Presentation Zen – Slideshare’s Nemesis?

I’ve been thinking a lot about powerpoint styles lately… Fall conference season is soon approaching and I have to build a bunch of presentations. However, I recently read Slide:ology and now I’m tormented:

Do I make it useful or pretty?
Do I go for presentation eye candy or pithy leave behinds?

If you’ve read any of the Powerpoint philosophical treatises (e.g. Presentation Zen or Slide:ology – both great books), you’ve learned that MUCH less is more when it comes to slides. Use lots of images. Use few words (there’s a range of opinion between 5 words and 3 bullet points). If you’ve perused presentations by some of the conference gurus out there, you’ll see that a lot of them are largely just an image with a handful of words at most. Picture of a tree, picture of some birds, picture of a frustrated office worker…

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Taxonomy Bootcamp 2009… A regular smorgasboard

Looking for a good way to spend a week in the California sun and learn more about taxonomy, search and knowledge management? Look no further than the triple-slam event of the fall conference season:

Taxonomy Bootcamp / KM World / Enterprise Search Summit West
Register today with our discount code to save 200$!

Mark your calendars, cause we have a full slate of taxonomy-related presentations this year, including:

Workshop: Taxonomy Implementation & Integration (Seth Earley & Stephanie Lemieux)
Date: November 16, 2009 – 9:00 – 12:00
Come hear Seth & I talk about how some of the companies we’ve worked with have been able to implement their taxonomies and integrate them with WCM, ECM and digital asset management systems among others. Hear about practical applications of taxonomy within different classes of tools as well as technical integration challenges (hierarchy challenges, build-vs-buy issues, etc.).

Workshop: SharePoint Information Architecture: Integrating Taxonomy & Metadata (Stephanie Lemieux & Shawn Shell)
Date: November 16, 2009 – 1:30 – 4:30
My friend Shawn Shell and I will cover the ups and downs of trying to build taxonomy and metadata frameworks in SharePoint – a tool with a distinct handicap when it comes to hierarchical metadata and search relevancy. We’ll talk about 3rd party add-ons that can help with tagging, taxonomy and faceted search.

Session: SharePoint Information Architecture: Integrating Taxonomy & Metadata (Jeff Carr & Stephanie Lemieux)
Date: November 19, 2009 – 1:15 – 2:00
If you can’t make it for the workshop, don’t miss this condensed version giving highlights on how to achieve taxonomy in SharePoint. We’ll cover a couple of case studies here as well, and give a quick overview of add-ons.

Session: Best Bet ROIs: We’ve Seen It All (Panel) (Seth Earley)
Date: November 19, 2009 – 3:30 – 4:15 EST
This panel of content management problem-solvers shares their experiences and perspectives of successfully determining the return on investment for folksonomy, taxonomy, and ontology initiatives

Session: Increasing Traffic by Integrating Taxonomy & SEO (Panel) (Jeff Carr)
Date: November 19, 2009 – 3:15 – 4:00 EST
Jeff is taking part in a fun panel format where speakers get just a few slides and a few minutes to make their point… Hear about how taxonomy is an important factor in many SEO ranking signals.

And if you’re not in info overload yet…

Session: Folksonomies: Beyond the Folks Tales (Panel) (Stephanie Lemieux)
Date: November 20, 2009 – 10:40 – 11:15
Join me for a panel that promises to be fun and informative, where Tom Reamy (KAPS) and I will go head to head on the merits and applications of Folksonomies.

This year promises to be a great show – join us in San Jose this November to chat about all things taxonomy, folksonomy, ontology, and any other “onomy” or “ology” you care to bring to the table. Use this link for a 200$ discount.

Special shout out to the TaxoCoP members – we’ll be sure to organize a get together for those of you who’ll be onsite.

SEO vs. TNBP or “Where was I going again?”

