Taxonomies, Good, Bad, or Ugly?


Sumanth Molakala posted a great look at determining the amount of effort that should go into creating a taxonomy for a new Enterprise Content Management solution. This brings up a debate that I have had/observed among ECM professionals for years. Do we make Search the primary access method, or the second? I find that every professional has a leaning, and I have yet to find a solid predictor for any practitioners’ preference.

I prefer a good hierarchy, while Sumanth appears to favor searching. I find that the creation of a hierarchy helps me organize my thoughts and determine what is important about any given piece of content. Also, while Google may be trying to take the world over via the Internet, most users are more intimate with their old-fashioned network file structures. The ability to browse to a piece of content adds to user acceptance of their first Document Management application. Over time, many users transition into Search-first users. Until that happens and ECM becomes transparent, I believe that a good taxonomy is important.

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