The Future of Web Analytics

17 04 2010

FutureWeb 2010 Conference, Raleigh, N.C., April 29, 1:30-3 p.m.

Michael Rappa

Chair: Michael Rappa, founder and director of the Institute for Advanced Analytics and professor of computer science at North Carolina State University. Rappa is a leading scholar in the field of technology management. His research and pioneering work on business models are some of the most often cited and read publications in the business.Rappa is the recipient of multiple awards, including theOutstanding Extension Service Award, the Award for Graduate Teaching Excellence, and the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology. He is also winner of the MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning from the Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching. Rappa serves as the general co-chair of the 19th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2010.)

Session Description: Web analytics involves the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing Web usage. The panel will aim to specifically isolate the key challenges and opportunities in the looming future for Web analytics and it will work to identify some specific action steps that can be taken today to work for a better tomorrow.


  • Nathaniel Lin

    Nathaniel Lin, president for advanced analytics at Aspen Marketing Services. Lin was formerly the vice president of customer analysis at Fidelity Investments and a partner and director of analytics at OgilvyOne Worldwide. Lin specializes in advanced analytics, internet marketing, social network and web analytics. He has extensive management experience with his previous and current places of employment.

  • John Lovett

    John Lovett, senior partner at Web Analytics Demystified. Lovett previously worked as a senior analyst at Forrester research. Lovett possesses a wide knowledge of issues relating to web analytics and measurement technologies. Click here to read Lovett’s blog.

  • Phil Mui, senior product manager for Google Analytics. Mui was previously a senior research developer at Stanford University School of Medicine and an advanced products developer at Lycos. He also worked as chief research scientist at Sharkhunt, Inc. Mui specializes in analytics, online marketing, online advertising, conversions, research and development and software development.
  • Bob Page

    Bob Page, vice president of analytics platform at eBay. Page is the former senior director of analytics at Yahoo!, a consultant at Self, and the co-founder, CTO, CIO and vice president of product development at Accrue Software. He has been working in the fields of advertising, web, ecommerce, enterprise software and network management since 1996. He specializes in web analytics, interactive marketing and network security. Click here to read Page’s blog.

For more information about FutureWeb 2010 panel discussions, featured panelists and more, click here to navigate to the FutureWeb site. To register for the conference, visit the FutureWeb registration page.


The Future of Privacy and the Web

15 04 2010

FutureWeb 2010 Conference, Raleigh, N.C., April 30, 1:30-3 p.m.

Marc Rotenberg, president of EPIC, will lead a session on The Future of Privacy and the Web at the FutureWeb conference in Raleigh, N.C.

Chair: Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Session description: Privacy is evolving as people use the Web to share in new ways. Among the issues that can be considered are the economic and political advantages of respect for individual privacy; balancing security and privacy concerns; identity theft, identity fraud and information leaks; concerns tied to Web 2.0 and social networks; cloud computing and privacy (individuals’ control over personal data and data retention); regulation of illegal web content; regulatory models for privacy; network neutrality; frameworks for freedom; ethical dimensions in ensuring the openness of the Internet. The panel will aim to specifically isolate the key challenges and opportunities in the looming future for privacy and the Web and it will work to identify some specific action steps that can be taken today to work for a better tomorrow.


  • Anne Klinefelter

    Anne Klinefelter, expert in privacy law and director of the law library at the UNC School of Law. She has conducted research in the areas of privacy law, the First Amendment, copyright law and licensing. Klinefelter serves on the Advisory Board of the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. She is also chair of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Law Libraries. Click here to watch a brief interview with Klinefelter in which she discusses the importance of online resources and issues surrounding intellectual property.

  • Jolynn Dellinger, program manager for Data Privacy Day at The Privacy Projects and former privacy and security counsel for Intel. More information about Data Privacy Day 2010 can be found at
  • Annie Anton

    Annie I. Antón, professor of computer science at North Carolina State University’s College of Engineering and co-founder and director of  Antón works with the organization, which is made up of a group of students and faculty at NCSU, Georgia Tech and Purdue University, to develop technology to help ensure that privacy policies are aligned with software systems. She also serves as a board member of The Future of Privacy Forum. Antón has received a number of awards, including the 2000 NSF CAREER Award, 2002 Computing Research Association Digital Government Fellow Award, the 2003 NCSU College of Engineering Pride of the Wolfpack Award and the 2005 CSO (Chief Security Officer) Magazine’s Woman of Influence in the Public Sector Award.

