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Joho the Blog: Berkman Lunch: National Health Information Infrastructure: “Alan Goldberg of Goulston & Storrs (and HealthLawyer) is giving a Tuesday lunchtime talk on the national health information infrastructure.

He says it’s a big deal: Medicare has 1 million providers who are involved in 1 billion claims per year. NHII crosses political boundaries; everyone from Bush to Hillary, from Ted to Newt, all support having an infrastructure that enables electronic record sharing. The NHII will require technologies, standards, systems, values, applications, and laws.”

Standards are the invisible structure that keeps society running, and the people creating the standards are often just as invisible. It’s all messy, political and hard work, just like information architecture.

A Look at “Guided Navigation” for Enterprise Search — Featured Product — CMS Watch: A good article on Endeca’s “guided navigation” (their marketing term for using a faceted classification system).

“Indeed, the success of multifaceted taxonomies in the commerce space has raised substantial expectations that similar clarity could be brought to bear on enterprise content repositories. It turns out, of course, that enterprise content is not so neatly structured.”

AIFIA | IA Progress Grants: “Two grants will be awarded in February, 2005. Applicants must be AIfIA members. Each grant is for US$1000, with $500 awarded upon project initiation and $500 awarded upon completion. […] Applications should propose work that has the potential to benefit information architecture practioners in a practical way. This includes, for example, original research, a new synthesis of important existing research, or development of an innovative new technique.”

Staying up to date with IA

Here is my list of resources to stay up to date if you are into information architecture. I haven’t included all the general UX lists, these are fairly specific for ia, metadata and search and such. Add your own to the comments and I’ll add them to this list.

I am especially trying to include not-well-known but useful resources.

Must have’s: don’t miss these 2:

Mailing lists for discussion:

  • Sigia-L: the original IA list, and still good, although some people unsibscribed because of occasional noise and nastyness. I still find it very valuable.
  • AIfIA Members: members only list similar to Sigia-L, but definitely worth the AIfIA subscription fee.
  • IA-CMS: low volume, focused on IA for CMS.
  • Faceted classification list. Active on and off.
  • Searchloggers: low volume but specialized.

Newsletters:

Blogs and RSS feeds. I only included blogs that are almost only about IA, or the list would be endless. I didn’t include any of the numerous library blogs.

Other languages.

Want more? More mailing lists and newsletters on the IAWiki (most of the ones here are also there, but not all).

iaslash A-Z Indexes for Web Sites: Usage and Implementation

iaslash A-Z Indexes for Web Sites: Usage and Implementation. IASlash asks why IA’s don’t implement more A-Z indexes, and the answer seems to be that it is a specialized skill, and we’re not used to it.

Maybe the answer is really much simpler. A-Z indexes are particularly effective for known item searching (when you know what you’re looking for and what it’s called). But there is a technology that is much cheaper to implement and also very effective for known-item searching. It’s called a search engine.

For an example of an A-Z index on the web, check the BBC A-Z index. Notice the value it ads by having human editors choose terms (like “Accidents”) and grouping BBC sites and pages underneath those (like “First Aid”). This way they help users with the paraphrase problem. It’s definite added value, but similar added value can be used in a search engine by proposing additional search terms to users and using best bets.