Anonymous — March 18, 2009 - 8:45pm
Last fall our Taxonomy Services group conducted a very successful Webinar focused on Taxonomy and SharePoint. Based on requests from our customers, next week we are conducting a similar session for our customers in Asia Pacific. Much like what my North American and European colleagues share with me about their regions, SharePoint adoption seems to have reached a tipping point in Asia Pacific and thus, this session will be timely and very relevant to our Asia Pacific customers.
So if you are located in the Asia Pacific region and would like an introduction to Dow Jones’ taxonomy services and a better understanding of the use and benefits of taxonomies within SharePoint, you can attend our upcoming Webinar. This practical session will demonstrate ways in which you can combine the simplicity of Sharepoint and richness of taxonomy to solve your complex information challenges.
During this session you will learn some of the basic ways to manage controlled vocabularies using standard out of the box features that you can use immediately as well as learn about our Synaptica integration into SharePoint .
Date: Wednesday 25th March
Time: 10.00am Singapore, Hong Kong
2.00pm New Zealand
We welcome everyone who has implemented or is looking to implement a SharePoint solution or in fact anyone who is keen on this subject to join us by registering for this session by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to 'seeing' you there!
Anonymous — January 7, 2009 - 10:04pm
[This post is cross-posted on my personal blog]
Last month the Library of Congress released their report on their ongoing Flickr project that i have been very interested in and have written about as the project progressed. From their blog post on the report:
"Only nine months into the Library of Congress’ pilot project placing Library photos on the Web site Flickr, the photos have drawn more than 10 million views, 7,166 comments and more than 67,000 tags, according to a new report from the project team overseeing the lively project."
“The popularity and impact of the pilot have been remarkable,” said Michelle Springer, project manager for digital initiatives in the Office of Strategic Initiatives, who said total views reached 10 million in October. The site is averaging 500,000 views a month, she said, adding that Flickr members have marked 79 percent of the photos as “favorites.”
A summary of some of the outcomes:
- Increasing awareness of the digital photograph collection the Library of Congress (LC) has which has been available for years on the Library's website turning to not only an engaged audience but a lot of referral traffic to the Library's Website. "Feedback of this nature suggests that as a result of this project the Library is reaching new audiences—people who did not or could not find this material on our own site, and people who never thought to look here. "
- Gain a Better Understanding of Social Tagging and Community Input (see below for more details)
- Pilot helped the LC staff gain experience with Web 2.0 online interactions with 'patrons'
Since the beginning of the project i have been very interested in learning about some of the outcomes that the project would provide in regards to user tagging versus applied controlled vocabulary through traditional bibliographic cataloging. In the report the share that they used the Flickr API to do deeper analysis of the tagging that was done by the community (see pages 19-24 of the full report) based on nine categories that provided some interesting insight focused on issues commonly cited in comparisons of social tagging vs. assignement of controlled vocabulary terms(page 28). The categories analyzed were:
I. LC description-based (words copied from the Library-provided record): e.g., titles,
names, subjects, etc.
II. New descriptive words (words not present in the Library-provided description):
- Place: e.g., cities, counties, countries, natural feature names
- Format (physical characteristics of the original photos). Sample tags: LF, large format, black and white, bw, transparencies, glass plate
- Photographic technique. Sample tags: shallow depth of field
- Time period. Sample tags: wartime, WWII, 1912
- Creator name: e.g., photographer’s name
III. New subject words (words not present in the Library-provided description):
- Image (items seen in the image itself). Sample tags: cables, trees, apples, windows, hat, yellow
- Associations/symbolism (phrases and slogans evoked by the image). Sample tags: Rosie the riveter, Norman Rockwell, We can do it!
- Commentary (revealing the tagger’s value judgments). Sample tags: Sunday best,
- proud, dapper, vintage.
- Transcription (transcribing words found in items such as signs, posters, etc., within the photo)
- Topic (terms that convey the topic of the photo). Sample tags: architecture, navy, baseball, story
- Humor (tags intended to be humorous rather than descriptive) Sample tags: UFO, flying saucer
IV. Emotional/aesthetic responses: (personal reactions of the tagger). Sample tags: wow,
pretty, ugly, controversial
V. Personal knowledge/research (tags that could only have been added based on knowledge or research by the tagger, and that could not have been gleaned solely from the description provided or examination of the photo): For example, the tag murder used on a portrait of someone who was later murdered or tags added for the specific county when that information was not part of the description.
VI. Machine tags (added by the community not Library-supplied): e.g., geotags and Iconclass tags
VII. Variant forms (representing terms already tagged but in a different form, such as synonyms (e.g., WW2, WWII, World War II, worldwarii) or plural/singular differences (e.g., transparency/transparencies)
VIII. Foreign language (tags in foreign languages/scripts, whether they are translations of English-language tags, or new tags)
IX. Miscellaneous (tags that are not readily understood, that provide corrections to LC descriptions or to other taggers (e.g., not peaches), or tags later removed
Some of the Future Tag Analysis Interests (page 29) are also quite interesting such as actually incorporating popular concepts or variants into the LC's own controlled vocabularies (yeah something i advocate in the hybrid approach!), bringing the tags into the LC's search environment, populate bibliographic records with tags (although that have already added the Flickr URL to the "additional version available" field (MARC field 530) in some catalog records which leads users to the appropriate Flickr page that might provide historical information etc. on the image that is vaulable- see sample on page 36).
In the report they also share some of the experiences the staff learned from using Web2.0 tools in interacting with patrons that might be different from the traditional reference desk exchanges (page 37).
