Making money from Web Publishing

Tom Worthington FACS HLM

For the ACS National Young IT Conference

Melbourne, 19 April 2007

A presentation for the Australian Computer Society (ACS) National Young Professional Conference 2007, 19 April 2007, Melbourne

Find out how new XML technologies, including web services and the semantic web can be used to provide e-business services which are both profitable and useful for consumers.

More details of the conference are at URL:

Tom Worthington FACS HLM

Tom Worthington is an independent consultant, providing advice on information technology strategies, the design of web sites and use of e-commerce systems. Clients include major government agencies, companies and research organisations.

Tom is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the Australian National University, where he teaches the design of web sites and use of e-commerce systems. In 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy.

Tom is author of the book Net Traveller and information technology professional, with 22 years experience. He writes about buying and selling on the net, e-commerce, net business, people using the Internet and travel.

Tom is a past president, Fellow and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Computer Society, a voting member of the Association for Computing Machinery and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

More at URL:

Web Publishing

Database systems before the web emphasized the use of very structured data formats for manipulation by computer programs. The web provided a way to create unstructured electronic documents for people to read. XML provides a way to blend the features of a database and an electronic document, readable both by programs and people. Web Services provides an XML based interface for applications, particularly suited to electronic commerce. The Semantic Web provides a way to add more structure to a web page so it can be understood by a program, as well as a person.

In mid July 2005 I made a nine day visit to Apia, Samoa. This was at the request of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). It was to conduct a five day workshop for staff from museums around the South Pacific region on the use of computer and telecommunications technologies.

The workshop was success, but it made me realize that if the Internet and the web are to become part of everyday work, we need better tools. Not every office worker can afford a week long intensive course to learn how to do web pages.

Also the participants on the course educated me about museums in the South Pacific. These have a tradition of showcasing the living culture of their society, rather than just artifacts from long ago. The museums have performances and demonstrations of making objects. They sell items in the museums.

On my return from Samoa I set out to look at how to create tools which would make creating web sites easier and to combine commerce with cultural web sites.

At the same time the ACS was looking at how to better create, distribute and fund its research publishing. Several ANU ICT students have undertaken one semester projects exploring aspects of this. In this talk I discuss some of the results of this work and look at future possibilities.

Web services

Transaction processing for the web

The example shown is from "Web Services Demonstration" by Tom Worthington For: Australian National University students of Metadata and Data Management:

Web services can be thought of as the transaction processing equivalent of the world wide web. The web provided a relatively easy and standardized way to create distributed hypertext. Web Services is a set of standards which aims to provide easy and standardized distributed transaction processing.

Just as the web trades off functionality and efficiency for ease of use, so does web services. It is not yet clear if this is a tradeoff which applications developers are willing to make. Applications like the simple one show below are easy to produce, but how much harder will more complex applications be?

From URL:

Semantic web

Semantic Web Example by Yin Chen

Semantic Web Example by Yin Chen, ANU

Providing Structure to the Web

The example shown is by Yin Chen, for an ANU Project:

The Semantic Web is an evolving extension of the World Wide Web in which web content can be expressed not only in natural language, but also in a form that can be understood.

Wikipedia is a very successful implementation of semantic web technology. It is the world's largest collaboratively edited source of encyclopedic knowledge. Enable even casual users to participate in the creation of an open semantic knowledge base. ...

From "Commercial Semantic Web of Digital Library", Yin Chen, ANU, 16 March 2007, URL:

ACS Digital Library

XML Technology for Publishing

  1. Free Open Source Software

  2. Uses XML e-Publishing standards

  3. Links ACS Journals to NLA

  4. NLA Links to the World

The ACS Digital Library uses the Open Journal Systems free open source software to publish scientific research papers on-line. As well as making the papers available on the web (using XHTML, the XML variant of HTML), OJS also provides the papers to libraries via an OAI XML interface.

The ACS Digital Library provides international quality magazines, journal articles and conference papers, covering innovative research and practice in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). This service is provided free to the ICT profession by the Australian Computer Society (ACS) as part of its commitment to ensure the beneficial use of technology for the community.

From URL:

Web Sales

Add code to a web site to sell:

Amazon.Com's affiliate program provides a way for small web content providers to earn revenue from selling books and other goods on their web sites. This is a brief overview of how to put an Amazon store on your web site. Web advertising can be used to support not-for-profit web sites, such as the ACS Digital Library. ...

Amazon provide an online sign up for their service and issue a code to track referrals to Amazon. Links using that code are placed in your web site and Amazon pays a commission on sales made using that code.

From: have "Context Links" in Beta release. With this system you add a few lines of code to a web page and Amazon automatically inserts links to products in their catalog.. ... On the ACS Digital Library it put in a link to a subscription which could be purchased on Amazon for one of the journals. Strictly speaking this was correct, but it was a surprise to those of us organizing the publication, as we didn't know subscriptions were for sale on Amazon. Far worse was that it put in links to books by authors with the same name as ones who wrote in the library and to books which happen to have the same names as papers. This makes the facility essentially useless for use in serious scholarly writing.

From URL:

Web Advertising

Add code to a web site to advertise:

Google's AdSense allows small web content providers to earn revenue from advertising on their web sites. This is a brief overview of how to put Google AdSense ads on your web pages. Web advertising can be used to support small not-for-profit web sites, such as On Line Opinion "Australia's free Internet journal of social and political opinion", as well commercial web sites.


Future Developments

ACS Computer Professional Education Program


Better Automated Links

Podcasting is the distribution of media files using web based syndication to hand-held devices. ...


More Information

Slides for these notes are also available.

I will be speaking at the 2007 China Media Conference, 5 July 2007 in Brisbane (Australia) on web design for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The web site for the conference features a poster (excerpt shown) of a Chinese Red Guard, but instead of a "Little Red Book", they are holding a PDA. This illustrates the impact the web has had on society. XML and e-publishing are likely to have as much impact.

Copyright © 2007 Tom Worthington

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