Archive | September, 2011

Frankfurt Book Fair to Address Issues on Multimedia Content

Below is part of an article that appeared in Knowledgespeak, a free daily news reporting service published by Scope eKnowledge Center for the STM publishing industry.  I thank them for their kind permission to reproduce this important news from the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor


While last year saw the entry of enhanced e-books, what’s clear this year is that multimedia content is the future, according to Frankfurt Book Fair Director Juergen Boos. He further says the phase of exploration experienced by the global industry is now over, and that the focus today is on actual business strategies as well as the development of completely new forms of cooperation involving the creative industries of film, games and books. The Book Fair, projected as the world’s largest meeting of the publishing industry, expects to welcome 7,500 exhibitors from 110 countries, as well as 280,000 visitors.

Boos believes that the swift changes taking place in the content business are creating a huge demand for knowledge and, above all, for exchanges of ideas on equal terms. The Frankfurt Book Fair has responded to this by working with the German Publishers and Booksellers Association to establish the new Frankfurt Academy conference brand, and by maintaining the digital initiative, Frankfurt SPARKS, which it launched in 2010. The topics covered by the nine conferences will range from new forms of storytelling and story-selling (Frankfurt StoryDrive Conference/ SPARKS, Open Space, Agora, October 12-13) to “Metadata and Rights Management” (TOC, October 11, Marriott Hotel). All in all, more than half of the roughly 1,100 industry events at the Book Fair will address aspects of digitisation.

To do justice to the new standards of the content business, this year, for the first time ever, the Frankfurt Book Fair will dedicate an entire exhibition hall to buying and selling intellectual capital. In addition to the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg), Hall 6.0 will now feature a new trading floor called the StoryDrive Business Centre. This is where content dealers and creative work experts from the film, games and publishing industries will come together to generate business.

The importance of ‘knowledge’ will also be addressed in the new-look Hall 4.2. This has traditionally been home to scientific, specialist information and educational publishers, who first began using digital production processes in the 1990s, and whose products are already nearly 100 percent digital. Various events will illuminate the role and working processes of these publishers and their customers, among whom are information professionals from private companies. The topics covered by this varied programme will range from the “open access” debate and metadata, to a presentation of the control room of the Large Hadron Collider by the European nuclear research centre CERN.

Coming of Age: The Charleston Observatory 2011

Where are institutional repositories going and why?  Find out at the upcoming Charleston Conference, November 2-5, where the results of a survey on this subject will be presented.  Here is an e-mail that I received with the details (thanks to the organizers for permission to reproduce it).

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

Institutional and subject repositories have become an important feature of the information landscape and have arguable `come of age’. CIBER, with the support of the Charleston Library Conference, is carrying out a study to find out where repositories are going next and why.

We are asking library directors and researchers worldwide what they think by means of online surveys and focus groups. The aim is to find answers to questions such as:

  •  What are the priorities and goals for repository managers?
  •  What are the critical factors behind a successful repository?
  •  What impact are they having?

 We would very much welcome your views as a library professional!

Please click here to take part in the survey, or paste into your browser.

The survey should take no more than 25 minutes of your time.  The survey will close on TuesdaOctober 25 .

 You may wish to print out the survey before you start filling it in online because we ask a few questions about budgets that you may not have at your fingertips.  Please click here to download a PDF for reference – but please do not try to fill it in!

 You will not be asked for your name.  However, you will be invited to leave an email contact address if you wish to be entered into a prize draw for an iPhone G3.  You will not be contacted again for any other purpose.

The findings of the study will be presented at the XXXI Charleston Library Conference and will be published widely in the professional and scholarly press, so we can guarantee that your response will add to the debate and your voice heard.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Ian Rowlands
CIBER Research Limited



The Semantic Web Media Summit

I attended the Semantic Web Media Summit in New York on September 14.  Here is a report on the conference.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

Nearly 100 publishers and other information professionals gathered in New York on September 14 for the Semantic Web Media Summit, organized by, a media content organization.  In contrast to many events on semantics that are heavily oriented towards technology, this Summit focused on the business aspects of integrating the semantic web into content.

Semantic Web Overview

Michael Dunn

Michael Dunn, Vice President and CTO, Hearst Interactive Media, gave the opening keynote address and provided a good overview of the semantic web and its relationships with content.  He said that the media industry has been in catch up mode since the Web started, and the best way to get value out of content is to structure it to improve production (digitization) and enhance consumption (monetization).  The traditional state of media is shifting to the web, and content requirements will keep expanding.  We are experiencing an increasing sense of urgency as a result of a proliferation of devices, continuously changing markets, and shifting audience requirements for real-time, niche, thematic, and contextual content.

