Podcast on Folksonomy & Taxonomy in the Enterprise

I had the great pleasure of doing a podcast a few weeks ago with Paul Miller, podcaster for Nodalities (magazine & blog), on hybrid approaches to folksonomy and taxonomy and their role in the enterprise.

We discussed the now tired debate of folksonomy vs. taxonomy, and focused on the strengths and applications of each approach. I covered how organizations are leveraging social tagging and what some of the pitfalls are in the enterprise context.

I also talk a lot a few of the hybrid approaches to taxonomy & folksonomy:

  • Co-existence
  • Tag-influenced taxonomy
  • Taxonomy-influenced tagging
  • Tag hierarchies

I cover some interesting examples and tools (ZigTag, Flickr & Library of Congress), as well as the new directions in “intelligent tags”, like MOAT.

You can hear more about these approaches at the Semantic Technologies conference next week, where my colleagues Paul Wlodarczyk and Richard Beatch will be presenting on the topic on my behalf. Listen to the podcast…

Follow me on Twitter: @stephlemieux, @earleytaxonomy

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Electronic Medical Records: New Turf for Taxonomists?

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) have been receiving a good deal of attention of late. And it is no wonder. Amongst the challenges present in healthcare, both in the U.S.A. and globally, the fact that medical records largely consist of paper files certainly gives us pause. But what, exactly, are the goals of the much talked about EMR initiatives? And, are the approaches being discussed likely to meet those goals? Further, why am I writing about this issue on a blog that is about taxonomies, content management, and so on? Let us look at this a bit more carefully, as I think the connection to taxonomies and the like will become quite clear.

A quick survey through the news tells us that the efforts around EMR are anything but trivial. Indeed, the EMR efforts in Great Britain have been anything but smooth sailing. Their efforts, that have only targeted 30,000 physicians in 300 state run hospitals, have ended up coming in at six times the original cost estimate, and have delivered results that are, according to Public Accounts Chairman Edward Leigh “…late or, when deployed, do not meet expectations of clinical staff.” Given that our country faces a considerably greater diversity of hospital systems, owing to the private-sector nature of healthcare in the U.S.A., and a significantly larger number of hospitals and physicians, it would seem like the efforts are doomed to failure. Continue reading

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