Online 2009: Remote Working in a 2.0 World

Yesterday I made a fleeting visit to Online Information 2009 held at Olympia, London. Online is billed as the largest event dedicated to the information industry and it did seem to be heaving! The conference and exhibition run in parallel and there is also a show floor seminar programme.

The 'tent' I gave my talk in

I was asked along to give a talk on remote working as part of the Information Masterclasses and Career Development Talks track in the exhibition hall. This was the first time I’d presented to a transient audience (the seminar was free so people could pop in and out of the ‘tent’) and I was a little bit apprehensive.

In reality it played out pretty much like a standard seminar (people actually stayed all the way through) but with just a little more background noise. For those who came along and for anyone else interested here are my slides (on Slideshare).

I also managed to get over to the conference to see a few talks in the track on The social Web: transforming the workforce (also given the byline Email is dead! The rise of Twitter, chat and communities). Although there weren’t any great revelations the track was moderated by Ewan McIntosh, Digital Commissioner for Channel 4, who always comes up with interesting ideas. One story by Ian McNairn (Program Director Web Innovation & Technology, IBM) particularly struck me. He was talking about a friend of his who had managed to reduce his email inbox to 20 messages a week, he’d done this through improved use of social networking tools and having a clear policy on his communication with people. He’d basically told people not to email him unless there is no other suitable alternative and he has set up his mail box to delete any messages over a certain size. I must admit to being a little envious of his resolve…