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“Re: Knowledge Management, Meta Data, and the Organization”

From: Jim Roepcke In Response To: 1251  RE: Knowledge Management, Meta Data, and the Organization
Date Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 4:08:53 PM Replies: 1
Enclosures: None.
On Wednesday, October 31, 2001, at 06:59 AM, Seth Dillingham wrote:

> On 10/31/2001 at 12:41 AM, Donald W. Larson wrote:
>> Take any two people give them some sample material to read that is of
>> moderate complexity. Add keywords if you like. Afterwards ask the two
>> people to provide the knowledge they gained from the experience. I
>> suspect you'll get two different answers. Mind you, I'm not saying the
>> human brain can't correlate and derive some commonality between the
>> summaries, I'm saying getting a computer to do that is almost
>> impossible
>> right now.
> That's an interesting point, and you're right that people would come up
> with
> different keywords and different summaries. That doesn't matter,
> though! As
> long as they're actually trying to provide a few valid keywords, or a
> decent summary, they've provided some important metadata.

One thing I learned from reading "Information Architecture for the World
Wide Web" (O'Reilly) was that keyword lists need to have a controlled
vocabulary. While you might just want to let people enter words
willy-nilly into a "keywords" text field, you're really better off
making them select them from a listbox or matrix of checkboxes, and
offering a text field for new keywords that don't appear on the list.

One problem I had at CEISS was people were spelling various industry
terms and even simple terms using up to 5 different slight variations...
plural, singular, with various suffixes, etc. We went through the list,
cleaned it up, removing the "dupes", and made people choose from the
keywords in the list.

The quality went up quite a bit, and people thought it was easier and
better because they could see a list of keywords and they said they'd
often pick some they wouldn't have thought of right away but were
totally applicable.

And if there was a missing term, they could add to the list. The people
in the web production department would review the new terms every once
in a while to make sure it wasn't getting dirty.

Next time I do some work on my site I plan to add a controlled
vocabulary keyword field. (i was going to say more on this in a
conversant context, but i'd rather keep this thread general-purpose as
it has been to this point)


Jim Roepcke
Roepcke Computing Solutions
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