Upcoming Events 2024

Heather Hedden presenting at SEMANTiCS Karlsruhe conference

Controlled Vocabularies and Taxonomies” 4-part series
Description: Taxonomies determine how controlled vocabularies are structured in a hierarchy. Hierarchies may seem intuitive, but there are challenges in selecting the optimum choice. This course covers both the challenges and potential solutions. Standards and best practices do exist, but there is a difference between taxonomy creation guidelines and rules. This course provides guidance on when, why and how to design a taxonomy, its term relations, and its term labels.
This is a beginner/intermediate course for content managers, digital asset managers, and others who are familiar with taxonomies and controlled vocabularies, as users, but have little experience in designing and creating them. Less time will be spent discussing taxonomy benefits and uses, and more time will be spent on how to create a good taxonomy.
: February 28, March 6, 13, and 27, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm EST
Format: Live web conference (GoTo Meeting) with Q&A time
Organizer: HS Events
Registration: $499

Taxonomy Creation Workshop” mini interactive workshop
Description: Taxonomies help connect users to content, and they improve findability over keyword search alone. As such, taxonomies should be created so that they are customized to the context of the content and to the users. How to go about this will be addressed in this interactive workshop. Content analysis and term extraction are methods to make a taxonomy match its content, and user interviews and brainstorming sessions are methods to make a taxonomy suit its users. Exercises will include analyzing a document for candidate concepts, looking at the results of a term extraction tool and of a search log report. Breakout groups will then brainstorm a taxonomy structure and top terms to serve the identified users.  
: Saturday, March 2, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Location: Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
Format: In-person
Organizer: World Information Architecture Day – Boston
Registration: required but free

Taxonomy Basics” tutorial and Q&A
This session comprises two 45-minute parts for an introduction to taxonomies, followed by a third 45-minutes open Q&A session.
Part 1: What are taxonomies and why are they useful?
– Why taxonomies are needed
– The components of a taxonomy and key standards
– How taxonomies benefit organizations and users
– How taxonomies enhance different kinds of applications
Part 2: Taxonomy project basics
– How to initiate a project; making the business case
– Basics of taxonomy construction
– User testing and validation
– Facilitating business adoption; working with stakeholders
– Governance and maintenance
Part 3: “Ask us Anything” Taxonomy Question Time
Heather Hedden and Helen Lippell share and answer some of the taxonomy questions they are most often asked, and offer suggestions for further resources including groups and publications.
Date: Wednesday, May 1, 14.00 – 16.45 BST; 9:00 – 11:45 am EDT
Format: Live web conference (Zoom) with Q&A time
Organizer: Taxonomy Boot Camp London
Registration: £59.00

Enterprise Knowledge Graphs: The Importance of Semantics
Description: This session explores all the components of an enterprise knowledge graph and provides further insight into the semantic layer or knowledge model component, which includes an ontology and controlled vocabularies, such as taxonomies, for controlled metadata. While data experts tend to focus on the graph database components (whether it be an RDF triple store or a label property graph), they should not overlook the importance of this semantic layer. Semantics may refer to features of an ontology (defined classes, relations, and attributes) or it me refer more broadly to Semantic Web Standards, but both meanings are closely related.  This presentation provides a better understanding of the semantics within knowledge graphs and it also includes a few case example of enterprise knowledge graphs.  
Date: Thursday, May 9, 3:00 – 3:45 pm
Location: Hyatt Regency Boston, Boston, MA
Format: In-person conference presentation
Organizer: Data Summit Conference
Registration: Early discount ends April 4

Controlled Vocabularies and Taxonomies” 3-part series
Description: Content authors understand the importance of their electronic content being easily found when needed by their users, and they might assist in the process by tagging their content.  But are the tags sufficiently helpful? To support easy, comprehensive, and accurate search and retrieval of content tags should be based on controlled vocabularies or taxonomies. Creating simple taxonomies is not difficult, and most content or document management systems have built-in taxonomy management features, but creating good effective taxonomies requires understanding certain principles and best practices, which this 3-part workshop introduces. Technical communicators are often key stakeholders in the taxonomy creation process, and they could even take a leading role in taxonomy creation in the absence of a dedicated taxonomist. Hands-on exercises include indicating the appropriate kind of controlled vocabulary, suitable alternative labels, and possible hierarchical relationships. A small group breakout session activity involves brainstorming a faceted taxonomy design.
Dates: Tuesdays, June 11, 18, and 15, 4:00 – 5:30 pm EDT
Format: Live web conference (Zoom) with lecture, exercises, Q&A and additional asynchronous Q&A
Organizer: Society for Technical Communication
Course website link and registration
Registration: $650, $350 for STC members (join STC for $240, for a total of $590)

Session TBD
Dates: July 13 – 16
Location: University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Format: in-person
Organizer: SLA Annual Conference
Registration: Early discount ends April 30

Tips for Taxonomy Hierarchies
Description: Hierarchies are a basic structure of taxonomies, and while their design is often intuitive, there are issues and complications which skilled taxonomists should address. Beginners often confuse hierarchical taxonomies with classification systems, but they are not the same. Thesaurus standards for hierarchical relationships are important, but sometimes taxonomies may deviate from the thesaurus standard. This session also addresses common errors of context-based narrower concepts, too much granularity, single narrower concepts, and lack of hierarchical integrity throughout a tree. Unbalanced or insufficient hierarchy and polyhierarchy are also discussed. Finally, the connection between hierarchies and facets will be addressed. Examples will be shown throughout.
: Tuesday, September 10, 16.00 – 16.45 BST; 11:00 -11:45 am EDT
Format: Live web conference (Zoom) with Q&A time
Organizer: Taxonomy Boot Camp London
Registration: £249.00 for the full series of three half-day virtual conference in March, June, and September, 2024

Book Sale and Signing Events

Heather Hedden at a book signing for "The Accidental Taxonomist"

Heather Hedden signs copies of The Accidental Taxonomist, offered for sale at a conference discount at many of the conferences at which she speaks. Book discounts are also sometimes offered for online orders associated with virtual or hybrid conferences.

Next event with books for sale and signing:
World IA Day Boston, Saturday, March 2, 1:00 – 3:00 pm