Much has been written on this blog about the value of SEO when it comes to taxonomies.  As Stephanie mentions its’ a huge weapon in the battle against outdated legacy terminology and spur of the second marketing speak. Jeff’s posts on keyword research, taxonomy and SEO are indispensable primers on the topic. So what haven’t we talked about yet?

How about SEO as the enemy of navigation?

Is there such a problem as too much of a good thing? When it comes to taxonomy navigation best practices and SEO, you bet.  Think about it this way: imagine you are meeting a friend for drinks after work and she tells you a story about something that happened to her during the day.

“I was in my office, and I had just poured myself a fresh cup of coffee.  I was in my office and the phone rang but I was tempted to ignore it. I was in my office and picked up the phone and it was my husband calling, did I mention I was in my office? Anyways I was in my office and my husband told me to sit down because he had incredible news. I was in my office and I sat down. I was in my office and my husband told me that we had just won the lottery?

Right, so… where were you again?  In your office, ok we get it!

Now have a look at the following taxonomy navigation suggested to us on a project for SEO purposes: Continue reading

Social Tagging – Questions Answered on Correction Tools and Vendors

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of giving a presentation on taxonomy vs. folksonomy in the enterprise to the Deloitte Social Tagging & Taxonomy Community of Practice, thanks to an invitation by fellow taxonomy enthusiasts Annie Wang and Lee Romero.

It was a fun presentation (a variation on this talk) and the audience asked some great questions afterwards. I was only able to answer a couple of questions before time ran out, so I offered to answer the rest on my blog. Here are the additional questions & answers:

1. Are there tools for auto-correcting social tags?

I had mentioned the idea that folksonomies are considered to be “self-correcting” or self-tuning – through volume of tags and users, anomalies (like single-use tags, misspellings, etc.) tend to be pushed to the side and the majority will trend towards correct/useful tags.This is an idea that I picked up from a whitepaper on social tagging by Oracle:

All social input strategies rely on the good-graces of well-intentioned users habituated to provide input over time to succeed…  Social strategies will self-correct for this problem over time under the presumption that more users than not will provide “good” information.

While this is the case on the web, where there are millions of users and tags, it will not likely occur as easily or quickly in the reduced scope of the enterprise, where you have a tiny fraction of this volume. So the question asks whether there are tools available to help encourage good tags by auto-correcting things like spelling mistakes, plural forms, etc.

The short answer is…. not really.

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How Many Facets is Too Many?

Recently on the Taxonomy Community of Practice, a member asked the following question on faceted taxonomy design:

“I’m researching about Faceted Navigation and Information Retrieval. I’ve been looking over the Internet for some articles/books/white papers about which is the best number of facets to use on a classification.”

Interesting question, especially given the popularity of faceted search and taxonomy. The community discussed the topic, and a a few answers were provided by members. Continue reading

Naming Conventions for Digital Assets: How much is too much?

Digital assets come in a seemingly limitless variety of flavors. Some intrinsic metadata comes along for the ride with particular formats, but without a robust metadata system and workflow in place, many assets will be “left behind” in any digital asset management (DAM) system. Use a systematic approach to naming: reduce the burden on users who need to open assets to determine contents, get those assets appearing in search results, and prevent misplaced files and data extinction down the road.

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Faceted Search Design – Ordering Facets

I’ve been lurking on the IAI’s mailing list for some time now, but recently someone posted a question that I just couldn’t resist answering:

We are getting ready to roll out a new faceted search option and I’ve been asked to make recommendations regarding the order of the facets and their characteristics.  I am having a hard time finding specific information about standards or best practices.  I repeatedly come across Stephanie Lemieux’s recent article, Designing for Faceted Search, stating that both facets and values should be based on importance.  While this is great, can anyone point me toward supporting information or is this something that is just understood?  Are there general guidelines for when to list characteristics alphabetically versus when to list them in descending order?

Ok, good call on the poster’s part – I had been vague in my article (Designing for Faceted Search, originally published in KM World), mainly because I had a broad audience and a word count limit. But I supposed that I should clarify a bit…  Here’s my response: Continue reading