Online 2010: “the one when it snowed”

Snow!

By the end of the annual Online conference and exhibition each year a couple of themes emerge as dominant. Last year, for example, in the LIS Research Coalition’s review of the Online 2009, we reported that social media and the semantic web had been the key areas of interest. At Online 2010 conversations centered on a range of themes including linked data, the social web, the value and impact of information professionals, and mobile and cloud computing. However, at the forefront of many minds was the UK weather as it deteriorated over the course of the week. In the future we may well be remembering this event as “the one when it snowed”.

Online 2010 exhibition hall at London Olympia

Online 2010 exhibition hall at London Olympia

For visitors to Online from both the UK and beyond snow caused much disruption. There were few people at Olympia whose travel plans were not subject to delay or change for their outward and/or return journeys, and many who had hoped to attend Online 2010 simply did not make it to London at all. As a consequence there were some substitutions on the programme, both in terms of presenters and session chairs. Hazel Hall, for example, expected to deliver her own paper on news from the LIS Research Coalition and chair two others: (1) Winning hearts and minds! Breaking through social media barriers with presentations by Phil Bradley (now on Slideshare), Ulla de Stricker and Bonnie Cheuk; (2) Adding value to library and information services using social media with presentations by Kim Holmberg, Mervi Ahola and Janika Asplund, and Hervé Basset.
Presenters Angela Ashenden, Helen Clegg and Gordon Vala-Webb

Presenters Angela Ashenden, Helen Clegg and Gordon Vala-Webb

In the event, she chaired an additional session – Social media in action: driving forward IM and KM with presentations by Gordon Vala Webb (now on Slideshare), Helen Clegg and Hugo Evans, and Angela Ashenden – and was on standby for other duties should they have arisen. This session has been reviewed by VIP in a posting entitled “Infopros and social media 1: culture or toolkit?“.

Twitter

Those who follow @LISResearch on Twitter will have watched our tweeting from sessions where Hazel was a member of the audience. If you would like to see the full archive of conference tweets, it is available from the Online10 Twapperkeeper set up by Karen Blakeman.

A session tweet on the tweet wall

A session tweet on the tweet wall

From here you can get a flavour of the event, as well as links through to speakers’ slides and some blogged reviews of individual sessions and the conference as a whole. At the event itself there were a number of screens around the conference that displayed the Twitter activity in real time. Tweets referred to the sessions, exhibitors and – inevitably – the snow. As well as hosting the screens, UltraKnowledge kept a record who was most active on Twitter. @LISResearch topped the chart.

Paper highlights

Of the sessions that Hazel attended she particularly enjoyed the discussion of “Web squared” as the successor to Web 2.0, illustrated neatly by Dion Hinchcliffe in the opening keynote paper. Here Dion used a table to compare Web squared’s characteristics with those of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

Conference chair Stephen Dale and keynote speaker Dion Hinchcliffe

Conference chair Stephen Dale and keynote speaker Dion Hinchcliffe

Bonnie Cheuk’s efforts with social media to protect staff from information overload generated by the “e-mail high five” were entertaining and illustrated the challenges of culture change when implementing social media in the work place. There were three strong presentations from Euan Semple, Lee Bryant and Brian Kelly in the Social media and leadership session on the Tuesday morning, with Euan’s focus on how to move people away from po-faced attitudes to social media, and Lee’s discussion of how information professionals should have a stronger involvement in an area where corporate communications staff often have a hold. Librarians working in higher education are advised to review the video of Brian Kelly’s presentation on the value of cloud services, accessible from his UK Web Focus site. The conference sessions also gave access to many case studies from which librarians and information scientists could learn about good (and sometimes less than optimal) practice in information services delivery.

Ake Nygren spoke about social media and public libraries

Ake Nygren spoke about social media and public libraries

Some of the free sessions were of particular interest, not least because the presentations drew heavily on research evidence. For example, the content of Wednesday afternoon’s Social media spotlight papers by Jakob Harnesk, Hervé Basset, Stephane Goldstein, Geoff Walton, Ake Nygren, and Tomas Baiget derived largely from the results of research projects.

The two papers that followed in the gallery area of the exhibition hall by Annie Mauger of CILIP and Anne Caputo of SLA were also based on the output of research projects. We were particularly pleased when Annie restated in her presentation CILIP’s recognition of the importance of evidence-based research to library and information science.

