The Internet Topic Exchange: “This is the first public implementation of the Ridiculously Easy Group Forming concept. It’s a central server to host TrackBack-powered channels. It’s designed to let anyone effortlessly create a channel to archive pointers to information on a given topic.”
Getting my Bearings: Mapping an Existing Architecture: “One of the most challenging projects I have undertaken recently is to map the existing architecture of a mature public site. Discovering the underlying principles of the site was difficult because there were no overt principles, only tendencies and history. The project often felt more like anthropology than architecture.”
BBC – A to Z index – M: nice. A-Z index with facets and subjects integrated.
Digital Web Magazine – Features: User-Centered Design for Large Government Portals: “During a project for a Canadian provincial government, information architect Alex Wright (www.agwright.com) completed a facet “mapping” exercise, which established content relationships and provided a solid basis for metadata definition. Common “facets” identified at the State of Minnesota and other e-government initiatives have been:
– Audience: Children, Students, Teachers, Lawyers, Businesses, Voters, Health Care workers, Architects…
– Department: Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Department of Finance…
– Life Events: Having a Baby, Buying a Home, Getting Married, Getting Divorced, Paying Taxes…
– Forms: Tax Forms, Planning commission, Small Business…
– Topic: (Hierarchy: Topic > Sub-topic) Business, Travel, Health, Environment, Government, Education…
– Content Type: News Releases, Features, Transactional, FAQs…
– Location: (Hierarchy: State > County > City)”
This is a goldmine. Dewey Decimal Classification : Tips : Classification Tips : The Moon, the Sun, and the DDC: “Why are two seemingly similar books classed in two different places? In classifying two books by Jane Kelly, What’s inside the moon? and What’s inside the sun?, I noticed that LC put the former under 559.91 and the latter under 523.76. Why does one go in geology but the other in astronomy? Shouldn’t both be under either the 520s or the 550s? –
No. The Class-here note at 550 says to use the 550s for phenomena of celestial bodies directly comparable to earth; thus, the 559.91 is correct for the book about the moon. But because the sun is a star, not a planet, as the Earth is, it cannot be classed in the 550s. 523.76 is the correct number. (Also, geology is the study of the solid matter of a world. The sun does not have a solid interior.)”
Dewey Decimal Classification : Tips : Classification Tips : Photo Quality: Typical example of the limitatons of a non faceted classification system: “Where should a book of photographs of the homeless/poor in Kharkiv, Ukraine, be cataloged?
The first question to ask when you are confronted with a book of photographs is: Is the focus of the work on the artistic value of the photography? In other words, does the work truly belong in the category of arts? If yes, the work belongs in 779 ; if no–if the focus of the work in this example is on the plight of the poor rather than the artistic qualities of the photographs–the work should be classed with the subject.” Using facets you could just classify under type > art > photography and under subject > people > homeless and under geography > Ukraine (you get the idea).
Dewey Decimal Classification : Tips : Classification Tips : Kermit’s Song: “How do I catalog a book on the vocalizations of frogs? – The comprehensive number for “Vocal communication–animals” is indexed under the vertebrate number, because vertebrates are the only kind of animals that communicate by vocal chords.”
Hivelogic: “After several years of creating and publishing software for the Internet community for release here on Hivelogic (and in a few other places), and after much deliberation, research, and development, you have finally decided that the time to launch your own small software company is – precisely – right now.” It feels like lots of people are starting companies the last year or so. Or maybe that’s my lack of historical perspective?
JBG: Personal Knowledge and Collective Representations: “This paper examines the loose relation between personal knowledge and collective representations using examples from Americans’ ethnobiology, salmon fishing, and bartending.”
Scopeware – The Simple, Elegant Knowledge Management Solution: “Vision works the way your mind works, and simultaneously presents the four key dimensions which mirror human recall.” Uses facets Time, Type, Look and Essence. Gonna try it out. But it does seems like the facet People is notably missing if you pretend to organize email.
David Galbraith: “Google is not the right animal [t]o fully take advantage of metadata such as is contained in RSS.”
InformationWeek > Search Engines > City Ogles Google Impact > January 22, 2003: “For instance, the public would get no results when it entered the word “maps” when looking for directions to city facilities, and employees had little success with terms such as “GroupWise” (the Novell E-mail software used by city workers) and “E-Pay” (a tool that provides intranet access to direct-deposit check stubs). When the city asked Verity how to solve the problem, the vendor suggested an upgrade to its K2 knowledge-management suite, as well as a taxonomy engine.
That option would have cost the city more than it wanted to spend, but as luck would have it, Google came knocking. Bill Cull, the city’s E-government program manager, says that because city officials were so familiar with Google, it was hard to ignore the vendor’s pitch. It also didn’t hurt that it was being offered a special price as a public entity.” Google kicks ass compared to pricey and immature taxonomy offerings. Mmm.
I keep thinking ‘indeed‘ when reading Andrew: heyblog: Waste fifteen seconds now!: “I mean, I spend many four-second chunks of my day staring out the windown wondering if it’s too early for lunch, or wondering where my left sock went, or fiddling with the crumbs that fall to the bottom of the toaster. If I had these back through some miracle of technology, I’d only spend them doing something equally unproductive. Saving me and all my fellow co-workers two or three seconds a day gives me (and my employer) nothing, nothing valuable.”
Blueprints for the web – a review. I rate books on the amount of underlining and earmarking I do in them, and I thought Christina’s was pretty good. (one day I’ll write in depth book reviews)
People mention in the previous story have more to say:
Jagdish N. Sheth on marketing and customer focus: “Throughout this evolutionary process, we paid lip service to marketing as being customer-driven. This focus had emerged as early as the late 1950s in companies such as General Electric and Pillsbury. In these companies there was much talk of the need to adopt a customer viewpoint, and this became a sort of mantra in Kotler’s textbook, i.e. that profits through customer satisfaction should be the objective of the company. But in reality, this was not implemented until the 1980s when the Malcolm Baldrige Award encouraged a stronger customer orientation.
