Search and Navigation: Taxonomy Usage

Started reviewing my notes from deep dives I conducted at SharePoint 2011 conference last week.  As I focused on the data I continue to brainstorm about revising the SharePoint ISV Partner Ecosystem Taxonomy. 

While the current framework matches the SharePoint 2010 Wheel, the categorizations distort the core capabilities of many of the ISVs.  

The Framework’s secondary level category “Search” is used in the very broad sense which strikes me as a semantic dissonance that navigation is subsumed in that taxonomy.  My belief is that search and navigation are two sides of the same coin; retrieval methods. 

Searching suggests a wide net then filtering down and sorting; while navigation infers production rules to either predict where a member will be or the path where a specific type of member should reside. 

The first methods use keywords and possibly syntax as means to identify membership.  The second has a classification schema which surfaces some aspects of the semantics of the organizational system the author created and is used for direct storage and retrieval in context.  An example of such a simple list:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  •  Green
  • Blue
  • Violet
  • Grey
  • White       

It does not follow the ordered hierarchy of the color frequency spectrum, so it’s not a standard spectrum.  It’s not an alphabetic list of color keywords.  Is this a random list of colors or is there some semantic schema behind the order?

If you have some electronic engineering background you might remember it better with the mnemonic:   Bad Boys Ravish Only Young Girls, But Violet Gives Willingly.  This was used in the 50s to remember the resistance color classification: http://www.hirophysics.com/Labsheet/resis-codes/resis-codes.html    

While I could sort resistors by color irrespective of the meaning behind the classification scheme, I’m likely to arrange these by color frequency.  This would have the resistors organized out of order by electrical application.  It may be easy to do a quick search by causal users, but an electronics engineer or circuit designer would find this a difficult to use such a navigation system.     

Information Management Segment

The area I’m focused on this month information management (IM) crosses the boundaries of several categories in the current framework.  Examples of members in IM are:

  • Wand
  • Concept Searching
  • Pingar
  • BA-Insight

Wand, ConceptSearching, Pingar  and BA-Insight all appear under the secondary wheel categorization under search.  A tertiary classification would have Wand, ConceptSearching and Pingar listed as Linguistic and Sound Semantics, however, a deep dive would show these products are fundamentally different.  As a result I am theorizing the following revision to this branch of the taxonomy as follows:      

  • Navigation Schemas
  • Organization  Generation [Taxonomy]
  • Content Classification
  • Semantic Analysis
  • Visualization
  • Navigation

This is my current working sub classification as I continue my deep drives which is subject to change based upon feedback and additional analysis.

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SharePointDirections Reports

Fresh back from SharePoint 2011 Conference, SharePoint Salon, SharePoint Sushi; now I am fired up.  During the conference Owen Allen and I discussed framing a series of reports for SharePointDirections to produce after October; that’s the easy part.  Now I’m assembling information on ISVs that I gathered during deep dives with each. 

We’ll be revising the SharePoint EcoSystem Map during November for publication on the SharePointDirections website.  The map will take on more of an Enterprise flavor given SharePoint’s acceptance as an Enterprise level platform with the introduction of 2010.   The first report under consideration will cover the information management segment, followed by the process and workflow segment.  However, I’ve yet to schedule deep drives with ISVs in that segment.

Our goal is to provide a qualitative assessment of products in each segment initially, position them on a grid to help clients make informed decisions, and eventually perform a qualitative analysis on each.  I know that later is a big task, participating in similar activities in the engineering software market.  Check out Cyon Research.  

In the meantime my personal Blog will still continue exploring concepts and issues around Enterprise Architecture as well as a collaboration area with peers.