Thursday, September 29, 2005

Buying Digital/InfoX Conference(s): Topics To Grow On

What was the InfoX event at the New York Hilton? It was a common vendor showcase for five separate but related conferences focusing on business intelligence, content acquisition and deployment, collaboration, search and taxonomies. It's an interesting concept, but taken as a whole its focus was perhaps ahead of some of the implementers in the 400+ audience. The value of content services is indeed moving to new levels within many major institutions, but it appears as if many of the people saddled with creating that value in evolving work roles are still on a fairly steep learning curve to understand what it means to be at the intersection of open Web content, library sciences and institutional I.T. platforms. On the other side of the coin many of the seasoned information professionals in attendance seemed to be very on top of the issues but finding themselves caught in traditional roles in which they're not necessarily empowered to make the kinds of decisions about deploying content services that are really going to make a difference for their organizations.

InfoX was in some ways a relief from the oftentimes self-reinforcing and non-productive drivel churned out at some Knowledge Management conferences, but at least KM benefits from people who profess to have some thought leadership in a marketable sector. Information Today is on to something with the mix of tracks and topics and vendors provided for this event, but the next iteration of this event will benefit from helping this audience recognize that they really are a part of a common community that benefits from sharing their missions in this evolving common ground. Perhaps it's time for Institutional Publisher to make its debut as a title for InfoToday.
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