Multiple perspectives on stored content, please!

I just read a post about the need for taxonomies at Chuck’s blog and I found a need to discuss how I view taxonomies and why they still seem relevant to me. From my experience there are no silver-bullets and the most important thing to respect is the need for multiplicity and multiple perspectives on things.

In this case I actually see no contradiction between folksonomies and corporate taxonomies. We want to create context our our content, right? And we most likely need users to do some part of that since they know the subject best. So we need to motivate them to provide context on top of that which the tech platform automatically can provide.

That does also mean that there is no need use in choose between either of the approaches. The just provide a metadata layer on top of the content, right? And as someone said, you have really not have too much metadata. Sometimes we will have more and sometimes less depending on a lot of factors.

Folksonomies can be analysed and used to fuel taxonomy development. And taxonomies will most likely either inspire or deterr people from certain ways of tagging.

The key is that it does not matter HOW we provide context. The payback comes when we consume it. Then all these different context layers provide us means to provide many different views of the same information. Tags will provide one, taxonomies in metadata a second and relationships between objects a second.

The more I read about this subject I think a good way to solve this is to build your infrastructure around Documentum repositories and them provide a multitude of different interfaces on top of that. Maybe in the form of wikis, blogs, search, GIS, timelines and others. The key is to store stuff the the right way. Only then can we create cool and usable interfaces for consuming it.

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Speaking at the Documentum User Group

A couple of months ago EMC and their Swedish partner Acando took the initiative to start a Swedish Documentum User Group. Since we have a rather cool installation of Documentum D6 at work I was invited to speak about our approach and how we use Documentum in Concept Development and Experimentation.

There were around 15-20 people present representing some of the current customers to EMC Documentum in Sweden and I looked forward to meeting other people and see how they were using the platform. However, since we only have used Documentum since May 2006 I was wondering what they would think about our approach. The unique thing about our approach is that it is not an IT-projekt, rather it a project set out to change the way we work and how to approach information management from the bottom. Documentum then becomes a tool rather than an end in itself.

The briefing went very well and I was amazed how amazed the other customers were from my presentation. Several people told me that they thought we were an inspiration in how Documentum could be used. The representative from EMC also invited me to submit a paper and briefing to the next Momentum conference in Prague. It felt really good to get that response and I was almost honored to be invited to speak at Momentum. To me that is something that other people do and now it could be me. Actually rather cool 🙂

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