UKeiG AGM and members’ afternoon

24 06 2013

Right, that’s out of the way – phew! Not that it was particularly hard work, but I’ve been to all the AGMs for the past few years, usually just doing the telling, so it was rather daunting having to run proceedings myself!
This year I think we may have broken some sort of record for speed. Everything went smoothly and we managed to get the formal process out of the way nice and quickly. Then we got to move on to the interesting bit: the speakers!

This year the subject of the members’ afternoon was the cloud – something that I’m actually quite a proponent and user of myself.

The first speaker was James Matthews from Huddle, who spoke about the solution they provide and the work they are doing to make sure that they are at the forefront of secure cloud storage and collaboration.

The second speaker was Andy Tattersall, who spoke about the work he is doing as part of ScHARR at the University of Sheffield. A self-proclaimed opportunist, Andy scans the technological horizon and “catches any colourful and useful technologies” he can employ in his role as an Information Specialist., and encourage the staff and students to use to improve the way they work.

After the speakers we had a Q&A session, followed by networking (which was lubricated by wine and nibbles!). I always enjoy the opportunity to speak to other information professionals in different situations, so this was a fantastic opportunity for me.

Personally, I think that as the cloud has morphed out of what we used to call Web 2.0, it has offered us many tools that are hugely beneficial to our personal and work lives. I can now do most activities no matter where I am or what computer I’m using – my bookmarks are all available online on xmarks; my data is all available online on Huddle, Dropbox, Wuala or numerous other cloud storage devices; my music is available via Spotify and Amazon cloud. This means that I’m not tied to locations or devices in order to get things done. When I’m abroad I can access my insurance documents on my phone for quick reference. If I’m travelling with others, I can share that access so that they can find it if something happens to me. The possibilities seem to be endless.

Of course, we do all have to be aware of the pitfalls of the cloud, as well. My data is backed up in numerous locations, so that if one has a massive failure, I don’t lose everything! I am also aware that I’m not always storing these items in safe places, so I am careful with what I store where.

I hope that everyone who attended enjoyed it as much as I did and that everyone who didn’t sees sense and comes along next year!

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