Heather Hedden publishes The Accidental Taxonomist

We here at Synaptica have worked with Heather Hedden for a number of years now and were very excited to learn that she has completed her new book The Accidental Taxonomist.

The Accidental Tourist Cover

We found it to be a great read and full of information that will benefit anyone from a novice to the most seasoned taxonomy expert. Be sure to look for references to Synaptica inside! Pick up your copy today here.

The Social Media Revolution - How will you fit in?

This fascinating video that we came across shows us the world of Social Media and Web 2.0 technologies today, and poses the question,"What's to come?"

How will you meet the challenges and opportunities of what these technologies bring to the party? Synaptica certainly looks to play a part in many new media strategies. Will you be there?

Semantics in Financial Services Presentation

This post was orginally published on my personal blog 'chitchatting about information delivery':

The Silicon Valley Semantic Technology Group organized by Peter Berger is one of the meetups that i have been going to for a while and have even helped coordinate and host in the past. Last Thursday the 15th they had what seems to be a great session about Semantics in Financial Services with David Newman who is a Senior Architect in the Enterprise Architecture group at Wells Fargo Bank (now part of Wachovia). I missed it due to the bambina, but lucky for me and for the rest of you that were not able to make it, the excellent slidedeck that David Newman used has been posted on Slideshare- see below (thanks Peter!). Based on the Slidedeck, the presentation covered:

  • The Case for Semantic Technology- Important Key Drivers, Limitations and Benefits
  • Overview of Semantic Technology - Basic Overview that hits all the most know items for business and technology folks
  • Semantic Technology Providers and Adopters -a high level list. He makes mention of Dow Jones as an adopter but forgets to mention Synaptica as a technology provider of ontology editor
  • Semantic Applications for Financial Services- I am always a sucker for 'use-cases' of semantic technologies in the enterprise and Newman provides two slides that outline various semantic applications for financial services which i have highlighted below
  • Recommended Semantic Technology Books and Articles

Many of the Semantic Applications that Newman points out for financial services can also be extended to other non-financial services companies but his breakdown highlights specific opportunities for financial services. Wish i had been there in person to learn more about which of these applications Newman and his team are tackling using semantic technologies:

From Peter Berger's introduction: David Newman serves as a Senior Architect in the Enterprise Architecture group at Wells Fargo Bank. He has been following semantic technology for the last 3 years; and has developed several business ontologies. He has been instrumental in thought leadership at Wells Fargo on the application of Semantic Technology and is a representative of the Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC)on the W3C SPARQL Working Group

Synaptica and ProQuest Present at Taxonomy Bootcamp, 2009

Synaptica's CEO, Dave Clarke was proud to join ProQuest's Paula McCoy for a presenation at Taxonomy Boot Camp this year. Their topic was one that often strikes a chord with anyone dealing with the management and indexing of content: "Taxonomies: Tools or People".

It discusses some of the pros and cons of the machine indexing of content versus manual indexing. The presentation was well attended and well received and we are happy to be able to share it with you here.


Should you have any questions on this topic or anything else having to do with the creation, management and dissemination of various types of controlled vocabularies for your organization, please don't hesitate to contact us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

November Equals Pumpkin, Taxonomy Bootcamp and Enterprise Search Summit

Note: This post was orginally published on my personal blog: "chitchatting about information delivery"

I looked at the calendar yesterday and the realization that November is upon us hit me pretty hard. With November comes a lot of pumpkin (here is my new pumpkin addiction recipe for this year) and a few speaking spots before i go out on maternity leave (yeah yeah i can't believe it's already time either!).

Just like last year and the year before i will be attending and presenting at Enterprise Search Summit and Taxonomy Bootcamp which i am really looking forward to. At Enterprise Search Summit West i have been asked to participate on a panel titled "Is Semantic Technology Real?" moderated by Rob Gonzalez from Endeca.

Is Semantic Technology Real?
10:45 am – 11:45 am  

Moderator: Rob Gonzalez, Platform Product Manager, Endeca Technologies Michael J. Cataldo, CEO, Cambridge Semantics Daniela Barbosa, Business Development Manager, Dow Jones Client Solutions, Dow Jones & Company Lorenzo Thione, Founder / Principal Program Manager, Powerset / Bing Microsoft, Inc.

Semantic technology is all the rage, sometimes even dubbed “Web 3.0.” However, many people—especially those making technology decisions for enterprises—wonder whether semantic technology has meaningful applications in the enterprise. Based on hands-on experience working with semantic tools, this panel of experts will establish the boundaries between reality and hype and help you understand what enterprises can gain from semantic technology in the here and now.

At Taxonomy Bootcamp, i have been asked to be part of a panel that Wendi Pohs is running titled "From the Lighthouse: Visioneering Taxonomies’ Future which promises to be an engaging panel on the future of taxonomies. I have been in forward looking mode for the last few months so i have been thinking about this subject quite a bit.

From the Lighthouse: Visioneering Taxonomies’ Future
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Moderator: Wendi Pohs, Chief Technology Officer, InfoClear Consulting Daniela Barbosa, Business Development Manager, Dow Jones Client Solutions, Dow Jones & Company Jenny Benevento, Information Architect/Taxonomist, Sears Holding Company Gia Lyons, Social Business Software Consultant, Strategic Consulting, Jive Software Steve Ardire, VP Strategy & Business Development, Early Stage Semantic Technology Startups

Join Wendi Pohs and this panel of experts as they peer into the future of taxonomies. Each panelist concentrates on a specific area, including semantic management tools, consumer-driven taxonomies, social networking software, and emerging semantic technologies. We’ve asked these speakers to both enlighten and challenge you, so bring your thinking caps and questions.

It is not too late to register and you can use these codes for some discounts- Enterprise Search Registration with SPK5 code and Taxonomy Bootcamp registration with SPK5 code.

My sessions last year featured a Synaptica Case Study at Taxonomy Bootcamp titled "Proquest: Finding a Common Language: Bringing Complex and Disparate Vocabularies" (video available here) and at Enterprise Search Summit a presentation on Centralized Taxonomy Management for Enterprise Information Systems (video available here)

Looking forward to seeing everyone there including the Dow Jones Taxonomy Team (Dow Jones is a KMWorld sponsor- note: my speaking spots are not sponsored spots but by invintation of the moderators) and the Synaptica team who are exhibiting and sponsoring Taxonomy Bootcamp!


Image|Flickr| minipixel

ProQuest Celebrates Synaptica version 7.1!

Longtime customer ProQuest has a little celebration in honor of their installation of Synaptica's version 7.1.

ProQuest Taxonomy Team

Let's get a better look at that cake!

Synaptica v7.1 cake

Thank you Paula McCoy (not pictured) for providing these great shots. And be sure to catch Paula and Dave Clarke's presentation on Autoclassification vs. Human Indexing at Taxonomy Boot Camp next month.


Synaptica to be a sponsor of Taxonomy Boot Camp 2009

Synaptica LLC is proud to announce that it will be a Platinum sponsor at this year's Taxonomy Boot Camp 2009 in San Jose, California. Synaptica's new CEO, Dave Clarke and Paula McCoy of ProQuest will also be giving a joint presentation on the morning of Friday, November 20th at 8:30 AM. The presentation will compare and contrast auto-classification vs. manual content indexing and classification and how Synaptica can be a valuable part of both methods. If you haven't already, sign up today and join us in San Jose. And if you are coming, look for our table outside of the presentation area where we would love to fill you in on the recent changes with Synaptica and new developments to the software and company alike. We look forward to seeing you there!



Patrick Lambe's Survey on the Future of Taxonomy Work

Patrick Lambe has been analyzing the knowledge, skills and experience needs of the taxonomy profession for a while and as part of this his work he is conducting a survey on the present and future of taxonomy work and the needs of taxonomy professionals. Patrick is the author of a great taxonomy development book titled "Organising Knowledge: Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organizational Effectiveness" and an active writer on the topic of taxonomists and taxonomy development on his Green Chameleon blog.

Patrick, like some members of our own Dow Jones taxonomy team will also be Taxonomy Bootcamp in San Jose this November. Acording to his orginal request for survey responses, participants in the survey will also get a report of the results (which will include additional research beyond the survey).  Patrick writes: "For those of you who believe that taxonomies still have a future, this might make interesting reading, and for those of you who believe a la Theresa Regli that “taxonomies are dead”, we’d like to hear from you on why!"

You can take the survey at http://tinyurl.com/taxonomywork


Need to Create Good Work Fast? Simple - Get a New Computer

I have a problem. I have six pieces of work to write in a couple of weeks and I'm under pressure. I need the work to be spot on, of the highest quality and created in the shortest space of time.

The answer to my problem? Buy a new computer.

Does this sound strange to you? Can you see how improved output comes from a new computer?

I was sceptical, but the Sales guy said a new computer was the answer. I asked him to explain and he told me how the time I was wasting messing with my old computer was at the heart of my problem. All those lost minutes fixing crashes, worrying about blue screens, battling with slow performance, scanning for adware, spyware and worse. Forget all that was the message I was getting, move to the promised land of a newer, faster computer and your problems are solved. After a bit more chat I was sold. My new computer would save me time and that extra time would be spent devoted to my key tasks, which in turn would lead to better quality work and faster work at that. Saving time was even money in the bank for me to set against the cost of the computer - so it wasn't even as expensive as I'd thought.

At this point I excused myself, had a coffee, and thought it through one more time. Did it make sense that a new computer was my solution? The light quickly dawned, of course it didn't. A new computer wasn't the solution and time saving was not my key issue. How did the Sales guy know that time saved would be time I'd actually spend on my document tasks? How did he know the processes and tasks I'd been performing with my current computer were not valuable experiences - not to be lightly ignored. Why did he make no attempt to understand me and my circumstances and simply sell me the one size fits all Sales line that so many people still hear today?

I soon realised than I'm better off assessing my goals and objectives. What is it I need to do? For whom? Why? And when? Then I need to ensure I'm prepared and enabled to achieve them. Is my broadband connection operating? Is it fast enough? Is the right software up and running? Can I access the libraries I need?

I would also benefit from improving my time planning and management skills. I need to focus on my key tasks. What is it I need to do? What problems am I having here? I also should not forget my deliverables. What do I need to produce and how do I get there?

All these areas, when addressed in the right way, will enable my tasks and improve my outcomes. Granted, this is a little harder to sell than a new computer equals better work and a wonderful life, but surely I'm worth that extra effort and it's certainly what I need to hear.

Many of us encounter this scenario frequently. How many times have you watched a Sales presentation built around saving time? Usually a calculator is involved and sometimes members of the audience are asked to volunteer key pieces of information - "How much time do you spend searching for information in a day?", "What's your hourly rate?", "How hard do you find tracking down the information you need?" "Could you be more productive if you saved some of this time?" Very often 'time saved' is then calculated and that 'time saved' directly equated to business advantage. Very often there is little or no thought put into the needs or objectives of individual businesses or any injection of common sense into the Sales pitch.

A Dow Jones information assessment looks for the real issues and pain points our clients experience, and works with them to solve their problems and enable improved outcomes. If you have an information management issue you need assistance with, speak to us and let us work with you to get to the heart of your needs. You never know you might even save enough money to afford that new computer you've always wanted!