A few months agotheresa.jpgTheresa Regli of CMS Watch wrote a blogpost on whether taxonomies are dead or dying, or just hitting their stride. I thought this was a great question to address at the beginning of the Taxonomy BootCamp, and Theresa very kindly agreed to speak to the topic at 8:00 a.m. — & the audience was full. Wow.  The upshot is that Theresa feels taxonomies aren’t dying, but they are definitely being augmented by technologies, and, in some cases, aren’t necessary. As Theresa said, we need to have the confidence to admit when taxonomies aren’t required. And that is part of a process’ and a function’s maturation.

Theresa’s wit and fantastic speaking ability took this topic to new levels. She built on Seth Earley’s comment that taxonomies have a few mullets to deal with – or, preferably get rid of (mullets should definitely be eliminated!) Bob Boiko told Theresa that enterprise taxonomies are mullets that need to go; taxonomies with too great a scope are too difficult to manage & not useful —- taxonomies need to be targetted and focused.  Seth says the mullets are site maps, really deep hierarchies & huge manual tagging projects.  Theresa’s mullet is the notion that one classification fits all.

So what’s the new lifeblood of taxonomies?

  • Application integration
  • breaking huge corpuses of content into manageable pieces
  • linguisitcs, context, purpose
  • metadata for dynamic navigation & filtered searches
  • taxonomists who say “technology is our friend”

Stay tuned — lots more to come…..