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Adrian Dale - Creatifica Associates
Creatifica Associates Ltd.
Information Management Insight
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Online Information 2009 – A success

The themes of Online 2009 were focused around the coming together of the pragmatic semantic web and the social web to create an online world with unparalleled opportunities for the library and information professions. 

 Judging from the feedback from many delegates, the conference structure and content worked well and there are many heads brimming full of ideas travelling back to the workplace tomorrow – hopefully to translate ideas into action.

Having retired from the Chairmanship today, I’d like to place on record my thanks to Lorna Candy the conference organiser and to the conference committee for their inspiration and support in devising the programme.  I know that my successor Steve Dale will find their continued support the key to success with Online 2010.

At last the UK Government takes open data seriously

In a surprise announcement on 11th June, the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Sir Tim Berners Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt to head up a team to push the UK public sector forward in the use of the semantic web.    This is a welcome appointment and could overturn the years of neglect since the Cabinet Office disbanded its dedicated team.

Google Wave – Information Objects in Action

An interesting product was demonstrated at this year’s Google I/O – Google Wave.  The trend from old fashioned “paper centric” e-mail towards full online collaboration takes a leap forward with “wave” building in the best from the web 2.0 era – blogging, social software etc.   The key to it is the Google vision that every information object (picture, person, comment, caption …) should exist once in the cloud with a unique identifier.  Objects can be reused anywhere and whenever they are changed by the originator, they change everywhere they have been used.  This is fantastic for information management but has interesting challenges for records management and information governance.  It is also dependent on the cloud being there of course.  It is scheduled for release at the end of 2009 – perhaps just in time for Online 2009.  Let’s hope so.

Semantic web interest from the big players

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) have recently published their spring edition of Technology Forecast The whole issue is devoted to linked data and the semantic web.  Their are some excellent primer articles and interviews with key players in the field. It is well worth a read and a validation of the stance many of us have been taking for years about URIs being the key to unlock the true power of the web.

US Govt Launches

Yesterday the US Government launched (see this posting for a full commentary).  Openness and transparency of federal data is the goal.  Data is being published in a variety of machine readable forms to facilitate innovative re-use of the data by citizens and business.  This is a huge boost for the open linked data movement and will be boosted even more by the apps for America competition being sponsored by Google and O’Reilly and TechWeb to promote creative mash-ups of this information.  So come on OPSI - let’s see go live!