Taxonomy Bread and Circuses

Part One:

Part Two:

Why are taxonomies so hot? Why are they needed? What problems do they solve? What opportunities do they open for you? There are many myths, misunderstandings, and misrepresentations about taxonomies. Taxonomies need to be thoroughly understood before you can assess their value for your organization. While obtaining or building one does not have to be an expensive proposition, cost can quickly escalate while usefulness can decline or be misdirected. An understanding must come first, followed by an analysis of your situation, and then an implementation plan. So much for the easy part! After the implementation plan comes the implementation. Do you have the right tools? Do you have the available expertise? Do you have the time? What about applying your new taxonomy to your content? Your taxonomy is only as useful as its applicability to labeling or indexing or categorizing your content. Indexing is typically the largest cost component, and will make or break your project.

Jay Ven Eman, Ph.D., joined Access Innovations in December 1978. He holds a B.A. in finance from the University of Washington in Seattle, an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico, and a doctorate in business from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He uses his dissertation topic of long range planning and organizational effectiveness in hospitals to good advantage at Access Innovations. As Chief Executive Officer, he has contributed to every aspect of the business. At Access Innovations, he guides the sales, marketing, and strategic planning departments. Formerly, he was in charge of Access Innovations’ database production services, with responsibility for the design and conversion of large, legacy databases for a variety of government and private organizations. He writes, conducts workshops, consults, and helps build large scale, complex, information rich databases. A past president of ASIDIC, Jay is a popular speaker and has given many presentations, workshops and seminars on ontologies, topic maps, database development, legacy file conversions, SGML, HTML, XML, and related topics.

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