In existing content management systems, a major problem is that content is still in silos, which leads to many missed opportunities to increase consumption.  Today’s content is mainly single use, but producers should have their content ready for whatever is coming in the future.  Creators must own every part of what they create, including the text, metadata, multimedia, etc.  Processes must be kept simple so that people creating the content can concentrate on the creative process, with technical steps being done in the background.  This will promote a shift in focus from content being simply a commodity to an innovation.

Content has an ROI, but if it is in silos, it may have been paid for several times (for example, by creating it ourselves, licensing it from others, or via a related or partner entity), which is very wasteful.  In today’s environment, to properly measure the ROI of content, metrics must exist for elements within the content, not just for the number of pages published.  We must also recognize that the context of the intended audience takes priority; the right content must get to the right user at the right time via the right mechanism (increasingly, it will be accessed using smart phones), and all correctly personalized for the user.  Content must be treated as data so that it can be optimized and made harvestable.  Dunn also noted that there is a trust issue with content on the Web: Google does not trust user-supplied metadata and ignores it.

Turning to a discussion of the Semantic Web, Dunn defined it as descriptive markup techniques for content, including links and rich metadata, all of which will foster machine readability.  The media industry should be interested in the Semantic Web because it can create efficiencies during content creation, help to understand content already available, and insure discoverability.  Structuring content will result in generation of richer metadata, better tags and links, reusable content, and improved workflows.  He referred to the Linked Open Data project as an example

Linked Open Data Cloud Diagram. Licensed under Creative Commons

and suggested considering Drupal as a suitable semantic content management system and concluded his address by listing the following benefits of structured semantic content:

  • An increase in productivity, reducing time to market and improving consistency,
  • Increased usage of content, lower production costs, and improved discoverability,
  • An improved user experience for the audience, with increased levels of engagement and better personalization and tagging, and
  • Enhanced revenue streams and new Web opportunities for content.

Publishers should focus on the semantic web, beginning with revenue enhancement opportunities, while showing how to solve business problems and how to measure results.

A Call to Action

Mike Petit, Co-founder and CIO, OpenAmplify, followed Dunn with a call to action, noting that:

  1. The Semantic Web and its associated technology have become tangible and effective tools for publishers, and
  2. Social media have complicated the publishing model and have become indispensible.

For a maximum revenue opportunity, the time to act on these developments is now, but  there are challenges:

  • Control is challenged by social media.
  • Mobile platforms increase demand, but attention spans are shorter.
  • The Web is no longer about finding information; it is now about your content and you being found.
  • Social media can generate premium content, but some brands may not see it that way.

Petit suggested that semantic technology can meet these challenges (he called it “The Semantic 1-2 Punch”).  It helps in gaining an understanding of content, thus increasing use, and the understanding can be used to drive classification, which enhances the sales model, identify audiences, and connect to readers.  He noted that publishers used to create their own content; now our audience does.  We also used to understand what we publish; now we cannot even read it all.  Without understanding, we cannot monetize the content, follow it, or determine where it is relevant.

Once we understand the content, we can classify it, and then it can be optimized, with tangible benefits.  The technology to do this is available; the ROI is measurable; and the necessary costs and effort are reasonable.   Management is beginning to understand the technology, so we will get a better hearing when projects are proposed.  The means are there, so let’s act!

rNews: A New Standard

Three rNews Users (L-R): Andreas Gebhard (Getty Images), Stuart Myles (Associated Press), Evan Sandhaus (The New York Times)

The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) defines digital standards for the media.  Its latest standard, rNews, is a model for embedding machine-readable metadata in Web documents.  Three rNews users described the standard.   Modern websites are built with a 3 tier architecture: the Data Tier where the content resides, the Logic Tier which is the software that reads and processes the data and sends it to the Display (or Presentation) Tier where it is formatted into the HTML document that the user sees.  Parts of a page are not obvious to a computer because the underlying structure gets lost in presentation to user, so the quality of user experience goes down.  Search engines, social networks, and aggregators only see the Display Tier and cannot leverage the underlying structure of the data.  Currently, there are 4 standard formats for marking up and embedding semantic metadata into documents; rNews is a set of suggested implementations.  The complete first version of it will be released at the next IPTC meeting next month.