  • Woodrow Hartzog

    Woodrow Hartzog, Park Fellow at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill School of Mass Communication. His research interests include privacy, online communication and information law. Hartzog was formerly a clerk at EPIC. He tweets as hartzog at

For more information about FutureWeb 2010 panel discussions, featured panelists and more, click here to navigate to the FutureWeb site. To register for the conference, visit the FutureWeb registration page.

Marc Rotenberg’s letter to NYT addresses Internet privacy issues

14 04 2010

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC, will lead a session on The Future of Privacy and the Web at the FutureWeb conference in Raleigh, N.C.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), wrote a letter to the New York Times on April 9 discussing Internet privacy issues in a response to an editorial published the same day, called “Dial-Up Law in a Broadband World.”

Rotenberg says the United States must update laws surrounding electronic privacy, mostly due to dramatic changes in technology over the past 25 years. Likewise, he says businesses must alter their practices to comply with these developments. He sites the example of online advertisers that now rely on detailed profiles of Internet users to discreetly track and target consumers. Rotenberg writes:

“Congress should ensure that users have meaningful control over their personal information. Privacy policies are not enough. Users should have the right to examine what companies actually no about them and how it affects them.”

Rotenberg’s letter foreshadows the themes he will discuss as chair of The Future of Privacy and the Web session at the upcoming FutureWeb 2010 Conference in Raleigh, N.C.

To learn more about the future of Internet privacy, register for the FutureWeb conference.  More details about the conference schedule and speakers can be found on the FutureWeb site.

By Ashley Dischinger

The Future of Media and the Web

13 04 2010

FutureWeb 2010 Conference, Raleigh, N.C., April 29, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Paul Jones, director of, will be the chair of The Future of Media and the Web panel at the FutureWeb conference in Raleigh, N.C.

Chair: Paul Jones, founder and director of, a site that is home to one of the largest collections of freely available information, including software, music, literature, art, history, science, politics and cultural studies.

Panel description: Newspapers cut staff to the bone as advertising and circulation declines, radio centralized and nearly collapsed, television’s move to HD moved even stragglers to cable. There is plenty of news on the Web – for now – but as we see the world of news changing at this very moment, we ask: Who will be the reporters? Who will we pay and how will we pay them? What will they tell us? And how will we use or view that news? Data visualization, datamining, storytelling, crowdsourcing and citizen journalism offer some directions and models but none of those are yet stable and trusted. One journalism school announced that all of its students must learn Flash, another touts social network studies, another is teaching programming to reporters, a news organization issues video cameras to former print journalists. What are the most sustainable futures? The panel will aim to specifically isolate the key challenges and opportunities in the looming future for the media and the Web and it will work to identify some specific action steps that can be taken today to work for a better tomorrow.


  • Penny Muse Abernathy

    Penny Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina. She is a former New York Times and Wall Street Journal executive and writer, with more than 30 years experience as a reporter, editor and media executive. She currently serves on the advisory boards for UNC-Chapel Hill and Columbia University and was inducted into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame in 1998.

Click here to watch Abernathy speak about the future of newspapers on FOXBusiness

  • Michael Clemente

    Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news for FOX News and former senior executive producer of the ABC Digital Media Group (2006-09), where he served as the executive producer of and ABC News Now. During his 27 years at ABC News, he also held the positions of senior broadcast producer for 20/20, and executive news producer of ABC’s breaking news specials. Prior to working at ABC, Clemente spent two years at CNN, where he oversaw all live and breaking news coverage out of Washington and helped boost the popularity of signature talk shows such as Crossfire, Reliable Sources and Inside Politics.

