How to create SharePoint taxonomy governance

This week I’ve written a piece for SharePoint Pro Magazine about:

How to create SharePoint taxonomy governance

Ironically, I’m in Chicago this week to chair ALI’s Intranet and Digital Workplace Summit, where I know taxonomy will come up. It always does.

Most of the time it’s in the context of improving search. This morning I spoke with one conference attendee who has no search capability on the company intranet. This is not altogether surprising.

In a recent client assignment, we helped the client identify that they had about 30 different, unique and totally separate intranets. Only one of these had global search. Some had no or very limited search.

So, as an aside to my post linked above, for taxonomy to work at all, you have to invest in search tools. And, for those students in this morning’s workshop on governance, taxonomy is one of those things that deserves central control. You’ll get more ROI out of your investment in taxonomy if your user’s search experience is consistent across the entire enterprise.

Now, go forth and tag!

Can we be more creative with our language?

Last evening I sat in a tiny restaurant in New York’s financial district enjoying a quiet and simple meal. The service at Fresh Salt was outstanding and the food was pretty good too.

But the other customers left something to be desired. Well, really only two of them were at issue.

At first, just the one spoke, loudly and animatedly. He used the F-word at least 3 times in each sentence. After some time listening – you couldn’t help but hear every word – it became evident the speaker was the employee and the other fellow was the boss. The boss had brought his employee to a bar to discuss performance issues.

The boss finally lost it when the employee said that he – the employee – does most of the work. The boss, then began using the F-word multiple times in each sentence.

The room was noticeably disturbed by this conversation.  Customers were stealing glances at each other. I became annoyed by the utter lack of creativity.

If you can’t find other words to express yourself, other ways to communicate your passion and meaning, then just stop talking.

So, I stepped up to them and told them that if I was the boss I’d fire them both because neither was creative enough to use something other than the F-word thrice in each sentence.

They both walked out. The room gave an audible sigh.

The lesson here is one for my children. The ability to communicate is crucial in any job, so if you cannot speak in a creative, clear and comprehensible way, why should I employ you?

The lesson regarding employee management is for another post. If the manager considers himself such a close friend to the subordinate that they can discuss performance issues over alcohol, the reporting structure is broken. This manager needs training to build the skills necessary to excel as a manager.

I will give you that alcohol likely had something to do with their lack of language prowess. But it is still not an excuse.

Just 24 hours in New York City and I’m chock full of great new stories! I love this city!

How to design content for online use: write for how your users read

My most recent post for SharePoint Pro Magazine is about:

How to design content for online use: write for how your SharePoint or intranet users read

There are many things we can do to make content easier to consume onscreen. Some of these are more important than others, which is why I’ve narrowed it down in this new post. If you only do the things I point out in this new post, you’ll be a long way down the road to better readability.

Learn more and you could win Eloquor’s Intranet Toolkit!

That’s right. Several lucky attendees at the upcoming ALI Intranet & Digital Workplace Summit will win Eloquor’s Intranet Toolkit. Even better, every attendee has a chance to walk away with at least one tool.

All for coming to the conference and learning new stuff. I’ll be speaking about governance and how to build a roadmap for your digital workplace.

That’s pretty easy and rewarding! Hope to see you there.

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