Electronic Publishing
A Workshop for Candidates in the Masters in Information Management, University of Western Cape, Cape Town
4-5 June 2002

Roger Clarke

Principal, Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra

Visiting Fellow, Department of Computer Science, Australian National University

Version of 26 May 2002

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2000-02

This document is at http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/EC/EPublWksp.html


It's now a decade since the Internet was unleashed on an unsuspecting public, and an even more unsuspecting business sector. The smoke is clearing after the era of legendary giants, which was followed by the inevitable implosion of the dot.coms. Now we need to make sense of how the e-business phenomenon is being folded back into, and in the process re-defining, the concept and processes of business.

This Workshop is one of a series designed to inform candidates, to enable them to reflect on the implications for their areas of interest, and to stimulate their own research. It focuses on one of the most dynamic and intriguing aspects of society that is undergoing a fundamental shift: the business of publishing.

The seminar commences with an overview of the Internet technologies that are creating opportunities for some people and organisations, and threats for others. It also considers the ethos and behaviour of consumers in the Internet context. This leads to an assessment of the business significance of these developments, both the direct impacts and the second-order effects that arise from their impacts on people, society and politics.

This Web-Site

This web-site is designed to provide support to participants in the Workshop, under the following headings:

Workshop Overview

Day 1 - Tuesday 4 June

Session 1 - The Internet, Cyberspace and Cyberculture

This session assumes that candidates already have a working knowledge not just of how to use email and the web, but also of the nature of Internet infrastructure. It then assists candidates to develop the technological understanding they need in order to analyse the Internet's impact on business.

Internet technologies have resulted in a new virtual world, popularly referred to as 'cyberspace'; and, in that new world, a new ethos has arisen. This session assists candidates to get to grips with 'cyberculture' and the behaviour patterns that are being exhibited by e-consumers.

Session 2 - Electronic Publishing Fundamentals

In this session, candidates examine the key aspects of commerce in information and in information-like goods and services.

Day 2 - Wednesday 5 June

Session 3 - Business Considerations

There are many and varied ways in which electronic publishing will affect businesses. In this session, candidates identify and assess the direct effects of the revolution on particular businesses and industry sectors.

Session 4 - Impact and Implications

Electronic publishing is also affecting consumers, society, government and politics. This session challenges candidates to consider the broader implications of the new technologies, and how changes in the business environment will affect managerial and executive decision-making.

The Assignment

  1. Select a specific business context that is information-rich, or involves trading in information. This will most likely a line of business in which you are employed, or some other line in which your employer is active or considering becoming active.
  2. Describe the nature of the business, applying appropriate tools and models from information management theory.
  3. Identify the impacts that electronic publishing technologies may have on that business. To support this, it's highly desirable that you conduct a structured analysis of the organisation's strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.
  4. Discuss alternative approaches that the organisation might take to address the issues identified in your analysis.


Relevant papers by Roger Clarke are indexed as follows:


Go to Roger's Home Page.

Go to the contents-page for this segment.

Send an email to Roger

Created: 22 May 2000

Last Amended: 26 May 2002

These community service pages are a joint offering of the Australian National University (which provides the infrastructure), and Roger Clarke (who provides the content).
The Australian National University
Visiting Fellow, Faculty of
Engineering and Information Technology,
Information Sciences Building Room 211
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, ACN: 002 360 456
78 Sidaway St
Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, 6288 6916