Despite what all the taxonomy software vendors say, taxonomies will not solve findability and search problems. Nor will advances in technologies like SharePoint 2010 make it any easier to track down that PowerPoint presentation you know is on your portal. These are tools that can only provide a means to an end. They are not the solution. Even a well-formed taxonomy or set of taxonomies deeply integrated into a company’s portal, for example, will not solve all of a company’s information management problems.
What, then, is a solution?
There is no one solution. Building taxonomies is important; critical, in fact. Using taxonomy management software is vital if you want to ‘do it right’. But understanding the business and user needs behind building a taxonomy in the first place is where to start. The ‘solution’ is long-term information management, not short-term quick fixes. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot!
Small, inexpensive doses of taxonomy love can go a long way toward making the bad search experience go away and get users excited — yes, excited! — about finding what they want every time.