News organizations should care about rNews because they will realize these benefits from it:

  • They can provide better links and presentation.
  • Better analytics are available.  Javascript can extract richer metadata analytics per item, not just per page.
  • Better ad placement will result.  Unfortunate juxtapositions (such as a cruise ad on page with an article about the Titanic sinking) can be avoided.

rNews is a way to build a news API, level the playing field, and encourage open innovation and lower barriers to cooperation, thus making more stimulating and more interesting news pages.  It also has the advantage that it is based on, a documentation of structured markup tags that Google, Bing, and Yahoo will recognize.

Merging Structure and Meaning

Structure and Meaning Panel (L-R): Mike Petit (OpenAmplify), Rachel Lovinger (Razorfish), Eric Freese (Aptara)

A panel consisting of Rachel Lovinger (Razorfish); Mike Petit (OpenAmplify); Eric Freese (Aptara) and moderated by Christine Connors (TriviumRLG) considered how, in a semantic technology world, structure and meaning can be put together so that content is useful for users.  Here is an edited transcript of the conversation:

RL:  Content should be more reusable, modular, and its designs should be more dynamic.  We must do the design first, and then have new tools that allow the content to publish as it was designed.  Different types of content have varying shelf lives, and much of it has a longer shelf life than most media companies are used to.

MP:  The value and shelf life of content are limited only by the creativity of the users.  To enable creative use of content, it must have a reliable structure.  The meaning must be actionable.

RL:  People are nervous about the information being collected about them.  They are tolerant of ads relevant to them, but if it comes from obviously collected information about them, then they get turned off.

MP:  That is the “spooky factor”, but times are changing.  Cookies used to be feared, but now if you turn them off, you have a bad Web experience.  When you are using social media, you are publicly adding your voice.  It you have the expectation that people should not be able to leverage that, you are being unrealistic.

CC:  People like walled gardens.

EF:  In the book industry, the prime example is Amazon and their ads for related materials.  If you comment, you can get rewards, like $25 off the cheapest Kindle.

MP:  There is value in ads because you might not know the book is out there.

EF: O’Reilly does the same thing if you buy one of their e-books.  When a new edition comes out, they will send you an e-mail.

RL:  Transparency has become extremely important.

MP:  People want the content, and they have insatiable appetites for it.  To the degree that we can deliver that content, they will embrace it.  We need to get the right content to as many people as possible.

CC:  How do we measure how content is being used?

EF:  Book publishers are still trying to figure out how to do it, especially for e-books.  The device makers are not ready to put measurement capabilities in their devices yet.

MP:  All the standards in the world won’t help us if we have data processing capability from the 1950s!  We must choose what to organize.

CC:  We must make sure we’re measuring the right things.

Kasabi: A New Data Platform for the Future

Leigh Dodds

Leigh Dodds, Platform Program Manager at Talis Systems Ltd., described Kasabi, their new data platform which is now in beta test.  Kasabi is built on the premises that context creates value, and its nature is changing as more and more devices become constantly connected.  We point people at related content, and linking creates context.  The Semantic Web is a natural step in that process.

If you do not have to spend time curating and managing a database, you can save costs and get your product to market much quicker.  You can use the content in the database and put your content on top of it, and will not need to figure out the structure of the database, etc.   There is a rapid growth of linked data in several sectors, but that growth presents new problems, such as finding good quality data sources, reliance on the infrastructure, integration into existing systems, and creating revenue from shared data.

Kasabi is making it easy to publish data to extend its reach, while building revenue streams around the data being shared.  It is a data marketplace that is trying to help solve the discovery problem by finding and discovering datasets.  Kasabi offers a standard API for consistent access to all datasets.  Every dataset in Kasabi has 5 APIs associated with it, so there is no need to create one for a new dataset.

Kasabi provides instant access to datasets by allowing click-through licensing.  It is a complete data publishing solution that provides an immediate storefront and platform to host the data.  You can very quickly build a dataset about whatever you are interested in.

Today, Kasabi is in beta, everything is free, and content producers and developers are encouraged to conduct trials of the system.  At present, there are no plans to charge for hosting.  Public domain data can be added to the system and hosted at no charge, and people can use it free.  Producers of commercial data will be charged for high volume usage of the APIs, and they will share revenues.  Developers will pay for the services they are getting for use of your data, so Kasabi is a low cost model for publishers.  Click below to view a short video demonstration.