  • Dan Conover

    Dan Conover has spent 20 years in the daily news business, with experience as a reporter, editor, videographer, blogger and Web administrator. He has won numerous journalism awards, including South Carolina’s Journalist of the Year in 2005 and multiple North Carolina Press Association awards for investigative reporting. Since 2008 he has taken up writing and speaking about media futurism, and is a semantic technology consultant with Chicago-based e-Me Ventures. He blogs at Xark, tweets as @xarker and a collection of his writing on media futures can be found at

  • Doc Searls

    Doc Searls, Berkman Center Fellow at Harvard and senior editor for the Linux Journal. Searls is a journalist with experience in print, radio and Internet. He also has professional experience in marketing, PR and advertising. Searls was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential People in IT by eWeek and is an open source guy and co-author of “The Cluetrian Manifesto,” a Web site that was adapted into a best-selling book in 2000.

  • Sam Matheny

    Sam Matheny, general manager for News Over Wireless. Matheny focuses on strategic media applications, where he is engaged with mobile wireless content delivery. News Over Wireless works with more than 150 local
    broadcasters and wireless phone carriers, including AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, to provide news and information on mobile phones. He is active in the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, Mobile Marketing Association, the Open Mobile Video Coalition, and he was a 2007 American Marshall Memorial Fellow.

For more information about FutureWeb 2010 panel discussions, featured panelists and more, click here to navigate to the FutureWeb site. To register for the conference, visit the FutureWeb registration page.

MIT students create wireless mouse gloves for class project

8 04 2010

Step aside, iPad. The wireless glove mouse might just be the next big trend in computer technology.

Pop culture first introduced us to this futuristic concept in the 2002 action thriller, Minority Report, in which Tom Cruise uses simple hand movements on an advanced computer interface to call up information, shift it and manipulate it.

Thanks to cutting-edge research from MIT, the idea is no longer limited to science fiction cinema. In 2008, MIT students Tony Hyun Kim and Nevada Sanchez tackled a digital electronics class project last year in which they developed mouse gloves. They created an interface where they could merely wave their gloved hands in their air in order to navigate, zoom and manipulate a map on the screen. Their project used basic equipment that cost them less than $100.

Kim and Sanchez took their glove mouse invention one step further in March, making the device wireless. The duo says the addition of wireless capabilities adds the convenience of moving around more freely.

Watch the video demonstration of the wireless glove mouse:

The technology works through an LED located on the back of the gloves’ index fingers. It can then be picked up by a low-resolution webcam, allowing it to function as a cursor on the screen. There are buttons located under the index and middle fingers that can be activated by the thumbs in order to select specific areas.

Still, don’t expect this technology to be available to mainstream audiences any time soon. The pair of MIT students has no current plans to commercialize their invention, which they say was “really just cool to actually build in real life.”

Another MIT product, by a team led by student Pranav Mistry, was demonstrated by well-known technology researcher Pattie Maes at a TED conference in February 2009. The Sixth Sense is a wearable device with a projector – made for just $350 with off-the-shelf products – that also paves the way for the type of interactions seen in “Minority Report.”

Click here to view the Sixth Sense demonstration.

To learn more about developing and future technologies involving the Web, register for the FutureWeb conference.  More details about the conference schedule and speakers can be found on the FutureWeb site.

By Ashley Dischinger

Are cloud computing devices really responsible for harmful carbon footprint?

7 04 2010

These days it’s nearly impossible to browse news sites without being bombarded by the latest updates on Apple’s iPad, especially with its public release Saturday. What we haven’t heard much buzz about is the potential damaging impact of cloud computing- a concept that the iPad will depend greatly on.

Major companies, including Google and Apple, are constructing massive new data centers geared to cloud computing in North Carolina, home to the FutureWeb conference, and dozens of international locations.

Apple’s $1 billion data center in Maiden, N.C. is due to open soon. It encompasses 500,000 square feet, making it roughly five times the size of the company’s existing data center in California.

View a clip of the Maiden Apple data center:

Google’s new North Carolina data center, housing thousands of servers, cost $600 million and is located in Lenoir. The company has at least 11 other significant data centers in the United States, with many others located across the globe.

Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo are some of the other companies getting into the data centers race, building gigantic warehouses packed with tens of thousands of servers in locations with cheap energy costs. Today, Google alone runs as many as a half a million servers to handle business in cyberspace.

Some data centers are beginning to have more environmentally conscious structures. Yahoo! is constructing a $150 million data center near Buffalo, N.Y. The site was specifically chosen for its low cooling costs and the ability to use fresh air cooling. The Yahoo! data center will also enjoy ready access to low-carbon and low-cost hydro power.

In anticipation of the iPad’s release, international environmental advocacy group Greenpeace released a study highlighting the possible harm that surrounds such cloud computing devices last Tuesday. The report, titled “Make IT Green: Cloud Computing and its Contribution to Climate Change,” shows access to the cloud of online services can contribute a much larger carbon footprint than previously projected.

Cloud computing is a metaphor for a system where the Internet stores all personal data, including computer documents, entertainment, news and other products and services that are delivered to your personal device. The creation of the cloud carries the larger implications of loss of personal data control and access to private information.

An abstract of the Greenpeace cloud computing report, posted on the organization’s Web site, said:

“To be clear: We are not picking on Apple. We are not dissing the iPad. Apple is the master of promotion, and while we marvel at the sleek unpolluted design of the iPad, we need to think about where this is all leading and how, like all good surfers, we can make sure our environment stays clean and green.”

The report says in order for cloud computing devices to become more environmentally friendly, they must provide service from renewable energy sources and utilize IT services that are devoted to using electricity sources that remain green. When ICT technologies partner with “responsible cloud computing,” the industry will be effectively driving out “dirty sources of energy to address climate change.”

Greenpeace’s study echoes the explosion of mobile cloud applications we have witnessed in the past few years, mainly through the launch of the Google phone, Microsoft’s Azure cloud services for business… and now, the iPad. The reoccurring trends in these services point toward an increased size and scale of data centers to support these major brands. The study questions the resulting electricity consumption and dangerous emissions from these centers, as well as future sources of energy that will certainly be necessary to support the growing demand for such services.

The controversy surrounding cloud computing’s carbon footprint isn’t to say that Apple hasn’t taken measures toward a green focus. At Apple’s unveiling of the iPad in January, the company noted the new device features hardware that is free of arsenic, brominated flame retardant, mercury and other chemicals that are harmful to the environment. The iPad is also “highly recyclable.” Apple also reports that less than 5% of its emissions come from manufacturing facilities.

BusinessWire issued a press release last Wednesday, which was coincidentally Earth Day, saying: “one of the boldest green initiatives involves the technology of computing.” Statements from leaders in the technology industry support the belief that cloud computing might be the answer for utilizing computer power more efficiently.

Ryan Peterson, President and CEO of OCZ Technology, a San Jose-based company that designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance drives and premium computer components, says there are many green benefits to cloud computing devices. In the press release he says:

“The flash memory utilized within solid state drives (SSDs) is faster and uses significantly less power than conventional hard drives. Because SSDs allow users to access their data electronically, rather than mechanically, they also eliminate the need for a large, costly storage area network. Without such a massive array, there are colossal power savings.”

While the popularity of cloud computing devices is amplified, the debate over the possible carbon footprint is ongoing.  Still, many remain hopeful for an environmentally friendly future in the technology sector.

Michael Dell of Forbes magazine says in the Greenpeace report:

“I have always believed that IT is the engine of an efficient economy; it also can drive a greener one.”

For more information on speakers, topics and details of the FutureWeb conference, visit the FutureWeb site. To register for the conference, click here.

By Ashley Dischinger

FutureWeb speaker Cathy Davidson strives for enhanced learning through technology

18 03 2010

Image courtesy of Duke UniversityThe future of the Web is the promise for the future of learning and education according to Cathy Davidson, FutureWeb panel leader.

Davidson, Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University, will lead the panel on the Future of Learning and the Web at FutureWeb2010.

Panelists will include Laurent Dubois, historian of French colonialism and the Caribbean,  Mark Anthony Neal,  author and  scholar of Black popular culture in America, Negar Mottahedeh, academic author and Tony O’Driscoll, author of Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration.”

