Jeremy, Donald and I attended our first TFPL Connect event last night as part of Progility PLC.
The speaker was Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science in Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. One of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, she has been at its forefront ever since. The influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and the emerging research discipline of web science. Her subject last night was the history and future of The Web: What a difference a web makes.
She covered how we are now rapidly moving into a world of data on the Web, which gives rise to even more opportunities and challenges. There is a need to address the critical questions that will determine how the Web evolves as both a social and a technical network, what impact it has had and will continue to have on the world of business, and where it is going next. Today the jobs of more and more people depend on the Web. Media, banking and health care are being revolutionized by it, and governments are even considering how to run their countries with it.
Some items that stood out were the emergence of web science as an academic discipline, the use of MOOCs to increase access to knowledge, and the work of the Open Data Institute. Dame Wendy also suggested what would the digital planet look like when mapped and the challenge of creating standards for the personal storage and preservation of personal data.
On a more personal note, we really enjoyed networking and it was surprisingly easy to discuss this challenging subject. Looking forward to the next TFPL Connect event!