Tech Trek Log – 2010.03.07
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the major undertakings when implementing an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is defining the taxonomy. Now with the upcoming release of SharePoint 2010, there is another method called folksonomy that you’ll need to consider when structuring content for your corporate Intranet. Subscribers of social networks will be familiar with such concept since these attributes are regularly used to organize information within their sites.
Wikipedia defines folksonomy as:
A system of classification derived from the practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize content; this practice is also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging.
Some of the enhancements in SharePoint 2010 for categorizing and finding information include:
Tags/Tag Clouds/Tag Profiles
This gives end-users the ability to categorize content based on their own tags. This makes sense since most likely the design of corporate portals will be driven along the way and cannot be defined right at the start of implementation. Tag icons and new Web parts can include notes and allow users to associate keywords in their own profile aside from tag values that an administrator might provide.
One of the biggest challenges in using corporate portals is the numerous locations or sites where users can store data. This presents itself when you’re supporting users and find yourself being asked – where should I store this file? With content organizers, it allows site administrators to setup routing to minimize such confusion.
As a big fan of metadata, this is a welcome addition for me since it allows another method to view information in document libraries. This gives users to refine lists based on the additional criteria or columns that you have defined. It is true that to some degree this can be accomplished by using groups and filters in list views, but this navigation option gives the user a more intuitive approach when browsing for documents that is consistent with Search Refiners below.
You can relate to this new feature if you have previously used search in Amazon.com or Best Buy site. As an example, you search for HDD and you’re then presented with a list of brand and price range that you can click to narrow down the results. This is helpful in situations where there are numerous search results and your users can start a process of isolating content.
As you can see these features are nothing new in the online communities but they are a welcome addition for organizing content in your SharePoint sites. Also, these concepts are not a replacement for defining a good taxonomy but rather it should complement the structure of choice and make it easier for users to find information. As my former CTO said, your system is as good only if you empower the user with the information they need.