Inforum 2006 kicks off today

Forget about Paris in the springtime, Prague is the place to be, and the annual Inforum conference is the perfect excuse to combine business with pleasure. I first attended Inforum in 2005 when I was invited to give a preconference workshop and a conference presentation. I was so impressed with the quality of the papers and enthusiasm and friendliness of all involved that I decided to attend Inforum 2006 under my own steam. The conference takes place over three days – between Tuesday, May 23rd and Thursday, May 25th – which gives ample opportunity to add a few extra days to your stay to see the sites.

Inforum kicks off on the Monday with pre-conference workshops and I opted to attend one given by Adriana Cronin Lukas from the Big Blog Company: Blogs and blogging in the daily life of an information professional. It was a fascinating morning and I could not begin to do Adriana’s session justice by summarising it, but here are a few key phrases that I noted down:

Blogs are:

  • a sort of “online underworld” and make your work more effective and fun!
  • a key for news management and reputation management
  • a more natural way of communicating
  • flexible project management with information sharing

Think of blogs as:

  • an easy way to publish – you don’t have to be tech savvy
  • your own personal printing press instead of a collection of manuscripts (web sites)
  • ease of publishing combined with a powerful content management system
  • books – there are many genres
  • instruments of social change

The conference itself starts today, Tuesday 23rd, at University of Economics in Prague. Last year’s opening address was a show stopper; see the photo gallery for day 1 for some interesting photos of the “presentation”, in particular the jpegs inforum005 to inforum011! They will have to work hard to beat that.

The main programme this morning includes Alan Foster on Scientific Communication: evolution or paradigm shift, Lothar Nunnenmacher on the Creation of an Integrated Local View on Information Diversity, and What is our Future Standing on from Boris Skandera. The afternoon session is on new technologies and tools for electronic information.

The full programme is on the Inforum web site but if you cannot attend in person you can watch the live videobroadcast and online reporting at and For the videobroadcast you can choose between the original commentary of the speaker and its simultaneous translation. The official languages of the conference are Czech and English. The online reporting will be published in Czech only.