I attended the JISC Digitisation Conference held at St David’s Hotel and Spa, Cardiff on 19-20 July 2007.

On Friday I was the facilitator and speaker at a session on “Transforming the Users Experiences – How Can Institutions Develop Innovative and Affordable Tools to Engage Increasingly Sophisticated Audiences“. I introduced the session by making use of a scenario planning approach (which I learnt about from a JISC Users and Innovation event some time ago) based on a scenario in which Web 2.0 wins, and users and institutions are making incresing use of externally-provided services. The title of my talk was “Globalisation 0f Social Networks” and the slides are available on Slideshare.

Following my talk Adrian Arthur, Head of Web Services at the British Library, described the importance of Web 2.0 to the British Library (it is mentioned in the British Library’s strategic vision document, for example, and it enables them to make best use of scarce resources). Adrian then provided some example of services provided by the British Library which make use of Web 2.0 services such as Google Maps.

The third speaker was Alistair Russell, developer on the MSpace project, based at the University of Southampton. Alistair reminded us of the popularity of easy-to-use Web 2.0 services such as YouTube, and also highlighted the relevance of simple Web 2.0 development tools such as Yahoo! Pipes and Popfly. Alistair suggested that the next development after Web 2.0 would be the integration of much richly structured resources with the popularity of the Web 2.0 approach. He speculated that Web 2.0 + the Semantic Web could lead to Web 3.0.

There appeared to be little dissent from the audience from the views given by he speakers. In my conclusions I suggested that the next steps should be to address the issues of risk assessment and risk management and embracing openness which I described in a poster which is included in a recent post on Just Do It – But How?

I should also add that I was pleased to note that the conference made use of a Wiki prior to the event (to allow participants to give their contact details and summarise their interests and to sign up for the parallel sessions) and that a blog was used during the event to keep notes of the various sessions and to invite feedback from both conference delegates and others who weren’t physically present. In addition the various talks were recorded and a Podacst will be provided shortly. Perhaps the one thing that seemed to be missing was a tag to enable the photos and blog entries provided by participants to be easily integrated with the main conference blog.

So the conference was a success – but the journey home was a nightmare, due to severe flooding in the south of England. I managed to get back home – but I did spot various people at Cardiff and Bristol Temple Meads stations wondering whether to book a hotel for the night, or try to get a taxi or rent a car back to Oxford, London and Birmingham. I hope the conference blog manages to capture some of the stories about the journeys home.