Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Raleigh will be the center of the World Wide Web universe this week as the City of Oaks plays host to the 19th annual

Leaders in the Web, including Tim Berners-Lee who invented the Web in 1989 and Vint Cerf, one of Internet’s “fathers” in the U.S., will be participating in seminars, panel discussions and much more during events that begin today and run through Friday at the Raleigh Convention Center.

N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill are serving as hosts. Michael Rappa at NCSU and Paul Jones at UNC-CH are acting as co-chairs of the event. (Jones oversees, one of the Web’s true treasures. Rappas is director of NCSU’s Institute for Advanced Analytics.)

The Raleigh organizers, including Kathy Green, have been working on the program for three years.

The end result of their collective efforts includes a very heavy education focus: 11 workshops, 12 tutorials, presentation of more than 105 technical papers, and a host of guest speakers.

There’s an entrepreneurial angle, too. A new addition for the Raleigh conference is a “demo track” where individuals as well as businesses can demonstrate new developments and systems. Nearly 30 proposals were accepted for the demo track.

Additionally, three parallel conferences are also set at the Convention Center:

• WebSci 10, which runs Monday and Tuesday. It focuses on a blending of physical and social sciences across “traditional disciplinary boundaries.”

• W4A 2010, which also runs Monday and Tuesday. This is the seventh Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility.

• Future, which is set for Wednesday and Thursday, which focuses on the increasing impact of the Web across business, education, politics and society.

Program highlights include:

• A presentation from Cerf on Wednesday titled: “Bandwidth, Clouds and Things, Oh My!” – What happens when bandwidth isn’t a bottleneck?

• “Publicity and Privacy in Web 2.0” by Dana Boyd at Microsoft Research on Thursday

• “A Tale of Seven Bureaucracies” by Carl Malamud of Public Resource.Org on Friday, focusing on open source in government.

• Plus, a panel discussion led by Berners-Lee, Jones and several others who will focus on making the Web more open and accessible.

Tutorials and workshops begin Monday.

This should be a fascinating and enlightening five days about the state of the Web today – but more importantly, how the Web’s developers, leaders and users are evolving it for even wider use in the future.

Local Tech Wire and are media sponsors of the event.

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