Portals. The latest buzzword of CIOs, industry analysts and, of course, purveyors of technologies and services. So what's a portal and what does it mean to the profession of data management?

Webster's definition ­ "a doorway, gate or entrance" ­ offers a factual description, but little else. Colin White defined information portals in his excellent article in the April 1999 issue of DM Review: "A simple Web interface that helps users rapidly sift through information managed by a large distributed computer network." This sums up the essence of both kinds of information portals: public Internet portals that are tailored for each consumer's unique interests and enterprise-oriented intranet/extranet portals.

Both types of portals attempt to address the universal challenge of the information age: How do we connect information consumers with the meaningful information they need? There is no shortage of information ­ within enterprises and on the public Web ­ and there are plenty of people who need it. But there's an enormous chasm to be bridged in brokering that information to those consumers. Information consumers want to know where information exists and what it means, and they want it readily accessible in a useful, meaningful form when they need it. This, in a nutshell, is the guiding principle for information portal providers.

Does any of this sound familiar? Like, in a mission statement for data/information/knowledge management? The effort to create and refine information portals is essentially an information resource management (IRM) function. Chances are the creation of Web portals is not being driven or guided by your enterprise IRM group. IRM professionals can bring excellent experience to the management of Web-based information resources, especially as Web-based data becomes increasingly cataloged and structured using protocols such as XML.

Finally, let's bring this concept up a "meta" level. We IRM professional ourselves are information consumers looking for resources ­ about information resource management! (See DAMA's third edition of Guidelines for Data Resource Management for more discussion on topics such as XML and Internet data management.) Thus, DAMA as an association for IRM professionals is an "information portal." Brokering IRM information and networking practitioners together ­ providing a practical "window" into the practices and resources of the industry ­ is what DAMA has been all about for years. Visit our information portal: www.dama.org.

DAMA Chapter and Events Calendar
Atlanta Call Carol Knight, 770-551- 9254, for meeting schedule.
Boston Call Kris Chatterjee, 718-716-1025, for meeting schedule.
Brisbane, Australia Contact Paul Fendley, fendleyp@exchange.lands.qld.gov .au, for meeting schedule.
British Columbia, Canada Call Peter Kho, 604-666-3027 or e- mail, khop@vcn.bc.ca.
Canberra, Australia E-mail Rob Smith- Roberts, robsr@acslink.net.au, for meeting details.
Carolina E-mail Doug McCurry, Douglas_McCurry@belk.com, for meeting schedule.
Chicago Brett Champlin, bchamplin@concentric.net, for meeting schedule.
Dallas/Fort Worth Call Rodney Cole, 972-699-6240, for meeting schedule.
(Rocky Mountain)
September 9: David Hay.
Contact Janet Schoen, 303-758-3030, ext 209 for meeting schedule, or visit: www.dama-rmc.org.
Houston Contact Frank Pursel, 713-356-6264, for meeting schedule.
Italy Contact Paolo Cecchellero, ceck@comm2000.it or 1-3923-02-2533, for meeting schedule.
Kansas City Chapter now forming! Contact Erik J. Brokaw, 816-467-3786, for more information.
Kentucky Tri-State Contact Pat Lavigne, 502-560-4598, for meeting schedule.
London Chapter now forming! Contact Brett Champlin, bchamplin@concentric.net, for more information.
Los Angeles Contact Jim Swenson, 818-814-7735, for meeting schedule.
Melbourne, Australia Contact Daniel Moody, +61-3-9650-5100 or dmoody@acm.org, for details.
Minnesota Call Dawn Michels, 651- 486-4626, for meeting schedule.
Nashville Brian Jones, 615-748-1421, for meeting schedule.
New Jersey September 9: DAMA Day: Data Warehousing, Pre & Post Millennium.
Visit www.dama- nj.orgfor chapter information.
New York City Please see www.dama-ny.com, for registration details.
New York
(Northeast Region)
E-mail info@damane.org, or call 516-221-5560 for meeting details.
North Florida Chapter now forming! Contact Susan E. Stelzmann, stelzman@mail.irm.state.fl.us, for more information.
Ohio Sam Hughes, shughes@eesus.jnj.com, for meeting schedule.
Philadelphia/ Delaware Valley September 29: Object Day with Terry Quatrani.
Chapter meets quarterly. Visit http://www.dama.org/chapters/philly.htmor call 610-690-1653 for more information.
Phoenix Call Laura Kostyo, 602-766-5486 or visit www.dama-phx.org, for meeting schedule.
Portland Rita Wheeler, 503- 321-6495, for meeting schedule.
Rochester/ Upstate New York Contact Pat Gunter, 716-327-2459, for meeting schedule.
Sacramento Call Cortina Martinez, 916-654-9596, for meeting schedule.
San Francisco Bay Area August 4: "Selling Data Management -Workshop," Darlene Crane.
Call Rose Romero, 510-304-1044, for details.
Scandinavia Contact Eskil Swende, +46- 8-80-22-40, or eskil.swende@irm.se, for meeting schedule.
Seattle (DRMA) Call Scott Harris, 253-502-2321, for meeting schedule, or visit www.halcyon.com/drma/brconf/brs.htm for details.
St. Louis Please visit the DAMA- St. Louis Chapter Web site at www.damastlouis.org for information about upcoming meetings and events.
Sydney, Australia Contact Robert Arnold, damasydney@poboxes.com or 61-2-9211- 6200, for meeting and event details.
Topeka Chapter now forming! Contact Dan Roehler, 785-291-3477, for more information.
Toronto, Canada
Please visit the Toronto IRMAC Web site at www.irmac.com for information about upcoming meeting and event details.
Washington, D.C.
(National Capitol Region)
Call Veena Bhatia, 202-708-9279, for meeting schedule.
Wisconsin Contact Ed Lance, 608-242-4100, elance@amfam.com, for details.

Send updates for this listing to vp.communications@compuserve.com< /A>.

Can't find a chapter near you? Check out our Web site, www.dama.org, for information about our Member-at-Large program.

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