Oct 24, 2010

ACTKM10 Lynn Farkas Takes the Terrors Out of Taxonomies - do we need a Taxonomy of Taxonomies

How KM managers have discovered taxonomy – showing up in KM literature –so many different types of taxonomies – alphabet soup of types of taxonomies  – she couldn’t find definitions for all of these different types of taxonomies – not to mention ontology plus different types of maps, metadata- social tagging - folksonomies

“We need a taxonomy of taxonomies” – @Michellelamb in response to Lynn’s overload of different types of taxonomies

What is taxonomy & its benefits ? : a key step in organizing knowledge and furthering the growth of indvidual disciplines  includes the following :  

Nomenclatures / Hierarchies / Classifications / Faceted Classifications /Thesaurus / Ontologies

·         Nomenclatures : standardising File Naming Conventions for fileshares – useful for records & document control – generally not dealt with effectively in orgs – but Doc Control does work

·         Hierarchies – focus on broader / narrower relationships between elements – very inflexible and better used in scientific applications eg WesternPort classification of records hierarchies

·         Classifications – grouping similar elements together with all categories mutually exclusive eg Functional Location used in SAP Maintenance – ie Resource or Asset identification or location rather than resource access (searching, information retrieval) – better for putting things into rather than finding – it’s inflexible and hard to introduce new categories once set up

·         The above : focused around grouping information but not so much about searching

·         Faceted taxonomies or faceted classifications – findability

·         Thesaurus – controlled vocabulary

·         Ontologies  – relationships between the terms – very strict rules – well suited to computer applications –how semantic web is being done

This is all painful but we need to do it to enhance findability – applies for structured information

Does Taxonomy belong in Information Management or in KM – if it’s Information Management is it useful in supporting Knowledge Management in making info findable for yourself and for others

Consistency of terminology across org is helpful

Most orgs believes taxonomy takes up too much resource and so reluctant to get into it

Are folksonomies are a disaster waiting to happen ? As they get bigger are things still hard to find ?

(Quick Workshop on Tables : Convo's on taxonomy for personal knowledge management)




There is a general consensus that taxonomies can play a useful role in knowledge management – but what are they, where do they fit, and how does one use them? This short workshop will steer you through the maze of taxo-nometric terminology and explain how different taxonomy products can be used for different purposes within an organisation. Under the guidance of the presenter, taxonomist Lynn Farkas, participants will be encouraged to critically examine their knowledge management needs and explore areas where taxonomy work could assist to meet those needs. A focus of the workshop will be on participants sharing ideas about how taxonomies might be used in their work environments.



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