The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Heather Hedden

Heather Hedden has been a taxonomist for over 25 years in various organizations and as an independent consultant. She currently works as a Senior Consultant with the knowledge and information management consulting firm Enterprise Knowledge, LLC, where whe helps clients with taxonomy and ontology projects. Previously she worked in taxonomy-related roles at Semantic Web Company (vendor of PoolParty software), Gale/Cengage Learning, Project Performance Corp, First Wind, and Viziant. Heather has designed and developed, taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies, and metadata schema for internal and externally published content, including websites, intranets, and content management systems. She gives workshops on taxonomy creation through various organizations and her own business, Hedden Information Management. Heather is author of The Accidental Taxonomist, 3rd edition.

Building Taxonomies to Leverage Content

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.

In this workshop attendees will learn:

  • Understand the benefits and challenges of taxonomies
  • Know the suitable type of taxonomy or knowledge organization system to create
  • Become familiar with taxonomy standards and how to use them
  • Know the varied sources and how to gather taxonomy concepts
  • Be able to form concepts with preferred and alternative labels
  • Be able to properly construct hierarchical and nonhierarchical relationships
  • Understand taxonomy governance sufficiently to implement
  • Know different methods for tagging or classifying with a taxonomy
  • Understand the options for taxonomy management systems