“Fireside Chat”

Alan Meckler

The day concluded with a brief “fireside chat” by Alan Meckler, long time conference organizer in the information industry and founder of WebMediaBrands, owner of the Semantic Web Media Summit, and associated brands, including  [Side note:  Meckler formerly owned the Computers in Libraries conference and sold it to Information Today in 1995.]  He established the first commercial venture on the Web in 1991 and hopes to be in the forefront when the next large explosion in semantic web technologies, which he predicts will occur in about 18 months.  Meckler bases that forecast on the observation that last year had only about 100 readers; now it has 3,800.  And almost every day, another semantic web effort is announced, so in 18 months, some major commercial development will be newsworthy.


Subscription Site Insider Summit–Not Many Tickets Left

I received the following e-mail from Russell Perkins, Founder and Managing Director of the InfoCommerce Group:

If you are selling subscriptions online – or using recurring (auto-renew) billing – I strongly recommend that you consider grabbing one of the last remaining tickets for Anne Holland’s Subscription Site Summit being held in NYC this Oct 24-25th.

Case Studies and Instructional workshops will include:

  • Media Bistro on launching multiple B2B paid subscription offerings from one main brand.
  • Job Search Digest on selling online training courses to high-level business execs
  • Recurring billing guru Paul Larsen on avoiding credit card declines
  • Auto-renew legal expert Lisa Dubrow on laws that affect publishers
  • How to develop mobile editions of your paid content
  • Online and social marketing tactics specifically for paid content
The presentations look interesting and attractive, and several of them are case studies with “How To …” in their titles, so  they will provide useful practical advice for those in the subscription selling market.  According to the website, there are only 28 seats left at the Summit, so if you would like to attend, make your reservation now.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

Frankfurt Book Fair Academy: A New Addition to the Fair Program

The Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF), occurring this year on October 12-16, is a major event on the publishing industry calendar.  It is enormous, occupying seven large halls, at which publishers all over the world exhibit their wares—virtually anything having to do with book publishing is represented.  And the crowds are equally large, especially on the last day when the public is admitted.  Each year, a different country is designated as the “guest of honor”; this year Iceland is the designated guest.  After my first (and only) visit to the FBF, I said that attending the FBF is an experience everyone in the information industry should have at least once—provided they have a pair of very comfortable shoes!

This year, a new “Academy” has been added to the Fair’s satellite events.  The Academy features “the best international conferences, seminars, and publishers’ trips that the Book Fair has to offer all year round” in four broad subject areas:  strategy, marketing, digital, and rights and licenses.  Here is a sampling of the offerings this year:

In addition, a new series of posts on the Fair’s blog, “Every Think“, will feature 20 essays by the speakers appearing at one of the Academy conferences.

There is truly “something for everyone” at the FBF, and if you have the chance to attend it, don’t miss it!

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

NFAIS Announces Two Workshops; Hosts Webinar on Google+

NFAIS, the National Federation of Advanced Information Services, has announced two upcoming one-day workshops.

A workshop entitled Web Scale Information Discovery: The Opportunity, The Reality, The Future will be in Philadelphia, PA on September 30.  This meeting will be of interest to anyone working with discovery services, which have grown in popularity during the past year.  The workshop will open with an overview of discovery services, presented by Judy Luther, President, Informed Strategies.  She will be followed by representatives from the four major discovery service players:  Summon by Serials Solutions, Primo Central from Ex Libris, OCLC’s WorldCat, and EBSCO Discovery Service.  Each speaker will describe the features and capabilities of their service.  Diane Bruxvoort, Associate Dean, Technology and Support Services at the University of Florida will enumerate the criteria that a library uses to analyze and select a discovery service.  Then Bonnie Lawlor, Executive Director of NFAIS, will describe a Code of Practice for discovery services that is currently under development, and the day will close with the four vendor representatives taking a look into the future of discovery services.

The 10th NFAIS Humanities Roundtable: Embracing the Future While Coping With the Present will be in New York on October 3.  The keynote speaker will be Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director, Office of Scholarly Communication, MLA, and the following presentations will cover topics such as metadata, digital humanities initiatives, and remaining relevant by directing students to relevant information resources.  To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Humanities Roundtable, a Dutch-treat dinner will follow.

Google+ Webinar Slides Now Available

Here is an e-mail that I received from Bonnie Lawlor, Executive Director of NFAIS announcing the availability of slides from a recent webinar on Google+.  (I listened to that webinar and can confirm that it was indeed excellent.  If you have any interest in Google+ or are considering using it, I highly recommend you view the webinar, or at least the slides.  See below for the cost to view the webinar–access to the slides only is free.)

