dude wheres my car searchHave you ever experienced a situation when your search just did not return that document on your content management system you were looking for? You may have known part of the title or what some of the contents were but you couldn’t put your finger on it. You executed the latest search mechanisms on the site and you had to weed through several pages of content searching for that elusive piece of information. Then finally after a period of time (who knows how long) you either find it (OH Yea!) or give up in frustration (@%#&#^#).

A possible cure for your dilemma, as well as mine and countless others, is to implement a taxonomy and/or ontology into the information architecture of your intranet, SharePoint, or other orgainizational content management/knowledge repository. You now may be asking yourself, what in the world is a taxonomy? Or ontology?

Taxonomy and ontology explained

Simply put, a taxonomy is a hierarchical classification or framework for information retrieval. Ontology is a classification/specification of concepts (see more on ontology). For you SharePoint users out there, leveraging Content Types and Metadata along with a solid taxonomy will greatly enhance your search to return what you are looking for, while leveraging an ontology will provide another level of search accuracy – leveraging concepts, or conceptual searching. Taxonomies are the basis of classfication schemes and indexing systems in information management (see more on taxonomy).

There are many tools and possible solutions available to solve our search dilemma. Therefore, over the next few weeks I will be looking into the various solutions and finding out what folks are doing to address our search dilemma. So, once and for all we can answer the question: Dude Wher’s My Car?

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