Content – a Taxonomy perspective

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The basic idea behind creating and implementing a taxonomy structure is to get people to the content they want in the least possible time using the least possible effort. You use this simple idea as your bedrock principle and build other complexities around it.

In order to this a signifcant portion of your time must be dedicated towards identifying and mapping the content in your organization. This excercise ensures that you have the information required to create a successful Taxonomy framework.

If you have been part of the creation of a Taxonomy framework you know the amount of hardwork that needs to be put in to establish a comprehensive, concrete structure. The biggest uncertainty of the framework however is its use. Long term studies on Taxonomy structures have shown that unless you have a process in place to ensure documents and files get tagged or stored properly even the most robust system will come apart at the seams.

So the question is, what do we need to look for when coming up with a framework?

Firstly, identify the ownership of the content. Is it being tagged with metadata? if so , who will know how to tag it and where to place it. You also need to identify subject matter experts ( SME’s ) who are competent enough to classify the content.

Organizing principles, allow you to identify which information structure works best. A flat structure as opposed to a hierarchy might be required in some instances. The big concern here is creating a format that can be reused throughout the framework. This allows for consistency.

Map your information sources, unless you know what base content you are dealing with creating a framework is a foolhardy task. Some ways to go about doing this is to review file stores, existing documents and content management systems, the corporate intranet and so on.

The end goal as stated before is to create a simple structure that allows users to populate documents in an area and tag them appropriately so other users looking for the information get to it in the least possible time. The content approach here will give you an understanding of the information flow as a user see’s it, and thereby enabling you to create a more robust system.

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