“All the panelists on my panel are public intellectuals who make the fullest use of the Internet and mobile technologies for the work they do out in the public,” Davidson said. “They are very public and political intellectuals who reach different audiences beyond the classroom or the academy. They’re new style educators.”

During the panel session, Davidson is hoping questions will be asked regarding where learning would be without the Internet and where it can go because of it.

“I think the main thing will be asking questions about…how would the world be different, how would learning be different if the Web didn’t exist and how will learning be different because of the web,” she said. “But even more than that, how do the future of the Web and the future of learning go together?”

Learning and technology

Davidson is the co-founder of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory), a network of individuals and institutions that examine how new technology can aid in education, organization and communication.

HASTAC recently joined the White House on the Educate to Innovate campaign, a movement by President Obama to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

According to Davidson, education and technology can work hand in hand to modernize the way students learn.

“I think there’s some disappointment that learning institutions, formal institutions of education, have not really comprehended the new learning styles used today,” she said. “As individuals, we have done a much better job of accommodating to all the changes in the world than our institutions have. Our institutions are much slower to change than individuals and I think education is often the slowest at changing and the last at change.”

Davidson said she believes education needs to become more collaborative among students.

“Learning has to be much more student driven,” she said. “It has to focus more on collaboration rather than single individual achievement. One thing that HASTAC has pushed very hard since 2002 when we started is something called collaboration by difference….We try to come up with situations where people who are almost opposite in their skill sets or the ways they learn or their interests come together to focus on a problem and to solve that problem together.”

Davidson is a big proponent of using laptops in the classroom and said it is a regular occurrence for her to tell students to get on the Internet in class.

“I say not only should they be sitting there with their laptops, put them to work,” she said. “I try to conduct my class almost like a hypertext with the students participating, linking what’s happening in the classroom to Google searches and flows of information that come back into the classroom from their searches.”

Digital Media Learning Competition

One of HASTAC’s current projects is the 2010 Digital Media Learning Competition in conjunction with the MacArthur Foundation’s $50 million DML Initiative which allows individuals to explore how digital technology is changing learning and everyday life. Winners will be announced the first week of May.

To Davidson, the competition entails collaboration between individuals who can create technology with those who can think critically about it.

“For students it  means two things,” she said. “One is that informal learning is happening in all kinds of ways outside the school systems… We’re all learning how to collaborate, we’re learning how to customize…we’re learning how to participate in new ways. All those constitute new ways of social, civic and cognitive forms of learning.”

Where learning is headed

“The future of learning needs to see more and more of a return to learning by doing, learning by experiment, learning by creative engagement,” Davidson said. “(It needs to be) much more hands-on kinds of learning and I think that’s true in all fields whether we’re talking about the humanities or computer science.”

Davidson said she sees technology aiding in capabilities such as distance learning, teaching via gaming platforms or virtual environments and communication between teachers and students in different parts of the world.

“Digital technologies are a big factor in facilitating collaboration, not just as tools but in the deep structure the thinking,” Davidson said. “Learning is going to be done by communities that are not necessarily communities of people in the same place but distributed communities working together for specific goals.”

Upcoming projects

In addition to her work with the Digital Media Initiative and contribution to the FutureWeb conference, Davidson will soon make history with her book, Now You See it:  The Science of Attention in the Classroom, at Work, and Everywhere Else.

“It is about our ability to see new options when we have the right tools and the right partners,” she said.

Last week, Viking Press Publishers announced its partnership with iPad and the book will be one of the first to be available on the digital tablet.

“My book is going to be among the first generation of books that Viking Press publishes in its partnership with the iPad and that will be designed in multimedia formats, hypertext links, and interactive features and applications that push the boundaries of what a “book” is,” she said. “I’m thrilled.”

Davidson will lead the panel on the Future of Learning and the Web on Friday, April 30.

“I think FutureWeb is going to be as exciting as the WWW Conference,” she said. “Janna Anderson and Paul Jones and others have done an incredible job putting together FutureWeb.”

-By Laura Smith,