Magazine article Information Today

Internet World Summer in Chicago: Information Professionals Are Central to Companies' Internet Strategies

Magazine article Information Today

Internet World Summer in Chicago: Information Professionals Are Central to Companies' Internet Strategies

Article excerpt

In addition to its popular East- and West-Coast Fall and Spring Internet World shows, Mecklermedia introduced a new show, Internet World Summer in Chicago, July 23-25. With over 100 conference sessions and workshops, 200 presenters representing the Net and Web industry, 300 cutting-edge suppliers in 90,000 square feet of exhibits, and over 28,000 attendees, the show was definitely a success!

Information Strategies

A number of information professionals participated in this conference as speakers and as part of the audience. Lou Rosenfeld and Samantha Bailey of Argus Associates, Inc. talked about Web-site architecture. Judy Field, from Wayne State and also president of the Special Libraries Association, moderated and introduced speakers. Pat McParland, Online Services at Dow Jones, participated along with other individuals who are planning their companies' strategies in a roundtable that explored the near- and long-term possible futures of the Internet.

Participation of information professionals in this type of conference bodes well for our future, I believe. The Net and the Web are integral to information-management strategies within corporations, communities, and learning environments, and information professionals are central to those strategies.

The debate continues on a number of topics:

* The browser of choice -- Netscape's Navigator or Microsoft's Explorer

* Network PCs from Oracle, Sun, and others

* Exactly when electronic commerce will take over

* The real value and applications of Java

I noticed some interesting highlights for information professionals with respect to online communities.

Building Communities

Libraries and information professionals have traditionally focused on building relationships with communities of people -- their clients within an organization, the communities in their neighborhoods and schools, as well as the experts in their fields around the world. In the Web-based world, building communities online is becoming easier. We are going beyond e-mail, newsgroups, and chat into a world of video chat and conferencing.

As we continue to link experts and clients together, train employees or students over long distances, work in virtual teams, or reduce travel costs through virtual meetings, videoconferencing will certainly grow. In addition to White Pine Software's CU-SeeMe (http://www., Boxtop's iVisit (http://www. debuted at the Internet World Summer show. Both provide multiparty Internet or intranet videoconferencing software. All iVisit requires is a Net connection, camera, and software. …

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