Congratulations

Hazel was pleased to join in celebrations of success at Online 2010. On the Tuesday afternoon, and just before he was due to take the stage, it was announced that Phil Bradley had been elected Vice President of CILIP for 2011.

Phil Bradley (photo credit Dave Pattern)

Since Hazel was chairing the session in which Phil spoke, she had the honour and pleasure of making the first face-to-face public announcement of Phil’s success.

Later in the afternoon she attended the presentation of the award of Information World Review Information Professional of the Year 2010. Unfortunately the recipient Dave Pattern had been unable to make the journey to London due to the snow, so Karen Blakeman accepted the award on his behalf. For further information on Dave’s well-deserved success, please see the blog post by Brian Kelly. On the Thursday lunchtime we were also pleased to see Stephanie Kenna receive her honorary fellowship of CILIP.

Other reviews

This review of Online 2010 can only reflect the perspective of one participant and, as such, it is limited. For a fuller picture it is worth checking the reviews of others who have reported in detail on individual sessions, as well as the conference as a whole. The blogs postings from the Conference Circuit by Donald T Hawkins provide a good overview starting with Welcome to Live from London – Online Information 2010, as do the posts by Val Skelton and Kat Allen at InfoToday.eu. Val’s summary of What we learnt at Online Information 2010 is particularly interesting. Individuals who have blogged their own experiences of the conference include Mareike Guy and Onlineability. Nancy Davis Kho’s review for VIP focuses on the exhibition, and FreePint’s photos from Online are worth browsing. There are also links to blog postings and photographs from the conference and exhibition on the SLA Europe web site. We look forward to seeing further reviews of the conference in the print media in early 2011.

Coalition calls at FUMSI

A new article on the work of the LIS Research Coalition entitled “Coalition calling: focusing the research efforts in the LIS industry” by Joanna Ptolomey features in the current edition of FreePint’s FUMSI. FUMSI is well-known in the UK business information community for publishing tips and features that provide practical insight for finding, using, managing and sharing information. This feature is based on an interview with Hazel Hall at Online 2009 at London Olympia last December.

The article’s starting point is the question:

  • What ‘use’ do we make of information and when does this information join together and start to build an evidence base?

Joanna argues that the use of real evidence (or knowledge assets) is key to the delivery of effective and efficient information services, as well as prompts the generation of future ideas for influencing change and changing practice. In her article she considers the role of the LIS Research Coalition in co-ordinating and facilitating the research process and outcomes for the library and information sector. Read the full text at: http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/use/4575.

For a full listing of media coverage of the work of the LIS Research Coalition, please see the Media Coverage page. Included in the listing are links to the full-text of two other articles based on interviews with Hazel Hall, and a podcast interview:

  1. Elspeth Hyams interviews Hazel Hall about social computing, practitioner research and the LIS Research Coalition in Research in practice: a living example in the March 2010 issue of Library and Information Update (pp. 24-26).
  2. Archana Venkatraman interviews Hazel Hall about the work of the LIS Research Coalition for Information World Review in the article A decade for mobiles, social media and research, published on 5th February 2010.
  3. On 15th September 2009 in a Talking with Talis podcast Hazel Hall is interviewed about the plans of the LIS Research Coalition.

Hazel Hall named Information Professional of the Year 2009

One of the highlights of the annual Online Information Conference each December is the announcement of Information Professional of the Year, sponsored by the American Psychological Association. The awards are organised by Information World Review and the Online Information Conference organisers, Incisive Media. Nominations are judged by a panel of previous Information Professional of the Year award winners.

Peter Williams, Hazel Hall and Peter Gavionrno

Peter Williams (Editor of IWR magazine) Dr Hazel Hall & Peter Gaviorno (American Psychological Association)

This year Hazel Hall, Executive Secretary of the LIS Research Coalition, was named Information Professional of the Year. At a ceremony at London Olympia on Monday 1st December, Peter Williams, Editor of Information World Review, referred to Hazel’s “energetic and enthusiastic” contributions to the profession. He discussed how her work invigorates the professional landscape globally. He cited Hazel’s recent work with the Library and Information Science Research Coalition as an example of her achievements in 2009.

For further information, please see news coverage of:

Brian Kelly also noted the awards ceremony as one of the highlights of Online 2009 towards the end of his conference review.

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