On September 9th NFAIS held an in-depth webinar on Google +.  The well-received session was hosted by John Blossom, President of Shore Communications Inc.and author of Content Nation (Wiley, 2009), who provided a detailed understanding of what Google+ is, where it came from, how it works, how people are using it most effectively, and the key issues that it raises for the information industry. The slides are now available on the NFAIS website; click here to view them.

The webinar received rave reviews and will be available for viewing until September 30th. Take a look at the slides and, if your interest is piqued, you can register to view the recorded session at your leisure and learn more about this innovative new tool that is off to the fastest start yet in social media history!  Google + gained more than 25 million users in its first month of use alone, and enjoys the intense support and involvement from senior Google executives and a broad staff. Why? Google is now in social to win it, with a rich array of Web, mobile, photo and video tools and assets that engage people in sharing and commenting on content very actively and in fresh ways. It is changing the game for social media.

To view the webinar, NFAIS members pay $95 and non-members pay $115.  An unlimited number of staff from an NFAIS member organization can view the recording for a group fee of $245. The group fee for an unlimited number of staff from any non-member organization is $285. Registration information is also here.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

Information Today’s October Conference Bonanza

The Conference Planning department at Information Today has certainly been busy!  There are no less than 14 events on the calendar in October and early November.  (Some of the conferences are co-located with one another and may share the same exhibit hall and keynote speakers.)

WebSearch University (WSU) kicks off the month on October 3-4 in Washington, DC.  Now in its 11th year, WSU has become the place to go to learn the ins and outs of search engines, including new and advanced features, as well as hidden tips and tricks.  WSU covers not only the major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, but also specialized ones.  The list of speakers includes many prominent search engine experts.

Internet Librarian 2011 (IL) returns to its customary venue in Monterey, CA on October 17-19; also co-located are Internet@Schools West 2011 and a new event—Library Directors Digital Summit.  The theme of IL is “Revolutionizing the Net with Content, Connections and Conversations”.  Keynote speakers for the three days are:

  • Monday, October 17:  John Seely Brown, Chief of Confusion, Visiting Scholar at USC, Independent Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, and Author, The New Culture of Learning and The Social Life of Information.  He will speak on “Information and Learning for the Future” and will describe a new form of culture in which knowledge is seen as fluid and evolving.
  • Tuesday, October 18: Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and a frequent keynoter at IL, will discuss “Libraries and Learning Communities” and how people use the internet, smartphones, and tablet computers to get, create, and share information..
  • Wednesday, October 19:  A keynote panel of noted speakers will look into the future and discuss “Internet 2020: TrendWatch Smackdown”

Elizabeth Lane Lawley, Director, RIT Lab for Social Computing, Rochester Institute of Technology, will again present the endnote address, which will be on “Gamification: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.  (“Gamification” refers to using game mechanics in nontraditional contexts.)  In addition to these plenary sessions, IL will feature its usual mix of sessions, an exhibit hall, pre-conference workshops and the highly popular Tuesday evening event, which this year is entitled “The Great Web 2.0 Faceoff”.  The sessions are organized in 4 tracks:  E-book Evolution and Revolution, User Experience, Enterprise Trends and Practices, and Tools of Engagement.  [Important Note:  The conference will be blogged by ITI Editors on ITI’s LibConf blog and by other bloggers.  If you plan to blog the conference, please sign up to be listed on the site with a link to your blog and also to receive a special Blogger ribbon.]

The Library Directors Digital Summit is a new 2-day two interactive forum for library directors, CEOs, and CIOs of academic, public, government and special libraries “to problem-solve, discuss, and network with colleagues. It features a mix of high level presentations, expert panels, round table and facilitated discussions with lots of networking/peer engagement time.”  Here is a summary of the Summit from the website:

“The new Library Directors Digital Strategy Summit is an interactive event which includes leading edge thinking, collaborative opportunities for evaluating different future scenarios, various perspectives and viewpoints, industry experts, and more. Digital strategy has been defined as the process of specifying an organization’s vision, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits digital investments and efforts provide to the organization. This summit pushes us to clarify our visions and goals for digital strategy in library environments, shares opportunities and initiatives, and looks carefully at the benefits our investments can achieve.”

