Feb 252011

I was pleased to have been invited to talk at the Association of Subscription Agents Annual Conference this week, because otherwise I would most likely not have gone and this would have meant missing an interesting meeting.

Nearly all the talks were informative and engaging, and even if not one then usually the other. For me it was particularly interesting to get updates on the state of PDA (patron-driven acquisition), the Chinese market and new developments in data-linked and semantic publishing (though it would be nice to see an actual prototype  from Jan Velterop rather than just his ever-more-ingenious Keynote slides), while sobering to hear about the likely state of UK university finances over the near (and indeed, medium) term. (To summarise, in the notorious words of the outgoing Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne: “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.”) Unashamedly at the engaging end of the informative–engaging spectrum (he was not being overly disingenuous when he described it as “fact free”), Mark Carden’s talk was nonetheless thought-provoking (and is available on YouTube).

The conference programme is listed on their website and I understand the speaker slides will be made available at some point. In the meantime my own slides (not terribly informative without the accompanying talk, I’m afraid) are available on Slideshare here.

The Twitterstream can be found here, for what it’s worth. I got the impression that there was rather less in the “back-channel” than at some previous conferences, with the bulk of twittering coming from just two tweeps.