There has been a lot of volatility in the marketplace for event amplification tools over the past ten years. However for communications Twitter continues to be widely used and some example of its use at ILI  conferences are given below.

Event Amplification at ILI Conference

Twitter Archives

I have made use of Twitter at many of the ILI conference I have attended over the past 10 years. In many cases it has been used in an informal way. However at ILI 2011 I created a couple of archives of event tweets in order to illustrate potential benefits. Then at the ILI 2013 conference I created archives of tweets for a workshop session which I facilitated with Tony Hirst. On both occasions Storify was used to creation the Twitter archives. The Storify service was subsequently withdrawn from service but as notice of the withdrawal of the service was given, I was able to migrate the data to the Wakelet service. A summary is given below.

Title of Archive About Purpose
ILI 2011: Reflections on the ILI 2011 conference Small number of tweets posted at the end of the event in which delegates summarise their thoughts on the conference. Illustrate how capturing a small number of tweets can help gauge an audience’s reflections. 12 tweets captured.
ILI 2011: Session A101 – What’s on the Technology Horizon? Session A101 (What’s on the Technology Horizon) at ILI 2011 conference (tagged with #ili2011 #a101). Delegates asked to tweet using session hashtag (#a101) to enable speaker (myself) to reflect on comments made after the event. 37 tweets captured.
ILI 2013: The Data Librarian An annotated summary of tweets about session B202: The Data Librarian. As chair of session I created this archive shortly after the session had finished. For this example annotated were provided to give a context for the 47 tweets.
ILI 2013: Future Technologies Workshop Tweets about the Future Technologies pre-ILI 2013 conference workshop facilitated by Brian Kelly and Tony Hirst As a workshop facilitator I encouraged delegates to use the #ili2013fut hashtag to share their thoughts. 38 tweets captured.
ILI 2013: The Conference Tweets A list of tweets containing the #ili2013 hashtag used for the ILI 2013 conference held in London on 15-16 October 2013. Example of an automated collection of tweets. 412 tweets captured.

Revisiting #ILI2009 and #ILI2010

Earlier this morning (Sunday 14 October 2018) the Timehop app on my Android phone alerted me to memories I had posted to various social network services on this day in the past. I was interested to see several tweets which I had posted at the ILI 2010 (23 tweets in total) and ILI 2009 (21 tweets in total) events. These reflect some of the early memories of ILI events captured on social media services but cannot easily be shared with others. With the 20th anniversary event started in a few days I tho89ght I would see what recollections of ILI events are readily accessible using Google.

No. Resource Notes
1 #ILI2009: The challenge of searching in Institutional Repositories Peter Murray-Rust’s thoughts, prior to his plenary talk at ILI 2009
2 Twitter | Karen Blakeman’s Blog Series of posts including one on “Tweets from the past
3 OxfordStaffDev | Staff Development at Oxford University Libraries Series of posts including one on Internet Librarian International, London, 15-16 October 2009
1 #ili2010 | Karen Blakeman’s Blog Two posts on use of social media in a corporate context and on social search
2 ili2010 | OUseful.Info, the blog. Two posts including one which analyses use of Twitter at the event
3 Transitioning Library and Information Service customers from consumers to collaborators – we still have a way to go.. | Elisabeth Goodman’s Blog Elisabeth Goodman’s report inspired by Dr Hazel Hall’s1 keynote presentation
4 Jinfo Blog: ILI 2010: the future lies in the cloud Penny Crossland’s report
5 Do libraries have a future? ILI2010 | Bethan’s information professional blog The script for Bethan Ruddock’s talk at ILI 2010 on “Do Libraries have a Future?”
6 Some musings post ILI2010 | FromMelbin “ILI2010 is now a week and hemisphere away, so here are a few thoughts it provoked from me”

Note the resources given in the table are based on reflections on the ILI events provided by delegates and found on the first page of results using Google searches for #ILI2009 and #ILI2010.

Summary of Benefits of Event Amplification

It’s probably fair to say that initially the interest in event amplification was focussed on technical aspects (which tools to use) and related issues (is the data interoperable; is the service sustainable) although other issues were considered (e.g. privacy and etiquette). As an example in 2010 there was a discussion about “‘Quiet Zone[s]’ At Conferences“. But nowadays use of mobile devices at conferences is ubiquitous and use of tools such as Twitter seems to be accepted.

