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Web Futures: Implications For HE

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Talk on "Web Futures: Implications For HE" given at Kings College London on 27 January 2006.

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Web Futures: Implications For HE

  1. 1. Web Futures: Implications For Higher Education Brian Kelly UK Web UKOLN University of Bath Bath, UK UKOLN is supported by: Acceptable Use Policy Recording/broadcasting of this talk, taking photographs, discussing the content using email, instant messaging, Blogs, SMS, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. Also feel free to access the presentation, follow links, etc. This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 licence (but note caveat) * * Subject to confirmation at end of talk
  2. 2. Contents <ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background – The History of the Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where Are We Now? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Developments: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>W3C developments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deployment Challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. About Me <ul><li>Brian Kelly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UK Web Focus – post funded by JISC and MLA to advise UK HE / FE and cultural heritage sectors on best Web practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based at UKOLN, University of Bath </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helped set up Web service in Leeds University in Jan 1993 - first in UK(?) and in first 50 registered at CERN) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web evangelist from 1993 (against Gopher orthodoxy!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attended several WWW conferences since first in 1994 </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. History Of The Web In HE <ul><li>1993 – Early adopters </li></ul><ul><li>1994 – Web wins (Gopher starts to be phased out) </li></ul><ul><li>1994? – Web-support Mailbase list (David Riddle) – start of (enthusiastic) UK HE Web community </li></ul><ul><li>199? – University Webmasters start to be appointed. Website-info-mgt Mailbase list set up to support University Webmasters (political pawns, not cool Web developers) </li></ul><ul><li>199? Best practice docs published by AGOCG </li></ul><ul><li>1997 – First Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) held at KCL (held annual ever since) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Reflections On IWMWs <ul><li>KCL 2 days (lunchtime-lunchtime) </li></ul><ul><li>Newcastle 3 days (2 days content) </li></ul><ul><li>Goldsmiths &quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Bath &quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Belfast 3 days (2.5 days content) </li></ul><ul><li>Strathclyde &quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Kent &quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Birmingham 3 days (2 days content) </li></ul><ul><li>Manchester 3 days (2 days content) </li></ul><ul><li>Bath 3 days (2 days content) </li></ul>June Sept &quot; &quot; June &quot; &quot; &quot; July June There are no easy answers  We can all contribute Finding answers from gurus and best practices Performance, authoring tools, HTML, databases CMS  Web strategy  Exploiting new stuff 1997 Today Meeting people, networking, “I am not alone”
  6. 6. We're Doing Well  <ul><li>Positive aspects of the UK HE Web community: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness to share experiences (e.g. on web-support and website-info-mgt lists) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A well-established annual event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoidance of the ghetto mentality: senior managers, information professionals, designers, software developers, trainers, … meet, talk and socialise together </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenges we face: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open sources vs licensed software debate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of standards (e.g. SMIL vs Flash) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing with limited resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing service vs supporting user needs - cf Andrew Aird's talk in 2002 on &quot; Pursuing A Radical Web Strategy &quot; </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What About Web Standards? <ul><li>Early Days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HTML+CSS+WAI WCAG =  (Netscape's support for CSS was a problem) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Later </li></ul><ul><ul><li>XML a winner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New W3C formats (PNG, SMIL, SVG, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited take-up – and other solutions have benefits (e.g. Flash) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More Recently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complexity and Confusion: Semantic Web, Web Services, deployment difficulties (e.g. XHTML 2.0), patent issues, process issues, … </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Summary – UK HE Web In 2004/5 <ul><li>State of play in 2004/5: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web is mission critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We have Web teams and resources (but we'd like more) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We have a Web/Information Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus tends to be on publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key applications areas: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional Web site  Intranets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>VLEs  Portals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital repositories  … </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Web For 2006+ <ul><li>Significant changes seem to be happening: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs and Wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS and Podcasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pervasive networks (WIFi, broadband at home, 3G, …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration of services (&quot;mashups&quot;) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microformats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google developments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SOA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Web 2.0 <ul><li>What Is Web 2.0? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A marketing term, rather than a formal technical standards (&quot;“an attitude not a technology”) </li></ul></ul>Web2MemeMap, Tim O’Reilly, 2005 <ul><li>Characteristics Of Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network as platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture of participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social tagging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remix and mash-ups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs & Wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Syndication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always beta </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Web 2.0 Exemplars Let's look at some examples – presented to SWLAC staff
  12. 12. AJAX, XML, Web Services, … Does your campus map use Google Maps, or is it trapped in a GIF file?
  13. 13. Google Earth tour of IWMW events
  14. 15. <ul><li>Note: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greasemonkey environment </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>Note: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BBC Backstage competition (free iPod??) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Mobile Devices <ul><li>Potential of mobile devices in learning, research, etc. </li></ul>Lectures on iPods; student-created Podcasts; ..
  17. 18. PDF Note that Talis (UK library vendor) are publishing Blogs and Podcasts about &quot;Library 2.0&quot; And UKOLN/CDNTL have also been experimenting
  18. 19. Are your University Podcasts available through iTunes? Aren't you missing out on a major distribution channel? (Note Student's Union radio shows are leading the way)
  19. 20. UK participants include: National Archives Natural History Museum Creative Commons, Science Commons, Open Access, Open Source, … are helping to drive Web 2.0. What's the UK HE's take on this?
  20. 21. See &quot; Let's Free IT Support Materials! &quot; (EUNIS 2005 paper) as an example of what UK HE could be doing
  21. 22. + “ folksonomies” <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Claim your tag&quot; (e.g. &quot;iwmw-2005&quot;) and convention (e.g. &quot;kcl-publicity&quot;, &quot;imperial-graduation-2006&quot;) for your photos, Blogs, etc.? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NB londonterroristattack tags on 7/7 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should you proactively make you photos, etc. available? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Semantic Web or semantic web <ul><li>Semantic Web: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>W3C approach to provide a Web with meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lower case semantic web / microformats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Been waiting too long for the SW, let's make use of today's technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microformats – provide semantic in (X)HTML using < span >, < div > and < a .. rel=&quot;foo&quot; > </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Define structured date about people, dates, etc. thus: </li></ul><ul><ul><li><span class=&quot;vcard&quot;>Brian</span> … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>XSLT transformations to VCard, etc </li></ul><ul><li>NB Tom Heath's acronym harvester </li></ul>