Streaming Media Europe 2011 in London on October 18-19 will feature keynoters Ian Mecklenburgh, Director, Consumer Platforms and Devices, Virgin Media, speaking on “Streaming to the Connected Home” and Oliver Heckmann, Engineering Director, YouTube Europe, on “You Tube: A Peek Inside”.  And if you are interested in the “Connected Home”, a new special co-located one-day conference on October 18, Connected Home 2011, has been arranged with presentations focusing the distribution of digital media to consumers with the appropriate technologies in their homes.  And another co-located conference the following day, Online Video Strategies, is targeted at “attendees for whom video is not the core business, but who are using video as part of their internal or external communications strategy.”

Enterprise Search Europe, chaired by Martin White, well known consultant on intranets, has its inaugural conference in London on October 24-25.  The keynote speaker is Professor David Hawking, who is well known internationally for his work in information retrieval research dating back to 1991, which led to the Australian search engine, Funnelback.  Hawking’s keynote is entitled “How Can Academic and Industry Research Make you and your Customers Happy?”  Two concurrent tracks at the conference are on Tools and Techniques and Making Search Work.

The European counterpart to IL, Internet Librarian International (ILI), will be in London on October 27-28 (pre-conference workshops on the 26th), with a theme “Navigating the new normal — strategies for success”.  See this blog post for details on the keynote speakers and other features of the conference.

Finally, ITI’s traditional series of co-located fall conferences will be in Washington, DC on October 31-November 3.

  • At the 7th Taxonomy Boot Camp conference on October 31-November 1, the keynote address, “New Directions in Taxonomy” will be presented by Don Turnbull, a consultant in software research and development specializing in search systems (information seeking and retrieval), analytics, user experience design as well as intellectual property creation and analysis.  The two tracks, “Getting Started” and “Beyond the Basics”, are designed for attendees at varying levels of expertise in taxonomies.
  • Enterprise Search Summit Fall 2001, November 1-3, “Enterprise Search in the Real World”, focuses on practical aspects of implementing corporate search services.  Case studies and techniques for helping employees find information to do their jobs more effectively are the emphasis of the conference.
  • The 15th KM World conference, November 1-3, Jeremiah Owyang, Industry Analyst, Altimeter Group, will be the opening keynote speaker; he will discuss “Architecting a Connected Enterprise”.  On November 2, Dr. Carla O’Dell, president of APQC, an internationally recognized resource for process and performance improvement, and author of The New Edge in Knowledge will speak on “Let Your Networks Be Your Guide: Search in a 2.0 World”.  Two keynote panels, on “KM for the Future: Pioneers’ Perspectives” and “KM From the Bottom Up”, will occur on November 3.
  • Finally, the SharePoint Symposium, “Evaluating Where, When, and How to Use it in the Enterprise”, will be on November 2-3.  The Symposium is divided into four half-day tracks, “SharePoint Pros and Cons”, “SharePoint Across the Enterprise”, “The SharePoint Ecosystem”, and “SharePoint in the Public Sector”.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

Fall Conference Season in Full Swing

As I am writing this column, summer has returned—after a brief interruption by Hurricane Irene—but by the time the conferences below roll around, we will be at the height of one of the busiest conference months of the year.  Information Today jumps into its fall conference season with no fewer than 14 events (see the following posting on this blog), and the usual subjects of interest appear on the calendar.


The largest book fair of the year will occur at its traditional time and venue.  The Frankfurt Book Fair will be on October 12-16, and this year the book fair management has inaugurated the Frankfurt Academy, a new “umbrella” brand that “brings together the best international conferences, seminars, and publishers’ trips that the Book Fair has to offer all year round.”  The subjects include strategy, marketing, digital media, and rights and licenses.  It will be interesting to see how this new venture succeeds; Book Fair sponsorship will give it a significant advantage.

The 9th International Conference on the Book will take place October 14-16 in Toronto, ON.  The keynote speakers are George Elliott Clarke, Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, who specializes on studies of literature from Nova Scotia; and Dr. Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.  Dr. Geist has written extensively on the Internet and intellectual property law.  Besides their formal presentations, the keynote speakers will participate in “garden sessions”, in which attendees can discuss their presentations in an informal setting.  Conference sessions are grouped into 6 subject “streams”, as follows:

  • Books, writing and reading
  • Educational resources and learning
  • Information society, print and electronic texts
  • Libraries
  • Literacy
  • Publishing

Digital Libraries

The 4th annual conference on A Digital Public Library of America: Perspectives and Directions will be in New York on October 11.  This is a single-day conference featuring the following speakers and their topics:

