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:

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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