  23. 24. Blogs (1) <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User created content (diary-style interface) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student use: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shared learning  Social use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gaining experience  … </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research use: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dissemination  Engagement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resource discovery  … </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support use: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What's On, for sale, …  Email alerts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creating RSS  … </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 25. Blogs (2) <ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can we trust our users? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will we be sued, get embarrassed, …? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In-house or externally-hosted? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should we do it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can we afford not to? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Warwick Blog service - see Podcast interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interests from talk at IWMW 2005 and UCISA/UKOLN event, Nov 2004 </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Wikis (1) <ul><li>Wikis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative Web-based authoring environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia is an example of a successful Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See QA Focus &quot; An Introduction To Wikis &quot; briefing document </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can we trust the contributors? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki spam, grafitti, IPR, …? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best practices, interoperability, … </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Wikis (2) <ul><li>Discussion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you afford not to contribute to Wikipedia? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can provide Wikis for use by small groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be used for annotation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is being increasingly used </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implementation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which is the best? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki migration </li></ul></ul>UKOLN intends to host a Wiki (using MediaWiki) to develop community resources on CMSs, VLEs, …
  27. 28. Instant Messaging (1) <ul><li>Instant Messaging: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trivial chat which should be banned? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning is a collaborative activity, so instant messaging, chat rooms, etc. are important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which environment: MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, IRC, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ID management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spamming, noise, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s this got to do with the Web? </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. Instant Messaging (2) <ul><li>Meebo: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Web-based IM client </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An AJAX application </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you ban it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul></ul>
  29. 30. GMail <ul><li>Who needs a University email account when you can get 1 Gb from a GMail account (with AJAX interface) ? </li></ul><ul><li>My Plans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get GMail ID </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use it as secondary source for mailing lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't divulge ID (no spam) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wait and see what extras Google provide (RSS feed would be nice – now available) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain feel for privacy issues </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. Skype / VoIP <ul><li>VoIP: future of telephony </li></ul><ul><li>Popular applications such as Skype: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated voice, IM, Web, (and now video) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be high quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free (or cheap to landlines & mobiles) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>VoIP is coming, so now’s the time to gain experiences. What are the implications of ‘free’ always-on telephony. You could all be broadcasting this talk now!
  31. 32. RSS <ul><li>E-mail has its role but: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why send messages which time-out when many users will read them too late? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why not use delivery channels which are spam-free? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why not use delivery channels which are more suited to receiving information (as opposed to discussions)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why not allow users to select their preferred channels? </li></ul></ul>See RSS briefing paper <ul><li>RSS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Syndication of content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A light-weight standard used in the JISC IE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>View on Web, using one of many dedicated RSS viewers, Opera or Pluck IE plugin </li></ul></ul>Shouldn't RSS viewers be standard on desktops? Shouldn't we be creating RSS feed for news alerts – and not just adding to email overload? Google for &quot; rss is opt-in authenticated email &quot;
  32. 33. Deployment Challenges <ul><li>Such questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we go about deploying Web 2.0? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More importantly, should we (isn't it just hype?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Web policy is owned by the marketing people; they see the Web as a publishing vehicle not as a communications tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We can't use Creative Commons, open access, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We shouldn't make use of commercial services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These services are: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technically / philosophically flawed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't reflect our views on open source / standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Breaking out of our existing culture, software, … </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. Answers <ul><li>What are the answers to these questions? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we face the challenge of 'disruptive technologies'? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a real issue – don't we simply absorb such technologies through evolution? </li></ul>Answers to questions will be sought at the UKOLN/UCISA/CETIS workshop on &quot; Initiatives & Innovation: Managing Disruptive Technologies &quot; at University of Warwick, 24 Feb 2006. <> Or submit a proposal for a talk or workshop at the 10 th Institutional Web Management Workshop at University of Bath, 14-16 June 2006. (Call for papers currently open) < events/workshops/webmaster-2006/>
  34. 35. Some Answers For Free  <ul><li>Thoughts about deployment strategies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The need to be an adaptable/agile audience (cf. the Monarchy and the London Whale / Di's funeral) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It's not new – cf eLib Hybrid Libraries, the RDN's Behind the Headlines as 'mashups' </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits of modular approaches to reflect the diversity of the HE environment (cf E-Frameworks and SOA approach to development) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don't: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your rivals will </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your departments will use the stuff anyway </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who needs central services when we can get better services for free from Google, Yahoo, … ! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 36. Discussion <ul><li>Questions, comments, etc. welcome </li></ul>
  • digicmb

    Jan. 16, 2012
  • lisbk

    Jan. 16, 2012
  • spcrump

    Jan. 3, 2010

Talk on "Web Futures: Implications For HE" given at Kings College London on 27 January 2006. See


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