The infraNET Distinquished Speaker
The Future: Customized
Help on the Internet?
- The Promise and Problems
of Dynamic Information Delivery
IBM Canada Laboratory
Thursday, January 29, 1998
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Davis Centre, Room 1302
University of Waterloo
The World Wide Web has changed people's
expectations of information. How people receive different kinds of
information, what they can do with it, how timely it should be, how
easy it is to access, how integrated it is with their daily experience,
how applicable it is to them personally-these are all ways that Web technologies
have changed people's information experience.
One of the most interesting elements of
this change in expectation is the convergence of user assistance goals
with Web, Intranet and Internet technologies. The promise of delivering
online help or computer-based training to people from a network, in a
fashion that customizes information for people, and in a way that matches
their expectations from other kinds of "assistance experiences",
is one way that the Internet will transform many of the ways we think
about information. User assistance information can finally lend dynamic
perspective to build complex contexts for its audience.
In keeping with this promise, Microsoft,
for one, has announced and deployed a suite of network content tools
and platforms. IBM too, has tried to take advantage of this promise
with a corporate Information Architecture that addresses user
assistance information on the Internet and Intranets.
Coupled with this promise, however, are
some tremendous technical and artistic difficulties. Despite these
problems, user assistance information on the Internet provides a good
testbed for other information projects. In the course of this
presentation, Mr. Roberts will outline what he sees as the upcoming
difficulties in dynamic information delivery, and how IBM has tried to
use available network technology to inform their customers more
James H. (Jamie) Roberts is an Advisory
Information Developer at the IBM Canada Laboratory in Toronto, Ontario.
He has also been involved with educational sales of computers and
consulted for various companies on different multimedia projects and
platforms, including corporate Intranets and Internet sites. Mr.
Roberts is a doctoral candidate in the English Department of the
University of Waterloo, and is a part-time faculty member at York
University, where he teaches undergraduate courses on writing and
technology for Glendon College.
For more information
The infraNET Project
Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo