"Your taxonomy is your future," Montague Institute Review, February 2000. The way your company organizes information (i.e. its taxonomies) is critical to its future. A taxonomy not only frames the way people approach decisions, but it also helps them find the information to weigh all the alternatives. A decision that seems right from one perspective (e.g. the supplier) may look different when viewed through another lens (e.g. that of the customer).
"Managing Taxonomies Strategically," Montague Institute Review, March 2001. Although taxonomies are not new, they need to be integrated and customized for a variety of business applications. It's important that we offer content owners taxonomy services that are both convenient and cost effective. At the same time, we need to link specialized taxonomies together and leverage investments in taxonomy infrastructure across the enterprise.
"The Economics and ABC's of Indexes," Montague Institute Review, April 2002. What is the role of the A-Z index in a world of intranets, search engines, and hyperlinks? In this article, I describe the manual indexing process, look at the economics of indexing in print and electronic formats, compare the features of the major types of indexing software, and look at the role of the A-Z index in a corporate taxonomy.
"Ten Taxonomy Myths," Montague Institute Review, November 2002. Taxonomies have recently emerged from the quiet backwaters of biology, book indexing, and library science into the corporate limelight. They are supposed to be the silver bullets that will help users find the needle in the intranet haystack, reduce "friction" in electronic commerce, facilitate scientific research, and promote global collaboration. But before this can happen, practitioners need to dispel the myths and confusion created in part by the multi-disciplinary nature of the task and the hype surrounding content management technologies.
"Ten Questions for Taxonomy Teams," Montague Institute Review, June, 2003. Today, creating a corporate taxonomy is a team activity that brings together members of different disciplines. It's important for teams to participate in learning activities as a group, preferably in a hands-on setting using their own data. This article discusses ten questions that taxonomy teams need to consider.
"Selling Taxonomy: A Fool's Errand?" Montague Institute Review, May 2004. How do corporate taxonomists "sell" business unit managers, senior executives, and content creators on the value of what they do? When we submitted this question to our members, we got two kinds of responses. Some people shared anecdotes, personal experiences, and lists of taxonomy benefits. Others thought the question was either impossible to answer or shouldn't have been asked in the first place. What's going on here?
"Taxonomy Skills for Search Teams," Montague Institute Review, June 2004. This article originated as a member question, "Should the teams responsible for the search function work with people with metadata and taxonomy skills?" In Part I, we summarize the responses, most of which support the requester's position. In Part II, we look for clues about why the issue seems to be a problem for so many people.
"Collaborative Taxonomies Revisited," Intranets Today, May/June 2005 issue. The big payoff for taxonomies comes when their creators collaborate to create synergies between departments or agencies.
"Taxonomies: Solution or Symptom?" Montague Institute Review, February 2011. Often taxonomies are only a band-aid that masks a serious underlying issue — the lack of a functional knowledge ecology. We discuss why unofficial (i.e. intranet) corporate content is hard to find, what is needed to make unofficial information findable, where to look for suitable publishing models, and how to adapt commercial publishing models to unofficial information on corporate intranets.
"Global vs. Local Taxonomies in SharePoint," Montague Institute Review, June, 2012. SharePoint 2010 lets you create metadata -- i.e. topic hierarchies (taxonomies) and controlled vocabularies (keywords) -- both at the organization and group level. In this article I'll discuss some of the design issues, look at how to implement them in the SharePoint Managed Metadata Service, review the implications for users, and offer some planning suggestions.