It is that time of year again when students are buying uniforms or new clothes, completing the lists of class supplies, and school buses are part of the morning commute again. I don’t know about you, but it feels like it starts earlier every year.

In the information management world, there is no designated time when learning and professional education begins and ends. It is something maintained year round as we identify skill building opportunities and/or personal development prospects.

It is very important in the world of technology to stay ahead of the game certification-wise, and in the information management world, there are a plethora of changes taking place. It is always the season to learn more about how to develop and optimize taxonomies and metadata models for improving information navigation, findability, and discovery.

Take time to explore how your skills can be honed and sharpened to model and structure understanding to support all types of emerging technologies being used in information management – like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Taxonomists and ontologists have long played the role of translators from human to machine and are thus key players in the developing world of AI.

There are methodologies that better discover and codify how humans think, from user research techniques to knowledge modeling approaches. Taxonomies and ontologies are being designed for use in smart applications, for example.

There are many resources available to professionals to assist in their ongoing development. Some of these come in the form of blogs, like the one you are reading now. Others include:

The Accidental Taxonomist

The Accidental Taxonomist blog is written by Heather Hedden, perhaps best known for her book The Accidental Taxonomist. In the first post, in 2011, Heather gave a preview that turned out to hold true for the subsequent years:

Where will my new blog post ideas come from?

As a consultant, I am constantly engaging in new taxonomy projects with new experiences, new lessons to be learned, and new insights into the field. My client names should be kept confidential, so writing complete case studies may not be feasible, but the short informal nature of a blog post is quite appropriate to share some thoughts.

I also attend a number of conferences during the course of a year, and there are always new ideas coming out of these events. Some of my blog posts will be based on my own presentation topics, but not a repeat of the slide bullets, though. Instead I will provide some commentary about the presentation topic, such as why it is significant, timely, of interest, or what my concerns are. Other posts will be my observations an ideas gleaned form what others presented.

I may decide to revisit a topic in my book for a blog post. But I could also explore some new direction of topics related to taxonomies, such as content management, information architecture, search, or digital asset management.

The Accidental Taxonomist blog averages about one very substantial post per month.

Taxonomy Watch

This blog had the tagline “A weblog about taxonomies and their application in organizing digital content. Also includes related topics such as controlled vocabulary, thesauri, topic maps, ontologies and semantic technologies.” It was maintained by Gwen Harris, and discontinued in 2012. Gwen wrote in 2012 that the blog would be taken down soon, but as I write this, it’s still there. There’s a lot of good stuff there; take a look.

The Taxonomy Blog

From the name, it’s fairly clear what this blog is about. While no longer active, it is still online (at least for the time being) and has some very useful posts on taxonomy philosophy and methodology. It was formerly maintained by taxonomist Marlene Rockmore, with help from Heather Hedden. To give you an idea of the approach, here’s how Marlene describes herself:

I call myself the “Classy Taxonomist.” I help organizing concepts which leads to clear thinking, better analysis, and results. I use taxonomies to help you figure out how to communicate by sorting meaning into buckets. Once you have buckets, you can then build interfaces and processes more efficiently. Big Bird once said “One of these things is not like the other.” I’ve been doing this since 1986. Clients include Harvard Business School, Digital, 6.2Million Tax Override, Conoco Philips, Boston College, O’Reilly, and Google.

Earley & Associates blog

Earley & Associates is a consulting organization headed by prominent knowledge management expert Seth EarleyTheir blog covers a wide range of information management topics, but the posts indexed with “Taxonomy” far outnumber the posts indexed with other topics.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.