If I had to summarize all the challenges facing us, the major one springs from the fact that marketing practice has always led the way, leaving academics to follow. In the old days, academics caught on slowly, but today, with the Internet, the practice of marketing is running so far ahead that by the time we “wake up” at our academic institutions, it is already too late.
I tell my students that the “half life” of knowledge is getting shorter and shorter. Much of what you study in college becomes more or less obsolete in two and a half years, i.e. it loses 50% of its value. ”
Barbara E. Kahn has some interesting looking papers:
– Shades of Meaning: The Effects of Color and Flavor Names on Purchase Intentions (PDF)
– The Impact of Private vs. Public Consumption on Variety Seeking (PDF): people choose more variety in public than in private.
– Cross-Category Effects of Induced Arousal and Pleasure on the Internet Shopping Experience (PDF): “Two experiments show that if the initial experiences encountered in a simulated Internet shopping trip are higher in pleasure, then there is a positive impact on approach behaviors and subjects engage in more arousing activities (e.g., more exploration, more tendencies to examine novel products and stores, higher response to promotional incentives).”
Generally, I feel IA has a lot to learn from the marketing folk. If only it was easier to separate the wheat from the caff!
NYT: A Tool to Explain Affirmative Action: (requires a login) “If, for instance, a store arranges yogurt first by brand (like Dannon and Yoplait) and then by flavor within each brand, consumers will tend to select their flavors from the same brand.
On the other hand, the authors write, “If the products had been displayed with all the strawberry yogurts together, then all the lemon-lime yogurts, and so forth, consumers would most likely choose which flavors they wanted first, and then choose which brand name they would most like for that particular flavor.”
Similarly, American supermarkets display meats by animal type – beef, chicken, pork, etc. – and then by cut. In Australia, by contrast, grocers arrange meats by the way they might be cooked, and stores use more descriptive labels, like “a 10-minute herbed beef roast.” The result is that Australians buy a greater variety of meats.
How we classify goods changes how we make consumer choices.”
My girlfriend’s 5G Win iPod crashed: it just hangs. The screen shows the text (Artists, Albums, …), battery is loaded but it doesn’t do anything no matter what button I press. Connecting it to the computer (win XP) doesn’t help – it doesn’t get recognized. What to do? Is there a way to reset it? I am really dissapointed…
IAwiki: AutoDiscoveryFormat: a proposal for a simple autodiscovery format, waiting for your comments. I wonder if putting this on a wiki will work?
AIfIA is holding its first Leadership Seminar on March 21 in Portland. It’s a full-day event–presented in conjunction with the ASIS&T IA Summit–that promises to tackle “the toughest problems faced by the designers of today’s information systems.” The AIfIA web site has complete details on the seminar, speakers and topics. I hope they post notes afterwards (I’ll be going to the Metadata afternoon – budget!).
Wired News: Da Vinci: The Pith Behind the Man: “If Leonardo da Vinci were alive today, he’d probably be known as a geek. ‘He was not popular in his own time … a victim of his commitment to technical and scientific projects.'”
Faceted Approach to Web Redesign: “We quickly noticed a clear parallel between the topics covered by the site and the types of content clustered under the topics. Each topic had instances of most of the content types, and vice versa. On that basis, we decided to break the content types out as facets of the topics and use these facets as our primary navigation.” Here’s the thing with facets: Facet analysis is often useful even if you are constructing one big non-faceted tree as your only navigation tool.
Who’s Minding the Store?: “Welcome to the world of “category management,” a bizarre and controversial place in which the nation’s biggest retailers ask one supplier in a category to figure out how best to stock their shelves. You’d expect HarperCollins to tell Borders which of its own books are hot, of course. But that’s not what’s going on here. Borders has essentially tapped Harper to advise it on what cookbooks to carry from all other publishers as well.
Strange as it may sound, category management is now standard practice at nearly every U.S. supermarket, convenience store, mass merchant, and drug chain. And its use is growing because it works — at least from a dollars-and-cents standpoint. According to a recent survey by retail consultancy Cannondale Associates, retailers attribute 14 percent sales growth to category management; manufacturers report an 8 percent jump. Both say such collaboration is the key to maximum efficiency.
Category management is retail’s Faustian bargain: Lured by the savings and convenience of getting manufacturers to mind the store, retailers have ceded not only responsibility for their shelves but also any hope of differentiating themselves.
“The Kremlin would have found it difficult to invent a more subtle and effective way of suppressing original viewpoints and ideas,” wrote 29 scholars and activists led by Ralph Nader after hearing of the Borders plan.
Language evolved in a leap: “Language probably leapt, not crept, from squeaks to Shakespeare, two physicists have calculated. Human communication, they propose, underwent a ‘phase transition’, like solid ice melting to liquid water.”
Exactly: heyblog on HelloWorld: “Maybe you could draw a map of the world scaled so that areas that are personally relevant are enlarged.”
If you still thought classification was ‘objective’ (there is no such thing as ‘objective’ classification): Article suggests ‘female sexual dysfunction’ created to sell drugs: “Classifying invented medical disorders as “dysfunctions” – especially sexual dysfunctions – could make big money for drug companies.” CNN: “[…] cohort of researchers with close ties to drug companies are working with colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry to develop and define a new category of human illness at meetings heavily sponsored by companies racing to develop new drugs.”