Raising Awareness

"A centre of excellence in digital information management, providing advice and services to the library, information and cultural heritage communities."

UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.

Open Content and Open Events: Professional Development in an Amplified World


Kirsty Pitkin gave a talk on Open Content and Open Events: Professional Development in an Amplified World based on a paper written by Brian Kelly at the Online Information 2011 conference The conference was held on 29th November-1st December 2011 in the National Hall, Olympia, London. The 25 minute talk took place in the "Broadening Our Horizons: Fresh Insights and Opportunities to Stay Ahead" track from 11:30-13:00 on 1st December 2011.


Accompanying Video

Brief video clips which gave an introduction to the talk and conclusions are available:

Introduction hosted on Vimeo - 2 mins 16 secs
Conclusions hosted on Vimeo - 1 mins 13 secs


The paper is available from the University of Bath institutional repository:

[About] - [MS Word] - [PDF] - [HTML]

Information For Programme

Brian Kelly
Job Title
UK Web Focus
UKOLN, University of Bath, UK
Title of Talk
Open Content and Open Events: Professional Development in an Amplified World
Three key learning points
  1. How amplified events are currently being used to enhance discussions and maximise the impact of events.
  2. Examples of best practices in the provision of amplified events.
  3. The importance of amplified events in light of current funding challenges and environmental issues.
Abstract (500 words)

In a rapidly changing technical environment the importance of staff development for information professionals is widely acknowledged, with conferences such as Online Information providing a valuable means of keeping informed of developments and new approaches which are being taken.

However, in the current economic climate it is becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to provide funding for attendance at conferences, seminars, workshops and other activities by which information professionals update their skills and enhance their professional networks. In addition, concerns related to the environmental impact of travel may also lead to a reluctance to travel and pose new challenges for those involved in providing such events.

However technological developments, including the availability of WiFi networks at many venues, increased ownership of mobile devices with networked capabilities and the wide variety of communication and collaborative tools available, offer new opportunities for the provision and 'amplification' of events to enhance professional skills, whether hybrid or online only.

In this paper the authors will describe work at UKOLN and the wider community in the provision of amplified events, where networked technologies are used to allow remote audiences to participate in events and to enhance the discussions amongst those physically present.

The paper will review the growth in popularity of amplified events since WiFi networks at conferences started to become available about 8 years ago, how early adopters started to exploit such technologies and how this led to an environment in which at many IT-focussed events access to a WiFi network is now expected to be provided.

The paper will also explore concerns raised by the amplification of events, such as the potentially disruptive nature of the back-channel and the undermining of the traditional event business model.

This paper will summary best practices for those wishing to host or participate in amplified events and will provide a framework which can help to address the possible concerns that such approaches may be counter-productive and ensure that appropriate policies are implemented.

In addition to the policy issues the paper will describe the key IT areas which can be used to provide different types of amplified events including tools for enhancing discussions; providing live-streaming of talks; providing access to resources after the event; aggregating content; promoting and marketing amplified events and evaluating such events.

This paper will be based on several case studies which the authors have been involved with, including the amplification of UKOLN's annual Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) event, amplification of seminars given abroad to an audience in the UK and amplification of UKOLN's recent seminar series. The case studies will include descriptions of the perspectives of speakers, remote audiences and organisers of amplified events.

Proposal for
Form of presentation
Case study
Which conference theme best fits with your proposal?
The future of the profession
Session / Track
'Broadening our horizons: fresh insights and opportunities to stay ahead'
'Building a framework for the profession of tomorrow'

Biographical Details

Image of Brian Kelly Brian Kelly is UK Web Focus at UKOLN, a post funded by the JISC to advise the UK's higher and further education communities on best practices in use of the Web. Brian is an experienced speaker on a variety of topics related to use of Web 2.0 and the Social Web. Brian is also a pro-active use of various Social Web services to support his professional activities. He has published over 900 posts on his UK Web Focus blog since its launch five years ago and also contributes to a number of other blogs. He was also an early adopter of Twitter which complements his mainstream blogging activities.

Brian has also published a variety of peer-reviewed papers including recent papers on "Empowering Users and Institutions: A Risks and Opportunities Framework for Exploiting the Social Web" and "Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends". He has presented at various international and national conferences and has given invited keynote talks at conferences held in Sweden, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia.

Brian works at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management, which is based at the University of Bath.