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InformationToday 31 www.infotoday.com January 2010 have it, hours after the Hogans and the book intended for the newcomer to on- ITI Chronicles staff had started working, the police ar- line searching … the book assumes no rived and told them they had to vacate previous knowledge of computerized data- In the Beginning the premises. “I was really angry,” Sue says. “We were paying rent; it wasn’t our fault that there was no CO, so I told the cops I was base searching. …” Learned Information, Inc. didn’t start publishing a periodical (BD was a prod- uct of Learned’s sister company, Plexus by LAUREE PADGETT | place in March at the Sheraton Hotel in going to see the mayor.” That didn’t keep Publishing, Inc.) until 1984, and that pe- New York City. This meeting, which was the police from forcing them out of the riodical was Information Today, as you A ccording to traditional etiquette, the brainchild of Tom Hogan and Roger door (however, they snuck back in but might have already guessed. In conjunc- pearls are the appropriate gift Bilboul, was designed to be the North kept the lights off for the rest of the day). tion with IT’s 25th anniversary in 2009, for a 30th wedding anniversary. American version of what is now known as Sue called the mayor and arranged a Hogan recounted how the newspaper So in 2010, as Information Today, Inc. the International Online Meeting (IOM), meeting with him, and by the next day, went from an eight-page promotional celebrates its 30th year in the informa- a show that Bilboul started in London as BD was back in business and legally op- marketing piece for the fourth NOM in tion industry, my column will look at ITI a “product” of his company, Learned In- erating out of their office space. 1983 to a monthly publication in 1984 history, seeing what formation Ltd. Meanwhile, Bilboul came to Medford (“Retrospective: 25 Years Ago in Infor- grains of sand have The premier NOM featured about 40 for a visit. He already had successfully mation Today,” Information Today, Vol. turned into pearls in exhibitors, including the day’s industry organized the first IOM and was plan- 25, issue 11, December 2008, pp. 22, 32), the company’s oys- giants such as DIALOG, BRS, ABI/In- ning the second. He believed that there so I’ll invite those of you who want all the ter shell during the form, Chemical Abstracts, and BIOSIS, was a need for a similar show in the U.S. details to check out the article at www past 3 decades. I’ll as well as 70-plus speakers and 500 at- and wanted to see if Hogan would pro- .infotoday.com/IT/dec08/index.shtml. also include some tendees. What neither founder could have duce the IOM equivalent in the states. In the early days, Hogan served as then-and-now com- fathomed was that this conference would Hogan, a 36-year-old who, in his own everything from a writer to the paper’s parisons, checking beget Learned Information, Inc., 15 months words, thought he knew “everything about paste-up person. He relied on his connec- in with people (in the down the road and that 30 years later, this everything,” was a veteran conference at- tions in the information industry who were Lauree Padgett industry and in ITI) same company (now called Information tendee. As such, he reasoned, “How hard knowledgeable and had interesting points who were here when Today, Inc.) would become a major pub- could it be to put on a show?” of view to write columns and articles. it all started and who are still here years lisher and conference organizer in the in- As he found out, it was plenty hard, In those days, the publication’s sub- later. But for this kickoff column, “Let’s formation industry. but he and his team, which included a title was “The Newspaper for Users and start at the very beginning, a very good person to handle registration, a secretary/ Producers of Electronic Information Ser- place to start.” assistant, and a graphic artist, learned vices.” Now, while the tagline (“The News- In the Abstract as they went along. Working on-site at paper for Users and Producers of Digi- Hogan, whose official title is president the Sheraton proved to be quite over- tal Information Services”) has been up- A ‘NOM’-inal Debut and CEO of ITI, remembers how he and whelming. “I didn’t quite understand all dated to match the technology that has The year is 1980. The Pittsburgh Steel- Bilboul, ITI’s chairman of the board, ini- the aspects of it,” says Hogan. “The hotel taken the information industry from ers
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