I am working on a vision for this blog. I have that vision partially laid out in terms of knowing certains topics that I want to blog about such as information as an asset/currency and the information governance reference model. There are other topics that I want to blog about, but don’t have the vision yet, such as being a Certified Information Professional. A new category that I am introducing today is that of Heroes In Information Management. These are my personal heroes who I have gleaned a lot from and I want to highlight some of their contributions to the profession of information management.

Heather Hedden, also known as, “The Accidental Taxonomist is an industry leader in taxonomy, indexing and search. I first came across her work while doing research a controlled vocabulary and taxonomy I was working on. Anyone working in information management should become familiar with her work as it can save a lot of headaches with accessing information. In 2010 Hedden wrote a guest blog post for John Mancini, entitled, “8 Things You Need To Know About How Taxonomy Can Improve Search.” The 8 things are as follows:

1)Retrieve Matched Concepts, Not Just Words
2)Leverage Metadata
3)Enhance Web Search Optimization (SEO)
4)Support Browsing Through Hierarchies
5)Support Faceted Search
6)Leverage Text Mining and Auto-Classification
7)Support Discovery
8)Facilitate Semantic Search

When governing information in a shared drive, content management system or records management system it is essential to have a taxonomy that is understandable outside of a particular person or silo, unless you want information to strategically leverage on an enterprise level. In a blog post entitled, “Taxonomies and Content Management,” Hedden stated the following

The connection between taxonomies and content management is a very important one. A taxonomy does not do much good when it stands alone. Its purpose of existence is typically to facilitate finadability and retrieval of specific content, whether by browsing or searching. On the other side, content is not of much use if it cannot be found. Content management refers to managing the workflow and lifecycle of content from the planning stage and creation/collection stage through the disposition/archiving stage, with an analysis/evaluation stage bringing it full-circle. There is typically a sub-phase for content organizing, categorizing, metadata-assigning, or indexing. This is where taxonomy comes in: to provide structured categories and/or to provide a consistent vocabulary for metadata and indexing…

Content management and content management systems focus on processes, and that it’s a good way to look at taxonomies, too. Taxonomies are not static, but need follow a life cycle, as does content: planned and designed, developed and edited, possibly translated, published or implemented, used in tagging, then used in browsing and searching, and finally reviewed an analyzed for further revision. Governance is also an important for both content management and taxonomy management.

To learn more about Heather and her research you can visit the “About”section of her webpage which has information on articles she has written, presentations she has given and interviews she has done. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

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