The YouTube video with Patrick Lambe a few months back generated some good feedback, including an invitation from Teresa Macgregor of the SLA Taxonomy Division to write it up for their newsletter. The following appeared in Taxonomy Times No. 6, April 2011.
It’s strange, but start talking to hard-bitten, seasoned executives about information in the enterprise and they automatically switch off their critical faculties. They’ll believe anything. Really. Like, information and how it is used in your organisation can be understood by a piece of software, out of the box. Like, you don’t need to actually understand your information environment in order to manage it. Like, the best people to ask about making your information generally accessible, are narrow subject matter specialists. Like, you can fix your information environment once, and it’ll stay fixed forever without paying any more attention to it. In this article we explore three fairy tales about taxonomies that executives seem particularly prone to believing:
- That you don’t need taxonomies if you get a good search engine;
- That taxonomies can look after themselves or can be delegated piecemeal to non-taxonomists;
- That the best people to advise on taxonomy development are subject matter experts.