Taxonomy, Social Networks and Pace-Layering

Advanced Session, presented by Roger Hudson.

“Most people now use Google, so site navigation isn't that important anymore,” replied the client to concerns about the proposed Information Architecture.

Google is a fantastic search tool. It must be, since it can return millions of results for almost any request. The value or relevance of these results is variable, and with more abstract search aims, the number of results may remain high, but their quality in terms of precision and recall often falls dramatically.

With most search results, less than half of all users look beyond the second page, so is a squillion results the optimal pathway to knowledge? Is Google rotting our brains, and our sites? Will the sheer volume of “free” search results force more and more website proprietors to pay for “Google Adwords”?

The social software movement opines the answer lies in moving away from controlled taxonomies in favour of Folksonomies, where users can label and organise information through the use of tags and collaborative bookmarks.

But how many people are willing to participate in this information dance? This presentation will report on a research project into how often people use social software tools.

The web is evolving all the time and to survive in this rapidly changing environment we will need to keep an open mind when it comes to organising website content. Traditional taxonomies, Facets and Folksonomies will all have a role to play in the future. Pace Layering theory offers a useful insight into the development of the web and may help developers and clients better understand and negotiate these competing forces.

Roger Hudson

Roger Hudson

Roger Hudson has an extensive background in media related companies. Before concentrating on the web, he made over 30 broadcast and non-broadcast film and video programs and was director of a specialist educational multimedia publishing company.

Roger’s active involvement in the Internet dates back to 1996, when he supervised the development of the Virtual Classroom project to explore the use of the Internet in language teaching. The Virtual Classroom trials during 1996/97 involved more than 500 students from Australia, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and the USA.

After obtaining a post-graduate certificate in Internet Marketing, Roger established Web Usability in 2000. Since then, he has provided website usability and accessibility services to many corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations including, the NSW Office of Information Technology, Australian Museum, Qantas, Amnesty International Australia, Westpac Bank and the NSW Guardianship Tribunal.

Roger has presented workshops and written many articles on website usability and accessibility. He is an active member of the Web Industry Professionals Association.

Program Schedule is online

The program schedule is now online. Don’t worry, we have a couple suprises planned to de-stress the packed schedule.

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