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Themes and topics – another article about Information Architecture

December 5, 2012

From the blog:

Tags, taxonomies, polyhierarchy and all that jazz. Crafting good categories for news content ain’t easy.

stdout.be | Themes and topics

Wednesday I suggested that we could solve a lot of problems with tagging if we start thinking in terms of relationships to real things instead of seeing tags als mere labels. With tags as true entities it’s easy to figure out what to tag (you tag persons, organizations, locations, events) and how to tag it. Relationships can be a part of the foundation for the kind of contextualized journalism that we hope to see more of in the future.

However, while talking about the future of metadata, I carefully sidestepped a thorny issue. Tags aren’t always used to refer to persons or locations. Even more often, tags are used to categorize content by a broader theme or by subject. Themes or topics aren’t real things, they’re bundles of things. Bundles of things upset the carefully crafted scheme I set out earlier. Today I’ll talk about polyhierarchy as a way of getting topics and themes into the fold.


Filed under: technology, web Tagged: categories, content, folksonomy, IA, information architecture, tags, taxonomy

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