Ok guys, it's finally sunk in. I won't be at NECC this year. I really wanted to get there to meet in person some of those great people I have been working with, learning from and just chatting with. I made some efforts to get there but it just didn't pan out. So I guess the 18,000? of you who will be there will just have to manage without me. Maybe I"ll make it some other time.

Well, as a consolation I attended a Research Colloquium of the Information Science Department at Bar-Ilan University here in Ramat Gan, Israel today and heard some pretty cool presentations.

The day started off with a real rocker by Dr. Alon Hasgal of the department, who specializes in knowledge management, e-commerce and virtual communities. He spoke about "From Information to Knowledge in a Web2.0 World ". He painted a vivid picture of how information and knowledge are to be accessed in the web2.0 world as opposed to how this was done only a few short years ago. Rather than me try to summarize his points, why don't you have a look at this hilarious Israeli video clip – Supermarket 2.0 that shows them vividly. http://youtube.com/watch?v=e9MgHuitMwU

(You can see the clip embedded on my page here.)

(BTW – some of the guys who made this clip have the coolest web2.0 startup – Wishood – "where you can share wish lists and make wishes come true –" http://www.wishood.com/ )

Among the other presentations – an informative one by Dr. Yoni Mizrachi who was on a government research team that did a survey on Israel's national e-readiness. He gave us a peak into the methodologies used to get an up to date picture of where Israel stands in readiness for functioning in the digital world – hardware, software, accessibility, - e-competence, digital divide etc. He also pointed us to the portal where all the research results and methods were documented. http://www.maor.gov.il (Sorry guys, it's in Hebrew)/

Mrs. Judith Koren, a private information expert, introduced us to an imaginative new venture – A portal meant to tap the knowledge of information experts and make it available to the public. Information problems are posted on the site and recognized information experts sign in and outline the information sources and strategies that they would use to solve these problems. All this knowledge will be stored and easily retrievable on this web2.0 portal. Going alpha next month and attracting information people to participate by running a kickoff information problem solving competition. First Prize - an Apple Ipod Nano 2GB. - http://www.researchtrail.com/

Well there was much more, but you guys gotta go pack for NECC, so I"ll just finish up by saying that I rounded out the day by meeting with my counselor for some work on my dissertation and hearing about a very interesting work offer.

I"ll be reading everything you guys will be posting next week about NECC. Bon Voyage!

Views: 49

Comment by Jay Hurvitz on June 22, 2007 at 7:57am
Aha! So I won't see you there ... though of course I won't be there either. Bar Ilan, however, is so much closer, and I didn't even get there. So many conferences ... and sadly, so little that really gets said.

But thanks for your report. Alon Hasgal is an enjoyable speaker. Did he really relate his subject to education, and/or to bringing pupils to an ability to become self-motivated information users? I've always felt that when it comes to that, "then a miracle occurs" seems to be his approach.

Supermarket 2.0 is a wonderful video. But even though the people who made it are intimately involved in 2.0 type stuff, it seems to me that they're clearly making fun of themselves. Just what are we supposed to learn from it?

But enough. Shabbat Shalom to you ... and may I suggest, don't read "everything" those guys will be posting next week. Pick and Choose. Even, or perhaps especially, in a Web 2.0 world, it's the only way.
Comment by Reuven Werber on June 22, 2007 at 9:32am
Hi Jay,
Fancy meeting you here.
Alon didn't get to talk about education except in reply to my question (but the conference wasn't about education was it?)
I think the video was poking fun, but that's what Alon was talking about - the value of information in knowledge in a web 2.0 world is so often determined by "the crowd". Much of what we value and "purchase" in the "supermarket" is what the crowd values. Good, bad, indifferent?
Don't worry Jay, in the end I will wind up reading the posts of those I"ve learned to value!
Shabbat Shalom!


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