If I am not careful this blog will go travelogue.  Yet I must record the fact that after yesterday’s rigorous briefing from the Noah event, I spent today at the annual London Online event, Online Information 2009, at Olympia.  I notice that they have stopped saying how many of these events have taken place.  We certainly exhibited Eurolex here in 1979 (it was then in the Hammersmith Novotel), so it has been an annual pilgrimage for me for 30 years.  It is now smaller than its peak Olympia size, but still retains a core of exhibitors from those early days, and a focus on STM, B2B, and, more recently, on the tools and programs associated with database service development and search.  I love it, and I hate it .

I love standing in a central aisle and meeting again so many of the people that I know in this industry, and reflecting on the brightness and the kindness so commonly found in this sector.  I hate the stuffy complacency all too often  associated with publishers defending fixed positions and pretending that users are really satisfied with what they are given.  I love the idealism associated with invention, and attempts to change markets, just as I hate the refusal to innovate until the cliff-edge looms.

Today my highlight was Mark Holland of Gale/Cengage introducing and launching the new Financial Times archives online.  When I think how many such archives Mark has launched, I reflect with wonderment on his ageless enthusiasm, and wish he and his colleagues every success with this new addition.  I was also very taken by the continuing development of Ovid SP, a story of phased vertical search development and integration which is now an excellent case study, with the integration of eBooks, the addition of Chinese language services, and the continued development of specialised service and domain sectors – take psychology, or nursing, to represent varieties within these categories.  And a newcomer?  If you go in the next two days look at Get Abstract, an abstracting service for business books, which demonstrates that you can take an age old idea like A&I and give it a shine in a new context.

Will I go next year?  Of course, all those wonderful people draw me back.  And even as I complain about my aching feet, I know that the next stand I see will have something almost completely new …or so I hope.


Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind