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SCU hosts leading World Wide Web conference


Zoe Satherley media officer 6620 3144
28 June 2006

AusWeb, Australia's leading World Wide Web conference hosted annually by Southern Cross University, will bring together a wide range of experts in the field of Web technology, information and applications.

The five-day conference, being held at Australis Noosa Lakes on the Queensland Sunshine Coast, will be officially opened by Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark on Sunday (July 2).

Conference Chair Associate Professor Allan Ellis, director of research and research training at the SCU's School of Commerce and Management, said being in its 12th year has made the conference the second-longest-running Web conference in the world.

SCU's conference management arm, Norseach Conference Services, manage the conference.

"I think the success of the conference stems from the fact that each year we try to keep a fairly wide-ranging view of what is happening on the Web," Professor Ellis said.

"We cover a diverse range of topics from new and emerging Web technology and Web-based educational applications to how the Web is being used in areas like marketing, research, libraries and in the home.

"The conference offers both national and international keynote speakers who provide an eclectic range of perspectives on Web issues."

Keynote speakers at this year's conference will tackle many aspects of the rapid transformation currently under way as Web-based information and technology becomes a more permanent and invasive part of work and personal lives.

Many organisations are putting significant resources into facilitating that transformation which they see as a critical aspect to working and living in a global society, said keynote speaker, Cindy Hill, Manager of SunLibrary (the renowned SunMicrosystems' worldwide information centre) in Santa Clara, USA.

Tony Palmer, client business director with C4 Communication, an interactive Australian agency which specialises in developing virtual and physical applications and environments for a wide range of organisations, will speak on the commercialisation of the Blog.

"Since the beginning of the Internet and the Web, there has been an army of individuals and organisations collectively beavering away to create a diverse range of applications and environments that now sees us at the precipice of an incredibly exciting new phase," he said.

"Developers, service providers, scientists, researchers, lecturers, mums, dads and kids have been not-so-silently changing the world around us by developing and using the tools of the Internet and the Web to communicate on individual and mass levels at a rate which the world has never seen.

"Fundamentally, the applications on the Web responsible for driving change have been communication-based. Email, messenger applications, groups, forums and IP telephony have all played their part in the Web's rapid evolution.

"However, one application more than any other seems to have cut right through the traditional heartland of mainstream media and has now secured a formidable place on the world media stage – the humble blog!

"Since the development of tools that make creating and publishing a blog as easy as pressing a few buttons, we have seen an unprecedented rush to create personal spaces where, literally, anything goes.

"Gone are the days where the average Web user needed to have a degree in mathematics and be fluent in a development language to create their own space on the Web. With blogging, it's a piece of cake."

Another keynote speaker, Tony Boston, assistant director-general of resource sharing at the National Library of Australia, will speak on the new Libraries Australia Search service – available at no cost to anyone with an Internet connection.

Users can get access to over 40 million items from Australia's libraries by using the service.

Professor Ellis said places were still available in some of the AusWeb conference tutorials and workshops as well as on the core conference days.

Photo: Allan Ellis is the chair of Australia's leading World Wide Web conference hosted annually by Southern Cross University.