So the conference did get better on the second day with more focus on the semantic Web. The big topic these days seem to be ontologies, and although my main research focus at work isn't directly related to ontologies, I do deal with them on a regular basis since we use them for creating information architecture for various research projects. Plus there are others at work (Hi Dom~) who do work extensively with ontologies. Oh, and I thought the professor who ran a tutorial on the overview of ontologies for the semantic Web was quite good. There's a session on Web services today which I hope would be as good.

It wasn't all great, though... The most disappointing part was that a lot of the interesting paper presentations were cancelled because the presenters just didn't show up... And there were way too many ocassions like this to the point where I became somewhat disturbed at the fact that I really wasn't getting enough out of this experience. =( I wonder if this is common in the world of conferences... The other problem I noticed was that given the international nature of this particular conference (something like representatives from 30 different countries), the language barrier was high in many instances. Often times you'd have absolutely no idea what they were saying so you just sit there hoping that everything will be spelled out on the slides. Other times, questions would get misanswered because the presenter would not really understand the question, and, of course, the person who asked the question would try paraphrasing a couple of times and eventually just nod at whatever answer they get and give up.

Amidst the positives and the negatives it's without a doubt that it is always refreshing to see what other people are doing and to get feedback on what we're doing. Can't really put a dollar value on fresh perspectives, ya know. ;) So no gripes about that! A'ight I'll be back in da 'burgh soon!

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