I was recently invited by Librarians with Lives to contribute to a podcast about the #ILI 2018 conference. As described in the abstract for the podcastEpisode 1 features Kat Allen, Brian Kelly, Alison McNab and Helen Lippell. Kat, Brian and Alison have been involved with ILI for many years and they are ideally placed to introduce the conference, reflect on the changes and innovations that they’ve seen over the years, highlight their must-sees, and offer advice to delegates“.

I mentioned how use of Twitter at the event could be helpful in developing one’s professional networks. To expand on this I suggest that engagement with event amplification at the #ILI2018 event can provide the following benefits:

For Delegates
Use of Twitter can help make what can be a solitary experience at an event (especially for first-time attendees who don’t know many other delegates) into a shared experience. And tweeting during sessions can be an valuable way of collaborating on a shared resource which can be used when people subsequently write trip reports. The open nature of event tweeting can be useful for those who don’t understand a talk, as a tweet saying “I don’t understand this point” can be reinforced if others are having similar difficulties and then resolved by those who can provide explanations.
For Speakers
If there are many talks at a conference (as is the case at ILI) it can take a long time before any official feedback for your talk is available. But if you encourage delegates to tweet (and especially if you suggest a session-specific hashtag) you should be able to see what they said about your talk immediately afterwards (or even during your talk, if you are happy with such multitasking!)
For Event Organisers
As illustrated in the screen capture of tweets posted at the conclusion of the ILI 2011 event Twitter can be used to provide immediate feedback for an event.

Revisiting the post on “Emerging Best Practices for Using Storify For Archiving Event Tweets” and updating them in light of loss of some of the services mentioned (including Storify and Lanyrd) my suggestions for speakers and organisers of the ILI 2018 event are:

  • Assign an event hashtag and publicise it widely: Note the #ILI2018 tag has already been promoted
  • Create archive(s) of event tweets: In this case a Twubs archive of #ILI2018 was created on 14 October 2018. Note that since Twitter archiving services have proved to be volatile, it is recommended that an additional service is used. The Wakelet service is recommended.
  • Create a archive soon after the event finished: Twubs will collected tweets automatically, but other services may need manual curation of tweets (and this can provide benefits.
  • Encourage live tweeters who will tweet consistently through an event
  • Identify emerging best practices for live tweeting at events: Useful practices include:
    • Provide a meaningful summary of the event with appropriate links in advance
    • Announce participation at the event on the morning of the event in order that interested parties are made aware of the event and the event’s hashtag
    • Provide a timestamp and, ideally, a photograph at the start of each talk
    • It can be helpful to clearly signal the end of a talk and the event with an appropriate tweet (e.g. thanks speakers at the end of the event).

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My Participation at ILI Events

Posted by Brian Kelly on 9 Oct 2018


The ILI (Internet Librarian International) conference is celebrating its 20th anniversary next week. In a recent post entitled The ILI Conference – Looking at the History I announced the availability of a search interface to all 20 ILI conference web sites which might be of interest to those with an interest in the growth and development of use of the Internet in libraries (including public and academic libraries) as revealed by sessions given at this high-profile international conference.

As a long-standing speaker at – and supporter of – the ILI conference I felt next week’s celebrations provides an opportunity for me to reflect on my involvement at the event.

It seems that I’ve given 35 talks at ILI conference and details of the talks, with links to the session abstracts and slides, given in the following table.




The first ILI conference, jointly badged with the LibTech conference, was held on 29-31 March 1999 at Olympia. London (with pre-conference workshop taking place on the Sunday, before the conference started).  My talk at this conference was on “New Standards on the Web” and described emerging new standards being developed by W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium), including XLink, XPointer and HTTP/NG.

I revisited my interest in standards at ILI 2003 with a talk on “HTML Is Dead! A Web Standards Update”  which suggested that HTML may be replaced by a new family of XML-based data formats such as SMIL, SVG and MathML with XHTML providing a migration to this new environment.

I suspect that many readers will not be familiar with standards such as SMIL, SVG and HTTP/NG – and these failed to have any impact at the time. A recognition for a more pragmatic approach to use of open standards in digital library development programmes was described at ILI 2005 in a talk on “Facing The Challenges Of A Standards-Based Approach To Web Development” which stated that “open standards may be difficult or expensive to deploy. Indeed open standards may even fail to gain widespread market acceptance.

My final talk on standards was given at ILI 2009. A talk on “Standards Are Like Sausages: Exploiting the Potential of Open Standards” provided examples of failed open standards, explored some of the reasons for such failures, described approaches which can help organisations to identify successful open standards and provided a framework to support the selection of solutions which may not make use of open standards (and back then proprietary applications such as Skype were frowned on by some when open standards such as VOIP and SIP were available).

Web Magazines

The early ILI conferences provided an opportunity to share UKOLN’s experience in providing the Ariadne e-jounal. A talk on “Electronic Magazines: Issues In Implementation” was given at ILI 2000 and at ILI 2001 I co-facilitated a half-day workshop on Publishing Web Magazines, e-Journals & Webzines with Bernadette Dally, the Ariadne editor at the time.

Mobile Devices

At ILI 2002 I gave  talk on New Devices And The Web. Interestingly. although the talk mentioned mobile phones and PDAs (remember devices such as the Palm?) the main focus on the talk was the mobile eBook reader.

Web Accessibility

My main research area of interest has been in web accessibility. At ILI 2003 I gave a talk which asked  “Web Site Accessibility: Too Difficult To Implement?“. At ILI 2005 I facilitated a half-day workshop with Lawrie Phipps on “Web Design: Usability, Accessibility and Interoperability“.

Web 2.0 and the Social Web

The ILI 2004 conference saw my first talk about the Social Web – and talks on this topic were given every subsequent year until 2010, with the exception of ILI 2008 when I was the event coincided with a conference I was speaking at at the National Library of Singapore.

At ILI 2005 in a talk on Beyond E-mail! Wikis, Blogs and Social Networking Software I introduced some of the key applications of the social web and at ILI 2004 in a talk on Email Must Die! I argued that tools such as blogs and instant messaging services could provide advantages over email lists. The same year I highlighted some limitations of social web services in a talk which described Folksonomies – The Sceptic’s View.

At ILI 2006 I provided  Reflections On Personal Experiences In Using Wikis. The following year at ILI 2007 I gave a talk on  The Blogging Librarian: Avoiding Institutional Inertia and co-facilitated a half-day masterclass on Using Blogs Effectively Within Your Library with Kara Jones.

After missing  ILI 2008 in 2009 I co-facilitated a workshop on Using Blogs Effectively Within Your Library with Marieke Guy. Finally at ILI 2010 I co-facilitated a  workshop on Effective Use of the Social Web in Organisations with Ann Chapman.


By ILI 2011 my interests had moved on to evidence gathering and impact assessment and at that event I gave a talk on “Monitoring and Maximising Organisational Impact“. At ILI 2012 I gave a talk on “Monitoring and Maximising Organisational Impact

Predicting Trends

My most recent area of interest was in predicting trends. At ILI 2009 I took part in the final panel session at the event which review some of the “Top Technology Trends for Libraries and Information Professionals“. At ILI 2011 I gave a talk on “What’s on the Technology Horizon?“; at ILI 2012 a talk on “Making Sense of the Future” and at ILI 2015 a talk which asked “What are the Major Technology Trends that will Impact Library Services and their Users?“.

These talks were based on work of the Jisc-funded Jisc Observatory project which was provided by UKOLN and Cetis. A methodology for predicting trends was developed which was described in a paper on “What Next for Libraries? Making Sense of the Future“. The methodology was used at a number of workshops which were delivered at ILI conferences. At ILI 2013 I co-facilitated a full-day workshop on “Future Technologies and Their Applications” with Tony Hirst and at ILI 2015 , again with Tony, we ran a half-day workshop on “Preparing for the Future: Technological Challenges and Beyond


The ILI conferences provided a valuable forum for disseminating the Jisc-funded work I was involved with during my 17 years worked at UKOLN for my core activities of standards-related work, web accessibility and use of emerging web technologies together with additional project activities. It is interesting to look back at a significant part of one’s professional activities over an extended period of time.  And I must admit that I am looking forward to hearing Phil Bradley’s talk on “20 years in 20 minutes” which will conclude this year’s ILI conference.

The Data

No. Event Talk Notes
1 ILI 1999 / Libtech New Standards on the Web Talk in Session D4 – Update on Standards for Web Authoring
2 ILI 2000 Electronic Magazines: Issues In Implementation Talk in Session B-5 (note talk given by Brian Kelly and not Bernadette Daly)
3 Finding Resources On Your Web Site Talk in Session H4
4 ILI 2001 Beyond Design: Advertising on Your Web Site Talk in Session B203 – Top 10 Navigation Tips
5 WebWizards’ Roundtable Talk in Session B4: Webmasters’ Roundtable
6 Publishing Web Magazines, e-Journals & Webzines Half-day post conference workshop (with Marieke Napier)
7 ILI 2002 Benchmarking Of Library Web Sites Talk in Session B202: WEBWIZARDS’ SYMPOSIUM – Designing Sites That Work Well
8 New Devices And The Web Talk in Session Session B301 – New Devices and the Web
9 Building 21st Century Web Sites Talk given in Exhibition Hall
10 ILI 2003 Web Site Accessibility: Too Difficult To Implement? Talk given in Session B105
11 HTML Is Dead! A Web Standards Update Talk.
12 ILI 2004 Quality Assurance For Web Sites Half-day pre-conference Workshop 4: Quality Assurance for Web Sites
13 Beyond E-mail! Wikis, Blogs and Social Networking Software Talk in Track B — Optimising Technology in Libraries
14 Panel Session – Optimising Technology in Libraries Talk in Track B — Optimising Technology in Libraries (panel discussion)
15 ILI 2005 A Holistic Approach To Web Usability, Accessibility And Interoperability Half-day pre-conference Workshop 4 — Web Design: Usability, Accessibility and Interoperability (with Lawrie Phipps)
16 Email Must Die! Talk in Session A101 – Digital Tools for Collaboration
17 Folksonomies – The Sceptic’s View Talk in Session B105: Folksonomies: Community Metadata?
18 Facing The Challenges Of A Standards-Based Approach To Web Development Talk in Session B203 – Using Open Standards and Open Source Software
19 ILI 2006 Reflections On Personal Experiences In Using Wikis Talk in Session A103 – Wikis and Social Software (note not included in programme)
20 Web 2.0 and Library 2.0: Addressing Institutional Barriers Talk in Session A101 – Setting the Stage for 2.0
21 ILI 2007 The Blogging Librarian: Avoiding Institutional Inertia Talk in Session A105 – Blogging Inertia and 2.0 Scepticism
22 Using Blogs Effectively Within Your Library Half-day masterclass M3 — Using Blogs Effectively within Your Organisation (with Kara Jones)
23 ILI 2009 Using Blogs, Microblogs and Social Networks Effectively Within Your Library Half-day pre-conference workshop W5 – Using Blogs, Microblogs and Social Networks Effectively Within Your Library (with Marieke Guy)
24 Standards Are Like Sausages: Exploiting the Potential of Open Standards Talk in Session B105 – Open Standards
25 Reflections on the Library of the Future Talk in Session A201 – Reflections on the Library of the Future
26 Top Technology Trends for Libraries and Information Professionals Closing panel session on Top Technology Trends for Libraries and Information Professionals
27 ILI 2010 Effective Use of the Social Web in Organisations Half-day pre-conference workshop (with Ann Chapman)
28 Monitoring and Maximising Organisational Impact Talk in Session C102 – Monitoring and Maximising Organisational Impact
29 ILI 2011 What’s on the Technology Horizon? Talk in Session A101 – What’s on the Technology Horizon?
30 ILI 2012 What Does The Evidence Tell Us About Institutional Repositories? Talk in Session B203 – Evidence and impact (with Jenny Delasalle)
31 Making Sense of the Future Talk in Session A101 – Future technology: stay ahead, stay agile
32 ILI 2013 Future Technologies and Their Applications Full-day pre-conference workshop (with Tony Hirst)
33 Digital Life Beyond the Institution Talk in Session A104 – Being smart with technology – creating something from nothing
34 ILI 2014 What are the Major Technology Trends that will Impact Library Services and their Users? Talk in Session B101 – Technology futures
35 ILI 2015 Preparing for the Future: Technological Challenges and Beyond Half-day pre-conference workshop (with Tony Hirst)


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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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