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The Killer App of the Internet is Other People – ASIST Day 1 November 9, 2009

Posted by asistubc in conferences, events, meetings, outside events.
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Wow!  That was quite the first day for us at the ASIST 2009 conference.  This was my first time attending and I was given a wonderful opportunity to blog my experiences by the conference organizers (thanks Letisha!).  This year the conference is being held in beautiful Vancouver (can be seen through the raindrops if you squint) and the hotel is conveniently situated right next to the skytrain station.

Us volunteers (around 20 or so?) were given our marching orders then we were set loose to mingle.  I am very amazed at the awesome friendliness displayed by everyone.  Complete strangers, introducing themselves!  I can be shy – so if I look alone please introduce yourself (or if you want to say something on this conference blog – going to try for one post a day… input is always appreciated).

The lunch was entertaining and the plenary session by Tim Bray (@timbray) was very insightful.  Here of the highlights of what I though were some of the more poignant tweets:

@emmalawson: There’s no substitute for human judgement–@timbray

@bezanson: “This community isn’t that concerned about marketing” – Bray. Really? We should be!

@joe_sanchez: Virtual Worlds have more immediacy than email/twitter/sms more so than phone perhaps? @timbray@danhooker: Twitter’s “hideous grievious flaw” is that it’s owned by a company

@kjersti: Tim Bray: What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet… forever.

@asistpratt: Tim Bray, “The culture of online is epistolary…we are in a golden age of writing…a golden age of archiving and libraries.”

The twittering was fast and furious at times – everybody seems to have adopted the #asist09 hash tag and there is a list of ASIST twitterers compiled here if you want to follow everyone in one fell swoop (let me know if I’ve missed you or if you want off).  Many people were tweeting the individual sessions, its quite educational and informative to search back through the tweets (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23asist09)

Things to note beyond the official program:

Monday 8p – 10p at Smiley’s Pub, Pender & Hornby http://tinyurl.com/y8t877o (too late at night for me!).

Sig Knit
(saw someone with a sign – can publish time and place …)

That CD in the conference tote – not a coaster – it seems to contain the full text of all the papers at the conference.  Should be good reading material for those times where you’re waiting for the next session.

Posted by: Rowena McKernan (romckernan@gmail.com)

head conference: a green global web conference September 22, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in outside events.
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October 24-26, 2008. Attend from anywhere, via the Web. $99 registration fee through September 30th:


Web design, Microsoft Silverlight, OpenID, Flash, and more … all from any computer in the world, no travel required. (Also, no schwag. But hey, it’s a pretty good deal, and you can say you were “there”. Sort of.)

ACRL 2009 Coming to Seattle September 21, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in outside events.
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The Association of College & Research Libraries is holding its annual conference in Seattle, March 12-15th. The speaker lineup alone is reason enough to attend: rabble-rousing Canadian journalist Naomi Klein; poet, novelist, filmmaker, and humourist Sherman Alexie, and the soft-spoken but dependably funny Ira Glass from NPR’s This American Life.

Preconference sessions plus more than 250 peer-reviewed conference sessions promise an active and interesting conference, especially for technologically-inclined library folk. If you have an idea for something to present, why not propose it? The deadline is October 20th for poster sessions and November 23rd for roundtable discussion proposals — which should dovetail nicely with the end of term. ;\

InMagic Presto – “Social Knowledge Management” September 19, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in announcements, outside events.
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Social Knowledge Management from InMagic

Social Knowledge Management from InMagic

InMagic announces Version 2.2 of Presto, an innovative application platform for “integrating ‘topdown’ vetted information with ‘bottom-up’ social knowledge”.

Originally released in April of 2008, Presto’s new version reportedly features many improvements over previous ones.

InMagic calls it “the industry’s first true social knowledge library”.


Want to know more? KMWorld Magazine is presenting a free sponsored Webinar on the product on October 7th, 2008.

More information on the Webinar here.

Pssst … register and attend, and you might win an iPod Nano. (You know you want one.)

Tip of the hat to the Friends Blog.

Google I/O, Apps, and App Engine April 7, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in outside events.
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A link to what I thought might be the announcement of the very cool sounding Google App Engine SDK (for which I was, alas, too late to be one of the lucky first 10,000 to sign up) turned out to be a link to Google I/O, a developer conference focused on the Google platform, coming up May 28-29th at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Ajax, Mashups, and Code, Oh My! Sounds like a whole lot of fun for only $50 (student registration price).

If you’re keen on developing cutting edge web apps using Google’s SDK, follow the App Engine link, download the SDK, and sign up for email notification when they open it up to more users. Or, if you just want to link online documents, calendaring, and a website, go for Google Apps. It’s free for students, and there are 120 other UBC students already signed up.

Update: More on Google App Engine, from the good folk at Ars Technica.

Online Northwest 2008 – 25th Annual Library Conference February 23, 2008

Posted by drybones1 in outside events.
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I went to my first library conference this week! Online Northwest’s 25th Annual Conference in Corvallis, Oregon seemed like a great opportunity to meet some librarians & hopefully learn a thing or two about what’s going on in the online library world. And of course, it was also a great excuse to spend a few days in Oregon. I love Oregon. There’s just something about it … Anyway, Corvallis is located in the Willamette Valley, about 80 miles or 130 km south of Portland. The region is full of vineyards and is especially known for its Pinot Noir, which we sampled at a great little Spanish Tapas restaurant called La Rambla in McMinnville. (Thanks to the McMinnville Public Reference Librarian who recommended this place!)

Online Northwest

Usability expert Jared Spool was this year’s keynote speaker. Spool is the founder of User Interface Engineering, whose research team helps clients solve design problems, and also a faculty member of Tufts University’s Gordon Institute. Unfortunately I arrived a little bit late and missed his presentation, Why Good Content Must Suck: Designing for the Scent of Information.

I did, however, meet a lot of librarians (mainly from Oregon) and also managed to see four very interesting presentations. Unfortunately, with four panel speakers per hour, you can only see one quarter of everything that’s going on. Nevertheless, here’s what I saw:

  • Kitty Mackey and Robert Hughes of Clark College described how librarians collaborated with students in an Interface Design and Interactivity class to perform usability testing and make recommendations for remodeling the library’s website.
  • Michelle Drumm and Barrett Havens from Centralia College demonstrated how RSS technology can help libraries reach out to online communities.
  • Ann Whitney from the University of Washington Health and Sciences Libraries gave a start-to-finish explanation of the ABC’s of podcasting and vodcasting for libraries.
  • Maureen Kelly and Kim Griggs of Oregon State University described a project at their library to shift away from subject guides, which they claim undergraduates rarely use, toward Interactive Course Assignment pages. They used Ruby on Rails and agile development methods to build a tool that librarians and faculty could use to create dynamic course-based web pages with reference information.

I definitely recommend this conference to anyone interested in online library technology, or anyone looking for an excuse to spend some time in Oregon. I had an excellent time.