IL2007: Webfeat Breakfast, day 2

Lovely breakfast, with great view. (Seriously, good food! Thanks, WebFeat!)

Also, it was a startlingly good presentation – the best possible switch from some of my experiences last night. The speaker (and I’m sorry to say I didn’t get his name or title, because I was eating the good food) was personable, friendly, informed, targeted, and interested in customer (and potential customer) questions and feedback.

The price has come down notably since the last time I was looking into WebFeat (entertainingly, the first time I learned about WebFeat was in 2002. They’re still at it, and I think that makes them old fogies in this industry…), and the functionality has also improved greatly, both of which were pleasant surprises. It was interesting to compare some of the features described (or not described) in light of some of the examples shown yesterday when Frank Cervone (very briefly) touched on open-source metafind solutions. I’m guessing that the things I noted as missing from WebFeat (like tag clouds and other 2.0-y bits) will be in later releases, as well — that seems to be the trend from the corporate developers.

The best parts of what I saw this morning, though, were some of the portal solutions that can be created using WebFeat technology – either through Blackboard or through the soon-to-be-released MyWebFeatExpress product. Both options were exactly what our students asked for in the last consultant’s dinner, and are what I hoped to come find here at IL. We’ll be looking into WebFeat further, but we’ll also be specifically looking to see if the statewide systems that support us want to help us provide these services.

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