Web 2.0: Opportunity Or Threat For IT Support Staff?

About This Talk

Brian Kelly gave the opening plenary talk at the UCISA-SDG IT Support Staff Symposium which was held at St Anne's College, Oxford on 21-22 June 2007.

The title of the talk is "Web 2.0: Opportunity Or Threat For IT Support Staff?"


We are now all familiar with the term "Web 2.0". Many of our users are excited at the potential of technologies such as blogs and wikis to enrich teaching and learning and research services within our institutions. And many developers feel that lightweight syndication technologies such as RSS together with lightweight Web 2.0 development environments (such as Yahoo! Pipes and Dapper) will enable useful services to be developed rapidly. And, of course, the Web 2.0 notions of openness, always beta and trusting users relate closely to the ethos of the higher education community, in which institutions seek to be innovative and to actively engage students in development activities which support active learning.

On the other hand Web 2.0 services, such as those provide by Google, Yahoo! and a host of other providers would appear to undermine the provision of robust, reliable and well-supported mission-critical applications. From this perspective it could be argued that Web 2.0 is undermining the IT environment within our institutions.

So Web 2.0 - an opportunity or a threat for our institutions and, most importantly, for our IT Service departments and IT support staff who will be in the front line if things go wrong. This plenary talk will expand on the opportunities and challenges - and seek to provide possible answers to the dilemma.



Web 2.0: Opportunity Or Threat For IT Support Staff?
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Biographical Details

Brian Kelly's job title is "UK Web Focus". His remit is to support the higher and further education and cultural heritage communities in making effective use of Web technologies. His post is funded by the JISC and the MLA.

Brian is an experienced Web developer having set up his first Web site in January 1993 whilst working in the Computing Service at the University of Leeds. After spending a year as a Senior Trainer for Netskills. In November 1996 Brian moved to UKOLN - a national centre of expertise in digital information management which is located at the University of Bath.

Brian's current interests include standards for Web development, Web accessibility and Web 2.0 technologies.

Brian's email address is b.kelly AT ukoln.ac.uk