Wirearchy featured at British and Irish Law Librarians’ 2015 Annual Conference

It’s always surprising to run across instances of professionals not having the basic courtesy to offer attribution to a term and a concept that have been around for 15 years or so, and that have been fairly rigorously examined and explained in a fair number of blog posts and articles, both on this blog and elsewhere.

It’s especially surprising coming from a law librarian’s conference.  One would think that  they will have learned a fair bit by now (2014) about search engines, copyright and Creative Commons licenses.

My Twitter stream made me aware of the title of the BIALL 2015 Conference in Brighton titled Wirearchy! Collaboration, Cooperation and Connectivity” where they intend to have attendees explore “the evolution of the legal sector and the development of the role and skills of the information professional“.

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Now, I don’t mind the term and concept spreading around.  That’s all to the good.

What’s galling is the response that I got upon enquiry from a purported information professional, Gill at http://www.isential.co.uk/about-us/.  She even terms herself “an experienced professional”.

At the request of someone named Ian J. Clark who suggested doing so “in the interest of fairness”, here is my email to the person organizing the BIALL conference mentioned above.

Hello, Gillian.

I noticed the theme of the 2015 conference is Wirearchy ! – Collaboration, Connectivity, Cooperation.
Given that I am the originator of the concept of wirearchy, would it be appropriate for me to submit a proposal to speak at this conference ?
Thanking you in advance for a rapid reply, as your deadline is only two days away.
Jon Husband

She wrote in her email reply to me ..

“Hi Jon,

Thank you for getting in touch.

You are very welcome to submit a paper for consideration.

How interesting that you came up with a concept.

I made up the word for the purposes of conveying connections and collaboration in mind, thinking about relationships taking a different form.

I look forward to your reading your submission.

Kind regards,


I replied noting that I and others have been writing about wirearchy and the implications thereof for 15 years or so and that “Google is your friend in this regard”.

You really have to wonder about some people.  What a snotty note she sent in reply.


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