The good news? Skip to page 38 of the full report to see the recommendations and conculsions including details of headcount that is necessary for the program to continue and expand. But the report ends with the following good news:
"It should come as no surprise, then, that the Flickr team recommends that this experiment in Web 2.0 cease to be characterized as a pilot and evolve to an expanded involvement in this growing community (and other appropriate social networking opportunities that may arise) as resources permit. The benefits appear to far outweigh the costs and risks. "
Many thanks to the Library of Congress staff for taking on this project and continuously sharing their progress through their blog as well as other resources (see Appendix C) and to the authors of the project report: Michelle Springer, Beth Dulabahn, Phil Michel, Barbara Natanson, David Reser, David Woodward, and Helena Zinkham!
Anonymous — January 5, 2009 - 12:00pm
2008 treated my ebook on Folksonomies and Taxonomies extremely well and lead to some great conversations with colleagues and clients about the 'advantages' of user tagging when approached via hybrid routes in the Enterprise that i will be sharing here with you in a future posts.
In addition to the inclusion in many publications, including DMReview I was also interviewed for a ReadWriteTalk Podcast about why i wrote the book. Alot of great feedback was received not only about the content and the message of the ebook but the gorgeous layout and format that our design team put together and for a treat our marketing department also had these great aprons made for the Taxonomy Bootcamp sessions.
This year a translated version of the ebook is out in French titled: Le Livre De Cuisine De La Taxonomie Et De La Folksonomie which i am extremely excited about because it reaches out to a whole new market for my European colleagues. (although i admit i do not speak French!)
Hope you enjoy it- Merci!
Anonymous — October 28, 2008 - 9:28pm
Here at the Synaptica Central Blog most of our posts are focused on developing and managing complex taxonomies which is what our taxonomy consultants are usually doing at client sites during the week...of course unless they are busy blogging here ;-).
There are certainly different levels of complexity depending on the Client, but the business needs are typically robust enough that at one point the customer also looks for a tool to manage those vocabularies and Synaptica fits the bill. Typically this is because of the need to maintain relationship between terms in a thesaurus (like BT (Broader Term), Narrow Term (NT)) that are hard to manage in a spreadsheet or relationships between different vocabularies which many of the thesauri management tools in the marketplace do not allow. They may also have a need to integrate these vocabularies into other systems like search engines, CMS/DMS, DAMs etc. beyond sending excel sheets around their company which can be quite painful.
We have also however seen some pretty cool uses of the tool like Jim's recent post about Thinking Outside of the Synaptica Box about our own in-house usage. Our clients see the power of the tool and adopt it for their own needs- many times bring users into the fold that never thought that they would be creating and maintaining a "taxonomy"!
This post on Project Management from the Developer's Perspective : Project Taxonomy by Stacey Mulcahy on the O'Reilly InsideRIA blog reminds me of some of the unique ways that customers are using the Synaptica tool for.
In her post, Stacey does an awesome job of explaining how "Adopting a project taxonomy is one of the simplest pro-active ways to avoid hours of frustration caused by miscommunication. Once team members, regardless of discipline and role, utilize a shared vocabulary, interactions become more meaningful and ultimately more productive as more time is spent in communicating the message and less time clarifying its context."
Things like Synaptica's "MyWeb Views" allow Admins to quick created 'Read Only' Views for the whole organization to be on the same page- for example with a link to images likes Stacey suggests in her post so everyone gets on the same page as to what a specific term means- for the organization as a whole- or possibly only for that specific project that the team is working on.
It is a must read post- and if you are thinking about the different ways controlled vocabularies are being used in your enterprise and already have Synaptica in house and just want to get others in your organization to benefit from the tool- look at your Project Managers and let them know that you have a tool in house that can simplify the way they manage their taxonomies with their project teams to avoid hours of possible frustration.
Anonymous — October 26, 2008 - 2:42pm
According to a recent global survey conducted by The Nielsen Company about trends in online shopping, over 85 percent of the world’s online population has used the Internet to make a purchase.
Finding or not finding products and services on e-commerce sites is key to success regardless of what language an online shop operates in. The conversion rate of a search; i.e. the rate of how many products will actually be bought through searches, is one of the central measures of how successful an e-commerce site is.
The end-user expects an interface that is intuitive and easy to use as well as a navigation and search that directs him or her to relevant products and services. How the user's search terms are actually associated with the "right" search results is of no interest to the online shopper, but is a complex issue that all e-commerce sites and online shops have to deal with.
Having worked with many e-commerce customers in Europe, I have come across a lot of the complexities that optimizing the search capabilities of a site can bring and that an end-user will literally only see the tip of the ice-berg of.
From content, controlled vocabularies, search metrics and process questions that need to be addressed, having the right tools to optimize a search is probably the simplest but no less important question.
Often, search engines focus on what they are made for: Searching. Managing vocabularies for search improvement is usually not one of the areas that vendors specialize in or focus on. The most relevant features we encounter that are often not covered by search engines are:
- Central management of vocabularies (products, services, colours, materials, and other filters) to ensure that there is one version in place from which extensions can be built if needed
- Allow for different users to contribute to a controlled vocabulary through different levels of access rights, so for example working directly with content editors to share input
- The possibility to add comments to terms (why has x been introduced as a synonym to y)
- Being able to monitor the progress and changes that have been made
- Being able to retrieve historical information
- Creating Audience Centric Views
- just to name but a few!
Next to many other aspects, being able to manage controlled vocabularies in an efficient and effective way is one of the prerequisites to optimize the search capabilities of an e-commerce site. Not only will it help drive online sales, because users will find the most relevant products and services, but it will also contribute to a positive shopping experience so that new shoppers will return.