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Using the Web for business, education, and fun


Zoe Satherley
20 March 2008
If you have ever wanted to build your own online community now is the time to learn at the upcoming annual AusWeb Conference, being held at the Ballina Beach Resort from Saturday, April 5 to Tuesday, April 9.

The Australian World Wide Web Conference, hosted each year by Southern Cross University, brings together participants from the information technology, education and business sectors and will feature speakers from Australia and overseas.

The four-day event will include a range of pre-conference workshops and tutorials which are open to members of the public.

The theme for this year’s conference, the 14th in the series, is ‘Reflecting on the past: Anticipating the Future’ and the topic will be addressed by a number of the keynote speakers.

Social networking, involving tools such as blogs and wikis, and sites like Facebook, have changed the way the Web is used for communication. The keynote presentation by Geoffrey Kwitko ‘Building communities on the Web: What Web2.0 has to offer’ will examine the growth in networking and online community building.

Mr Kwitko, a Web community strategist, will run his highly practical tutorial about online communities on Sunday. Participants will receive latest industry insights from both a technological and commercial perspective.

“Lessons taught are applicable to any business venture and are designed to inspire and inform,” he said.

“Adding an online community aspect to your business or Web site can have a tremendous impact with very little effort or investment. Whether you plan to start your own community-based startup Web site, already run a community, or are just interested in cutting edge business philosophy, all are welcome. You will learn the steps to creating a powerful and effective web community location.”

Professor Shirley Alexander’s presentation is titled ‘Teaching and Learning on the Web: 1995 to 2008: Achieving the Dream’. Professor Alexander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching, Learning and Equity), University of Technology, Sydney, attended the first conference, held in Ballina in 1995, and presented a paper on teaching and learning on the Web, so her reflections are based on first-hand experience.

The presentation by Professor David Lowe, director, Centre for Real-Time Information Networks (CRIN), University of Technology, Sydney, on ‘Web development: fabrication or orchestration?’ will look at the technical evolution of the Web. David has attended 10 past conferences.

One issue that is of interest to everyone involved with the Web is security and this will be addressed in a keynote presentation by Graham Ingram, general manager AusCERT (Australia’s national computer emergency response team) titled ‘Threats to the Web’.

Mr Ingram has managed a number of major IT security and information protection issues, including computer network attacks during the Y2K period and IT security threats to the 2000 Olympic Games.

Conference chair Associate Professor Allan Ellis, from Southern Cross University’s School of Commerce and Management, said AusWeb aimed to address a wide range of Web issues from the technical to applications of Web technologies in education, business and information management.

“Over the years AusWeb has established a successful format involving pre-conference tutorial and workshops sessions, keynote, paper and poster sessions during the core days of the conference and post-conference special interest group sessions. This year is no exception and we have a very exciting, informative and relevant program to offer,” he said.

Full details of the program and speakers are at Online registration is available and you can register for the full conference, a single day or a single tutorial, workshop or session.

Professor Ellis said AusWeb was the second-longest running Web conference in the world. Only the International WWW conference started by Robert Cailliau, one of the developers of the Web, in 1994 has been running longer.

Photo: Conference chair Associate Professor Allan Ellis, viewing the AusWeb 2008 website. High resolution photos available from the media office on request.