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Live from London! … & That’s All They Wrote

As agreed in advance, it is my job today to sum up our collective experience at the International Online & Content Management Europe show . . . as well as our experience in blogging for the first time.

[Long pause goes here.]

Perhaps it’s because I’m just all blogged out, but I really have nothing else to say about the conference, which was excellent, or the trade show, which certainly rated an 8 on a scale of 10.

I spent the morning cleaning up my hotel room, which looked very much like a tornado had hit it.

There’s never enough time to do everything we would like, including put our clothes away. But as I read over our collective stream of consciousness, all I can really think to say is, we’ll have to do this again sometime. The experience of blogging the conference was not only challenging, but fun.

Thanks to everyone who wrote with words of encouragement this week. Going into this experiment I predicted our Live from London blog would end up reading like a news story or a feature article–and I think we managed to do a little of both.

As you read this experimental blog, you can see that all of us working on the project come from print publishing backgrounds. We just couldn’t help writing news stories, features, and complete editorials.

And, man, what with the photos flying and all the paper, there just wasn’t time to chase down all those hotlinks I would have liked to have embedded in the entries.

We’ll do better next time. Until then, this is Dick Kaser, your color man, signing off from London.

Dick Kaser
V.P., Content, Information Today, Inc.

British Library Reception

Tonight the British Library hosted a very nice reception for a small number of (mostly) British publishers. It was in the John Ritblat Gallery at the Library. This Gallery is open to the public, although normally they don’t serve wine and canapes to the public. If you’re ever in London, the Gallery is something not to be missed. The Magna Carta and other historical documents are on exhibit here. On the one hand, it’s the antithesis of the online show, with such ancient manuscripts being on display. On the other hand, it exemplifies new online, as the British Library works to digitize and preserve these cultural and historical rarities.

Speaking of out of print books (we were, weren’t we?), the British Library announced earlier this week that it would supply Amazon with 2.5 million bibliographic records for its out of print collection. This would help third party sellers identify these books for Amazon customers. Many journalists got it wrong and thought the Library was selling off 2.5 million rare books. Not so, it’s just supplying bibliographic records for identification purposes.

Marydee Ojala
Editor, ONLINE: The Leading Magazine for Information Professionals

Thanks to Imark Communications

On behalf of all the Information Today, Inc. press staff at Online Information 2003 (that’d be Dick Kaser, Marydee Ojala, and me), I’d like to thank Imark Communications for 1) our press passes to Online Information 2003, 2) our invitations to the information industry awards dinner on Wednesday night, and 3) for being unfailingly professional and polite despite my numerous requests and questions. Special thanks to Katherine Allen and Emma Harris, both of whom were always quite gracious, despite their company being partners with a certain arch-rival U.K.-based information industry newspaper that shall remain nameless. (To paraphrase Sean Penn, they tolerated me. They really tolerated me.)

John Eichorn
Editor in Chief, Information Today

EContent 100 Winners at International Online 2003

As issues of our EContent magazine arrived on subscribers’ desks back in the States, news spread through the hall at the London Online Information exhibit today about who the winners were in our editors’ annual selection of the top 100 companies in the e-content “space.”

As the show prepared to open for its last day (Thursday, 4 December), I caught staff from Ektron, one of the winners, checking to see if the issue was live online—sorry, not until next month, when the EContent 100 issue will be available for free as an electronic flip-book (using eBook Systems’ platform) from our Web site.

I did a quick comparison with the list of exhibitors. And assuming I wasn’t too bleary-eyed that early this morning, I observed that of the 100 companies on the EContent 100 list this year, 30% are exhibiting at the London show.

In addition to Ektron, the others exhibiting in London are Alacra, Arbortext, British Library, Cambridge Information Group (CSA), Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), Convera, Documentum, EBSCO Publishing, Elsevier Science, eMeta, Factiva, Fast Search and Transfer, FatWire Software, Gale, HighWire Press, Hoover’s, IBM, Infotrieve, Knovel, NextPage, Nstein Technologies, OCLC, Ovid, ProQuest, QuestelOrbit, Stellant, Swets, Thomson Dialog and Thomson Scientific.

Congratulations to all the companies, selected by the EContent editors, to be in this year’s EContent 100.

Dick Kaser
V.P. Content, Information Today, Inc.

Alacra CEO Worked the Stand

Those visiting the Alacra stand got the chance to chat with CEO Steven Goldstein.

The significance of all those cubes? Explained one of the account reps. on duty: “It’s all in the packaging. These are the building blocks of information.” Alacra is a content aggregator who supplies customized, integrated information solutions for companies who need multiple sources of high-quality business information.

Alacra is one of the EContent 100 this year.

Dick Kaser

V.P. Content, Information Today, Inc.

Editor’s Choice: Factiva

Calling the design of their stand “tasteful and bold,” Information Today Editor John Eichorn gave his editor’s choice award for best stand at Online Information 2003 and Content Management Europe to enterprise information supplier Factiva.

D.K. for John Eichorn

Editor’s Choice: Snapshots

Online Magazine Editor Marydee Ojala, gave her best-of-show award to Snapshots, International, who publishes Global Overview reports of key markets (get it? Snapshots!). In naming them her winner, Ojala called the stand “snazzy.” Their give-away disposable cameras were also a natural product tie-in, IMHE.

D.K. for Marydee Ojala

Editor’s Choice: tmg

I personally was taken by the simple, basic-shell design and clear marketing statement made by British content-management solution provider tmg [].

Paul Wright, business development consultant for tmg described it as “not out of the box, but out of the user experience.” I thought the no frills design made a very interesting statement—and, “Man,” I said to him, “this must have only cost you 20 pounds.” Thus proving, that making a statement doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

I also liked all of the booths I’ve shown elsewhere in this blog.

Dick Kaser
V.P., Content, Information Today, Inc.

Virtual Tour: CAS and Swets Reaching for the Stars

CAS and Swets each chose dramatic skyscraper designs, featuring a wall that ascended into the tall rafters of the Olympia exhibition hall. Each made a very dramatic statement.

Dick Kaser
V.P., Content, Information Today, Inc.

Virtual Tour: Wolters Kluwer / Ovid

I really liked Kluwer’s open stand, which incorporated its subsidiary Ovid. The stand stretched crossways over several aisles of the exhibition floor. Towering green pillars created intimate work space for entertaining customers, a distinctively European approach to trade shows. For when you meet with clients in Europe, you really need a place where you can sit down and sip espresso from the built-in coffee bar. Very elegant as well as functional.

Dick Kaser

V.P., Content, Information Today, Inc.