  • Robert Darnton, University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library, A Vision of a Digital Public Library of America
  • Tom Allen, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers, A National Digital Public Library, the Google BookSearch Settlement, and U.S. Publishers
  • Pamela Samuelson, Distinguished Professor of Law and Information Management, University of California, Berkeley, Strategies for Overcoming Copyright Obstacles to Achieving Digital Library Objectives
  • Yakov Shrayberg, Director General of the Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Russian journal, Scientific and Technical Libraries, and International Library Information and Analytic Center (ILIAC) President, Digital Libraries in Russia and Their Availability to the Public

The three U.S. speakers are leading authorities in their subject areas, and the speaker from Russia is one of the most influential librarians there, so this conference will be a highly relevant and educational event.  In fact, one of the organizers says that Darnton’s article, “Google and the Future of Books” (New York Review of Books, February 12, 2009) “is the best article I have read in the library and information field”.

The website for the Digital Preservation Summit 2011 (Hamburg, Germany, October 19-20) states that the conference will be “by experts for experts”—a forum where “experts exchange their practical knowledge and experiences on digital preservation”.  The theme for the first day is “Getting Ready for Digital Preservation”, and the second day will consider “The Ingest Process for Different Types of Digital Material” (where “ingest” describes the complete process of transferring material to the digital archive).

The International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL 2011, Beijing, China, October 24-27) is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China and has the theme “Digital Libraries — for Culture Heritage, Knowledge Dissemination, and Future Creation”.  This conference will have a wealth of information for attendees; four leading experts will present keynote addresses, and there will be 15 sessions arranged in three concurrent tracks.

The XIII All-Russian Research Conference RCDL’2011 (Voronezh, Russia, October 19-22) will focus on “Digital Libraries: Advanced Methods and Technologies, Digital Collections”.  The preliminary program (in both English and Russian) has recently been published.

Discovery Services

Information discovery services have burst upon the industry and have attracted significant interest.  The NFAIS workshop, “Web Scale Information Discovery: The Opportunity, the Reality, the Future” (Philadelphia, September 30) is therefore extremely timely.  It will feature an overview of discovery services by Judy Luther, President, Informed Strategies, followed by descriptions of the services by the four major players in the market at present, after which representatives from several libraries will present their experiences.  Bonnie Lawlor, Executive Director of NFAIS will describe a Code of Practice for Discovery Services that is currently under development, and the day will conclude with the players discussing the future of these services.  Given the high interest in discovery services and a number of important issues surrounding them, this workshop promises to be highly relevant and worthwhile.  Those who cannot attend in person will be able to register for virtual attendance.


Are e-books becoming the normal way to read?  Find out at “Ebooks: The New Normal” on October 12.  Sponsored by Library Journal, this virtual conference will begin with a keynote panel talking about how libraries are leveraging the e-book opportunity.  Three concurrent tracks will focus on K-12 libraries, public libraries, and academic libraries.  An extensive list of speakers will be participating, and the day will close with a keynote address followed by a Pecha Kucha session (20 slides displayed for 20 seconds each).

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has organized a forum entitled “The E-Book Renaissance: Exploring the Possibilities Exposed by Digital Books”, to be held in Baltimore, MD on October 24-25.  The Forum “will probe the key issues surrounding e-books from a variety of industry, library, scholarly, and consumer viewpoints”.

Information Science

The annual Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval (HCIR 2011, October 20, Mountain View, CA) will be keynoted by Dr. Gary Marchionini, Dean of the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  It will be held at Google’s headquarters (the “Googleplex”)—an excellent venue for a conference on this subject!  An “HCIR Challenge” will use the CiteSeer digital library of scientific literature, and participants (information retrieval system developers) will be given tasks to perform using it.  The tasks will be used to demonstrate the systems to conference attendees.  (Watch this blog for a report on this workshop—I hope to be there.)

The International Conference on Trends for Scientific Information Professionals (ICIC, October 23-26, Barcelona, Spain) is now in its 12th year.  Approximately 24 presentations will be on topics such as digital natives, social media data, open access repositories, and cross-collection searching.  In keeping with its antecedents, ICIC also has a large chemical information component.

The International Conference on Integrated Information (ICININFO-2011), an interdisciplinary conference covering research and development in information management and integration, will be held September 29-October 3, on the island of Kos, Greece.  Professor Amanda Spink, Chair in Information Science, Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, UK, has been invited to keynote the conference.

The ASIS&T Special Interest Group for Metrics (SIG/MET) has organized Metrics 2011, the Symposium on Informetric and Scientometric Research, to take place October 12, immediately following the ASIS&T meeting in New Orleans.  SIG/MET is a newly formed Special Interest Group (SIG), so this will be the first occurrence of this symposium.  The program is still under development.


