Taxonomy

Speaker Spotlight: John Felahi – Making content findable

In another installment of Speaker Spotlight, we posed a couple of our frequently asked questions to speaker John Felahi, Chief Strategy Officer at Content Analyst Company, LLC. We’ve included his answers here. Be sure to see additional Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference.

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Speaker Spotlight: John Felahi

Chief Strategy Officer

Content Analyst Company, LLC

 

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

One of the biggest challenges to delivering content to the web is making it as findable as possible to potential interested viewers.  While traditional, manual tagging and keyword search methods may have gotten us this far, and may be good enough for some use cases, they’re still not without limitations. The good news is, there are far more advanced, sophisticated – and automated – technologies available to remedy the numerous limitations of manual tagging content and keyword-based search. The limitations of manual tagging and keyword-based include:

  • Term creep – New terms constantly emerge, requiring taxonomies to be constantly updated.
  • Polysemy – Take Apple, for example. Is your user searching for the company, the Beatles’ record label, or the fruit?
  • Acronyms – Texting has introduced an entirely new language of acronyms (LOL, TTYL, WDYT).  Manually tagging content requires the editor to consider possible acronyms the users will be searching for.
  • Abbreviations – Tagging content with long, scientific terms, geographies, etc. require editors to factor these in along with the long terms they represent.
  • Misspellings – Thanks to spellcheck and autocorrect, technology has become much more forgiving for those who never made it past the first round eliminations in their sixth grade spelling bee. Content search, unfortunately, needs to be equally accommodating, if you want your users to find your content – which means tagging it with common misspellings.
  • Language – The web has certainly made the world a much smaller place, but that doesn’t mean everyone speaks English.  Making content findable in any language means it has to also be tagged in multiple languages.

On to the good news – there’s technology that’s been used for years in eDiscovery and the US Intelligence Community to overcome these very challenges, but for different reasons. Because the bad guys aren’t tagging their content to make it more findable, the intel community needs a better way to find what they’re looking for. And in eDiscovery, finding relevant content can make a multi-million dollar difference to the outcome of a particular litigation or other regulatory matter. That’s why tens of thousands of legal reviewers and countless analysts in the intel community use a technology known as concept-aware advanced analytics.

How concept-aware advanced analytics differs from manual tagging and keyword search

As its name implies, concept-aware understands the underlying concepts within the content. As such, it can tag content automatically.  On the viewer’s side, content can be found by simply saying, “find more like this.” Categories are defined by taking examples that represent the concepts of a category. The system “learns” what that category is all about, and can then identify conceptually similar content and apply the same category. The process is the same on the search side. The user points to a piece of content and says, “find more like this.” Or as the content publisher, you present the viewer with conceptually similar content, i.e., “you may also be interested in these articles.”

While concept-aware advanced analytics doesn’t necessarily replace manual tagging and keyword search – which work very well in certain situations – the technology clearly overcomes many of the limitations of traditional tagging and search methods.

Catch Up with John at Gilbane

Track E: Content, Collaboration, and the Employee Experience

E7: Strategic Imperatives for Enterprise Search to Succeed
Wednesday, December, 4: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Complete Program Conference Schedule Register Today

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Check out the Updated Gilbane Boston conference site

The program for our annual Boston event is about 98% complete. We have a great keynote line-up with more to come, 30 additional conference sessions, 6 pre-conference workshops, and 12 product labs. Other useful links are sponsors & exhibitors, speakers, registration, and hotel. Note that we moved from the Westin Copley to the Waterfront Westin this year to be in the new Boston Innovation District and fast-growing Seaport / Fort Point Channel neighborhoods.

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LinkedIn Signal Demonstrates The Power of Role-Based Activity Stream Filters

LinkedIn today announced Signal, a new feature (currently in beta) that lets members see an activity stream that combines LinkedIn status updates and Twitter posts from other members who have opted-in to the feature. LinkedIn has licensed the Twitter firehose to incorporate all of its members’ tweets into the site, not just tweets with the #in hashtag embedded, as is current practice.

While it is hard to imagine anyone other than corporate and independent talent recruiters will make LinkedIn their primary Twitter client, Signal does have an element that is worthy of emulation by other social networks and enterprise social software providers that incorporate an activity stream (and which of those does not these days!) That feature is role-specific filters.

