Upcoming Events 2024

Heather Hedden presenting at SEMANTiCS Karlsruhe conference

Artificial Intelligence vs. Information Architecture in Taxonomies” keynote presentation
Description: Information architecture and artificial intelligence have the same goal of making it easier for people to obtain specific information that they seek, and both aim to do so with interactive user interfaces. Thus, it would seem that IA and AI are in competition with each other. However, if we understand that information design needs to consider both the content side and the user side, it becomes clear that AI methods are suited for the content side, whereas IA techniques are still needed for the user side. This keynote presentation focuses on the particular information architecture tool of taxonomy, and how a taxonomy is designed manually with user input to serve the users, but also at the same time with AI methods to extract terms from text and tag content with those terms. It will cover what taxonomies are and how they support information architecture, how AI is used with taxonomies, and the future of AI, taxonomies, and information architecture.
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 10:00 – 10:45 am CEST
Location: University of the National Education Commission in Krakow, Krakow, Poland
Format: In-person and online on Teams
(Note that only this and one other presentation will be in English, and the rest of the conference will be in Polish.)
Organizer: Information Architecture as an Academic Discipline (AIDA) Conference

Taxonomy Creation for Content Tagging” 3-part course 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)

Knowledge Hubs, Knowledge Portals, and Taxonomies
Date: Tuesday, June 18, 11:00 – 12:00 EDT
Format: Conference call with slides distributed
Organizer: SIKM Leaders Community
Registration: free to community members (request to join)

Taxonomy Roundtable Discussion: The Role of Collaboration in Taxonomy Development and Maintenance” (panel)
Description: A panel of four taxonomists will discuss the many ways in which collaboration is an essential part of their work in taxonomy development and maintenance, providing use cases along with their successes, challenges, and best practices. The panelists will describe their approaches to user involvement, stakeholder engagement, consensus building, and continuous improvement.
Date: Sunday, July 14, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Location: University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Format: in-person
Organizer: SLA Annual Conference
Registration: Full conference and single day options

A Semantic Layer Approach to Enterprise Knowledge Management and Information Findability” (poster)
Description: A semantic layer is a standardized framework that organizes and abstracts organizational content and data and serves as a connector for data and knowledge. The poster will illustrate with graphic diagrams what a semantic layer is, what its components are, and how it is positioned in the architecture of data/content and applications.
Date: Sunday, July 14, 2:45- 3:15 pm
Location: University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Format: in-person
Organizer: SLA Annual Conference
Registration: Full conference and single day option

Building Taxonomies from the Bottom up and Top Down: Technologies and Collaboration
Description: To be effective, taxonomies need to be custom-designed to fit the context of the content and users involved in a particular implementation. Many organizations have taxonomies already, but they likely were created for limited, legacy purposes. New initiatives and new use cases require new or renewed taxonomies. This presentation will take a fresh look at designing and creating taxonomies, considering the latest methods recommended by taxonomy consultants. Taxonomies are built with a combination of bottom-up and top-down methods. Bottom-up includes manual analysis and using various technology solutions (including text analysis, search log analysis, and generative AI). Top-down methods focus on the collaborative input of stakeholders (including workshops, focus groups, and interviews).
Date: Sunday, July 14, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Location: University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Format: in-person
Organizer: SLA Annual Conference
Registration: Full conference and single day options

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

Semantic Data 2024: Taxonomy, Ontology, and Knowledge Graphs – Presentation TBD
Date: October 23
Location: New York Hilton Midtown Hotel, New York, NY
Format: in-person
Organizer: Henry Stewart Events
Registration: Save $400 by May 17 early registration

Building Taxonomies to Leverage Content half-day workshop
Description: To make the most of content, the right content needs to be found by or delivered to the right people at the right time. Taxonomies are key to this process, connecting users to content by bringing to together the terms of the users with the terms in the content. Thus, taxonomies need to be custom built with input from the users and from the content, in a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches. This workshop discusses methods and best practices for building taxonomies, whether for marketing content, technical content, or internal enterprise content. Methods include workshops,  interviews, content analysis, and text extraction. Best practices include following standards for hierarchical relationships, using suitable labels and synonyms for taxonomy concepts, and using the right taxonomy structures. The workshop includes interactive exercises of hierarchical relationship and alternative label creation.
Dates: October 27
Location: Portland Hilton Downtown, Portland, Oregon
Format: in-person
Organizer: LavaCon Content Strategy Conference
Registration: Register by April 30 for the earliest discount
Use discount code #SpeakerLC24 for an additional $200 off.

Taxonomy Boot Camp presentation TBD
Dates: November 18 – 19
Location: JW Marriott Washington DC
Format: in-person
Organizer: KMWorld – Taxonomy Boot Camp

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:
Data Summit Boston, May 8-9