The 10th International Conference on the World/European Horizons of Librarianship in the Digital Age, organized by the Serbian Library Association, will be at the National Library of Serbia in Belgrade on October 27-28.  Here are the main subjects to be discussed:

  • Digitization of cultural and scientific heritage,
  • Free access to information,
  • World and European guidelines for libraries, and
  • The library as a support to the information society.

The program will be available shortly.

Access 2011: The Library is Open will be in Vancouver, BC on October 19-22.  Andrea Reimer, a member of the Vancouver City Council; Jer Thorp, Data Artist in Residence at the New York Times, and visiting Professor in New York University’s ITP program; and Jon Beasley-Murray, researcher at the University of British Columbia will be the keynote speakers.  Access is Canada’s premier library technology conference.  Its first day will feature a “hackfest”, in which participants work together on projects of mutual interest, as well as a pre-conference session on “Open Source for Library Decision Makers”.

Library 2.011 is a worldwide virtual conference on November 2-3 on the future of libraries in the digital age.  A wide range of subject areas will be discussed, including the e-book revolution, open resources, digital literacy, and the library in new learning models.  It is sponsored by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University.  So far, 46 discussion proposals have been submitted and are available on the conference website for comments.

Metadata and Semantics

Here are several conferences dealing with metadata and semantics that are on the schedule:


O’Reilly Media has organized its third Tools of Change (TOC) Frankfurt conference on October 11 as part of the Frankfurt Academy series.  A long list of distinguished speakers has been recruited for this version of the popular TOC conference, and a new Supply Chain track focusing on e-book supply chains has been added to the program.

Outsell’s Signature Event, an invitation-only conference for top executives, will be in Phoenix, AZ on October 19-21.  Produced in collaboration with the Jordan Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI), its theme is “Finding Revenue in All the Right Places”.  Speakers include executives from several leading companies in the information industry, and as usual, a significant part of the conference is devoted to the annual outlook for the industry.

Knowledge Management

The 20th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2011, Glasgow, Scotland, October 24-28), a major conference on knowledge management, has three keynote speakers:

  • David Karger, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, whose topic is “Creating User Interfaces that Entice People to Manage Better Information”,
  • Justin Zobel, Professor of Computational Bioinformatics in the University of Melbourne’s Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering, who will be speaking on “Data, Health, and Algorithmics: Computational Challenges for Biomedicine”, and
  • Maurizio Lenzerini, Professor of Computer Science at Università di Roma La Sapienza, who will discuss “Ontology-based Data Management”.

An extensive collection of full and short papers complements the keynote addresses.

The 3rd International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (I3CK 2011, Paris, France, October 26-29) is composed of 3 co-located conferences: International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Information Retrieval (KDIR), International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development (KEOD), and International Conference on Knowledge Management and Information Sharing (KMIS).  They share keynote speakers, but each conference has its own program committee and speakers.

The 8th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning (ICICKM 2011) will be in Bangkok, Thailand, October 27-28.  All areas of knowledge management are represented on the program.

Society Meetings

Here are the society and association meetings scheduled in October:

Conference Dates Venue Sponsor-Organizer
159th ARL Membership Meeting: Expanding Capacity and Partnerships in the Digital World October 11-13 Washington, DC Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
ARMA 56th Conference & Expo October 17-19 Washington, DC ARMA International
AASL 15th National Conference & Exhibition October 27-30 Minneapolis, MN American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
AMIA 2011 Annual Symposium: Improving Health: Informatics and IT Changing the World October 22-26 Washington, DC American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)
ARL-CNI Fall Forum: “21st-Century Collections and the Urgency of Collaborative Action” October 13-14 Washington, DC Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
ASIS&T 2011 Annual Meeting: “Bridging the Gulf: Communication and Information in Society, Technology, and Work” October 7-12 New Orleans, LA American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T)
ISMTE 2011 European Conference October 18 Oxford, UK International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE)
Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) Conference 2011: Dynamic Leadership for LIS October 3-7 East London, South Africa Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)
LITA National Forum 2011: Rivers of Data, Currents of Change September 29-October 2 St. Louis, MO Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)
SIPA Fall Publisher’s Roundtable Conference October 4 New York, NY Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA)
STM Frankfurt Conference: Biting into the Core: Challenges to peer review, business models and their ilk October 11 Frankfurt, Germany International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM)


As usual, there are many more conferences scheduled than can be listed here, but they’re all on the ITI Conference Calendar.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor