A Poem

By Marjorie M.K. Hlava for the 2012 Taxonomy Boot Camp:

 

‘Twas the night before Boot Camp
And I thought I should know
Pecha Kucha – what is it?
Which way to go?

Information is the bridge,
The theme is well honed,
But what is it made of?
It can’t work alone!

I’ve learned a great deal in my 35 years.
What should I distill for their poor little ears?
There’s only five minutes to speak your whole piece
Say something worthwhile so they won’t fall asleep.

Should I speak of history, meetings before?
COSATI and Cranfield and info sci lore?
The Weinbergs, Milstead, and Becker and Hayes?
Those were the leaders, those were the days!

How have we evolved from Teletype and fax,
Through online, CD and the downloading crisis?
Print is disappearing, internet at the max,
Mega journals, PLOS, and now open access.

New models are coming;
The old ones will crumble.
Categorization prevents
Information stumble.

Over 200 Taxos have run through my brain.
Always a puzzle – no two the same.
I could speak of experience, taxonomies show,
Add a few standards, the things they should know.

I’ve worked more than 600 databases
Shall I cover them all or just get the basics?
Or project case studies with concrete samples
Or cool rules of thumb with lots of examples?

Should I talk about pitfalls and unfortunate cases?
Where clients made choices that went the wrong places?
Shall we cover the future from the bright or dark side?
System crackers, and hackers and more cyber crime?

The field underpinnings should also be known:
XML, Java, and good Unicode,
Dublin Core, JATS, and our own DOI,
But those weighty subjects make audiences sigh…

People confuse content with exports–
SKOS, OWL, and Zthes.
Is this the right time to get into this?
The tools of the trade are a good thing to tell,
But the vendors use formats in order to sell.

What is the difference between all the forms?
Ontology, taxonomy, thesaurus, CV?
Can we make it easy for the user to see?

How are they used, these things we are making?
Are taxos available free, just for the taking?
What does a taxonomy do for the maker?
Does it improve search like salt from a shaker?

And how do you know if the work’s any good?
Review by the Subject matter experts, will show… or it should.
Metadata automatically applied–
Is it better and accurate and easily supplied?

Findability, retrieval, and things multilingual,
Keywords, tagging, and cloud-based all mingle.
How about using in site navigation,
Expanding or collapsing for elucidation?

We all need organization
As technology speeds up and more people write.
We have to find our way through it,
Get the citations right.

We share information, widely and well,
With standards in place the formats will still
Be a road map for untangling the web
So we can all find what others have said.

Search and content mountains face us.
No wonder the users have made such a fuss!
The technologies confusing, the theories conflicting,
The data still growing, the time bomb is ticking.

Ontologies aren’t working, the schema’s complex.
What happened to data? Is this some kind of hex?

Medical or econ or high level physics,
The content behaves in a similar way.
Government, enterprise, society journals–
The subjects define it, the usage has sway.

Information travels circuitous ways.
Email has taken over our days.
Nanosecond linking of data collections,
Web services, API, and direct connections.
No matter what format, no matter what size,
We must keep it moving keep the data alive.

We need tools to do mining and organizing.
The research is in. ROI is done talking.

For accurate and consistent tagging,
For deep content penetration or linking,
There is only one, the case is pervasive.
Installation is fast, the savings invasive.

So try it out, the first month is free
Come do a trial of Data Harmony!