I wrote previously in this post about the importance of providing filters with which individuals can narrow their activity stream. I also noted that the key is to understand which filters are needed by which roles in an organization. LinkedIn apparently gets this, judging by the screenshot pictured below.

LinkedIn Signal screenshot courtesty of TechCrunch

Notice the left-hand column, labeled "Filter by". LinkedIn has most likely researched a sample of its members to determine which filters would be most useful to them. Given that recruiters are the most frequent users of LinkedIn, the set of filters displayed in the screenshot makes sense. They allow recruiters to see tweets and LinkedIn status updates pertaining to LinkedIn members in specific industries, companies, and geographic regions. Additionally, the Signal stream can be filtered by strength of connection in the LinkedIn network and by post date.

The activity stream of every enterprise social software suite (ESS) should offer such role-based filters, instead of the generic ones they currently employ. Typical ESS filtering parameters include individuals, groups or communities, and workspaces. Some vendors offer the ability to filter by status as a collaborator on an object, such as a specific document or sales opportunity. A few ESS providers allow individuals to create custom filters for their activity stream. While all of these filters are helpful, they do not go far enough in helping individuals narrow the activity stream to view updates needed in a specific work context.

The next logical step will be to create standard sets of role-based filters that can be further customized by the individuals using them. Just as LinkedIn has created a filter set that is useful to recruiters, ESS providers and deploying organizations must work together to create valuable filter sets for employees performing specific jobs and tasks. Doing so will result in increased productivity from, and effectiveness of, any organization’s greatest asset – it’s people.

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Gilbane San Francisco pre-conference workshops posted

The main conference program will be published in a week or two, but the 1/2 day pre-conference workshop descriptions for June 2nd have been posted at: .
How to Select a Web Content Management System
Instructor: Seth Gottlieb, Principal, Content Here
Making SharePoint Work in the Enterprise
Instructor: Shawn Shell, Principal, Consejo, Inc.
Managing the Web: The Fundamentals of Web Operations Management
Instructor: Lisa Welchman, Founding Partner, Welchman Pierpoint
Getting Started with Business Taxonomy Design
Instructors: Joseph A. Busch, Founder and Principal, & Ron Daniel, Principal, Taxonomy Strategies LLC
Sailing the Open Seas of New Media
Instructor: Chris Brogan, President, New Marketing Labs, LLC

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Gilbane San Francisco call for papers deadline coming up!

The deadline for proposals for panel participation or presentations for:
Gilbane San Francisco 2008 at the Westin Market Hotel, San Francisco, June 17 – 19, 2008 is January 15.
Visit http://gilbanesf.com/ to see the topic areas we are focusing and then see how to submit a proposal.
If you’ve never been to one of our events and want see what we have been covering in our conference programs you can view the programs from Gilbane Boston 2007 and Gilbane San Francisco 2007.
If you have additional questions about speaking, send them to speaking@gilbane.com.

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Gilbane Boston Conference Program Available – Registration Open

Activity for our 4th Gilbane Boston conference at the Westin Copley November 27 -29 is ramping up quickly. The conference schedule and session descriptions have been posted. The early list of exhibitors and sponsors is also available. And, online registration is open. We’ll be updating the site on a regular basis from now on, usually daily, so bookmark the pages that interest you to keep up-to-date.

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Google 2.0 – A Programmable Search Engine (PSE) and Semantic Search

Looks like some really interesting stuff will be coming out of Google that will profoundly change both enterprise and consumer search experiences and markets. Lynda Moulton’s post over on our Enterprise Search Blog is a good place to start on what, as of last week, has emerged – thanks to Steve Arnold – about Google’s nearer-than-you-might-think plans.

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Gilbane San Francisco is this week

I haven’t been very good at blogging about this conference as it has been a busy Winter and early Spring. In any case, there is still time to join us, especially if you are in the Bay area. Registration is still open online as of this post, and is also available on site at the Palace hotel through Thursday. If you can only get away for one day, make it Wednesday for the keynote with Adobe, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. The technology showcase is also open on Wednesday (with a reception) and Thursday.

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