I had a very interesting conversation with Vikram from infoMENTUM – The Enterprise Content Management Services team the other day. He has been working with complex taxonomies in large organisations for several years and was kind enough to pass on some very handy tricks of the trade. He is an advocate of relational taxonomies, particularly for global organisations who need to have one unified “corporate voice” but also need flexibility and localisation to serve the differing needs of particular regions and communities.
Library of Congress Photos on Flickr should be an interesting experiment in how well social tagging can sort out content. It meets the criteria of having a lot of content that is currently very hard to find, and comprehensive recall is not essential (if some photos remain unfindable despite the social tagging, it’s a shame but not a disaster). The Library presumably has decided it would rather have any tagging than none and is reluctant to spend money. It also has a high profile and most likely the good will of the experienced taggers of the Flickr community. I would think it would also provide the librarians with a good starting point for organising their image metadata if they decide they want or need to do some more formal sorting out further on down the line. Definitely one to watch.
I really enjoyed London Online this year. A perfect overlap of my current paid work interests – CMSs and publisher solutions – and my academic interests – taxonomies (software and content) and records management. It was great to say hello to Squiz and see them doing so well – we contracted them to set up an open source CMS-driven website that is working splendidly for us. I was fascinated by VWI-media‘s taxonomy based -solution to managing RSS feeds and enjoyed hearing about semantic search and classification techniques, like those offered by Endeca. I also talked to some interesting people from Lexis Nexis and the IMF!