This is a trip report for the Web Science Conference 2009 (WebSci'09) that took place from the 18th to the 20th of March 2009, in Athens, Greece. Location: The Conference was held at the “Hellenic Cosmos” complex of the Foundation of the Hellenic World. Hellenic Cosmos was indeed very suitable for such an event. The place was technologically equipped, the location was easily accessible for me, both by public transportation and by car, with adequate parking space. Although I stayed in Piraeus, I can assume that the transportation to/from the Conference was equally easy for all the participants. Organization: Concerning the organization and the advertisement of WebSci'09, I have to say that everything was well planed and the conference was quite publicized. However, and this was not an objection of me alone, most of the publicity was due to the unusually large number of members of the Greek Parliament that talked during the Conference. Workshops, Talks, Posters: I attended the Web Science Curriculum Workshop and just the first hour of the UIWoSC Workshop due to my jet lag. I understand that the two workshops were planned to have only a few participants, however they were very interesting and illustrative of the struggle to determine the boundaries of an emerging scientific area. To say my opinion, I cannot see web science independent of computer science, and I think the most plausible direction is the one of information science, as it is called in the U.S. I attended several talks and enjoyed most of them, although the topics of some sessions diverged too much from my idea of what web science should/will be, e.g. the “Cultural Convergence and Digital Technology” session. I had the chance to talk to a few people about my research and get some interesting ideas on more applied directions; I was a bit disappointed though, that two of the three other speakers in my session did not show up. Finally, a few thoughts about the Poster Session. I found many of the posters really interesting and I had the chance to talk to some of the authors. It seems to me, that it would be a good idea if the poster session was a bit more “central” in the program, since at the and of the first day most people were already exhausted. Also, it would be nice to have some information about the posters on the web page of the conference. Overall, I would say that attending WebSci'09, was a useful and interesting experience, and I will try to attend WebSci conferences again in the future.
WebSci’09 Report – Norhidayah Azman
When I received the e-mail saying that I was one of the lucky recipients of the WebSci'09 bursary award, I couldn't believe my eyes. Firstly, it dawned on me that I was going to attend the first ever conference to be run by WSRI. Then secondly, I was going to go to Athens! The conference ran from 18-20 March 2009 in the beautiful Hellenic Cosmos of the Foundation of the Hellenic World. The moment me and my friends set eyes on the venue, we were truly excited. I fully agree with Dame Wendy when she said in her welcoming address that the futuristic dome was reason enough to come there for the conference. The city centre also provided more than enough distractions for us delegates before and after the conference. Being a first-year PhD student, I was thrilled to be given to the opportunity to mingle amongst these brilliant minds congregating in support of a common goal: to witness the future of the Web. I also had the pleasure of talking to Bebo White, a prominent personality in the world of Web research. He said it was such a good reception for a conference where nobody knows what it's about! Lots of prominent speakers graced the event, delivering interesting keynote speeches that provided a good overview of the breadth and depth of Web Science. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, with his affable conduct, showcased his revolutionary thinking during the opening WWW Forum. He said that 80% of the world's population does...