The Myth of “Unified Information Systems”

I was just listening to a web cast of IDC’s called “Enterprise Search 360: A Company-Wide Case Study with National Instruments and IDC”. This was commercial for search vendor FAST Search and Transfer, but one of the best kinds of commercials – one by an enthusiastic customer. The web cast shoud be available here. Julie Schlembach, Search Program Manager, National Instruments did a terrific job of explaining what they have accomplished with search and content management. I really liked her style and the detail of her slides.

That said, I disagree with the basic premise that “Unified Information Systems” are the “Next Big Thing”. Or that search tools are the silver bullet that will allow for “a single point of access to multiple points of information”. “Unified information platforms could disrupt the business intelligence market by extending user access to far more information than previously achieved by search”, claims Sue Feldman, analyst for IDC. Continue reading

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This month’s Taxonomy Community of Practice call: Social Tagging

Note (added August 2nd, 2006): you can purchase an archived recording of this call, visit our website.

We have an interesting topic and great speakers for this month’s Taxonomy Community of Practice conference call… Social Tagging & Folksonomies – July 26, 2:00PM EST. Continue reading

Term Hijacking – My ontology is better than your ontology…

I thought I’d point out this summary of a series of posts from the Taxonomy Community of Practice summarized by one our our consultants, Stephanie Lemieux, on the Taxonomy Wiki. In case you missed it, here is an excerpt:

“An interesting offshoot of the traditional terminology debate (what is a taxonomy/thesaurus/ontology – insert term here) occurred on the discussion board this week regarding vendors and how they use – or abuse – domain terminology in their product marketing. Many members had funny anecdotes of head-scratching moments with vendors:” In the discussion we hear from Bob Bater, Kelly Green, Christine Connors and Marcia Morante. Read the rest of the summary

Syndicated research projects

One of the things we have noticed is that there are lots of interesting areas for companies to explore in terms of process and technology, but not a lot of resources that can be devoted to exploration without a cost justifiable outcome. So for example, someone might have a departmental budget of $10k or $20k to look into a new area, but that would not be enough to adequately explore the issue at hand. However if several organizations pooled those resources for a common research agenda, then each could have the benefit of a larger project for the cost of their contribution.

Based on conversations I have had with a number of firms, Topic Maps may be a good area for us to organize a syndicated research project around. Here is a rough description of the project. Contact me if you are interested in participating. Continue reading

Hype cycles revisited – taxonomies under the gun

My last post discussed the idea that knowledge management has gone through the hype cycle and people are abandoning the term for more fertile buzzwords. According to Gartner, taxonomies are now at the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” headed for the “Trough of Disillusionment” in the hype cycle, which begs reflection on the concept of taxonomies. Continue reading