The Accidental Taxonomist

Taxonomy TRAINING conference next week. Why is this meeting special is that it is very much both a professional and a commercial/industry meeting, whereas most meetings tend to be one or the other. In other words, it is a commercial meeting that serves a profession. A professional meeting is one which is usually structured by a nonprofit professional business/society because of its users for furthering the intellectual exchange in the field and in any other case serving the needs of its members.

Professional conferences of which I have offered include those of SLA (Special Libraries Association) and the American Society for Indexing. A commercial conference, on the other hands, is one placed on by a company (in posting, advertising, research, consulting, or pure event management) to gather clients and vendors in specialty area and promote business for those. Commercial conferences at which I have shown, in addition to those associated with KM World, include the Gilbane conference, Henry Stewart DAM, and Text Analytics World.

  • Resources & Articles
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Actuarial technology
  • Asset sale
  • No sequins
  • Interrupt conditions
  • Research the backdrop of the lender always ascertaining their profile towards loan applicants

Professional meetings do have supplier exhibits, too, but more as an aside to help finance the meeting, and these displays can be very small. Commercial meetings do, of course, have informative and educational sessions, but the meeting is organized with the primary purpose of making a profit from selling display space and registrations.

Commercial conferences are often based on a business, with industry loosely thought as companies that sell related products or services for a defined market and therefore possibly could be exhibiters. This “industry” could be as specialized as knowledge management, content management, or digital asset management. Taxonomy, however, is not an industry. Taxonomy is an occupation and is an information management tool/technique also. Sometimes a business and a profession are almost the same, such such as laws and medicine. Closer to the world of taxonomies are the industry/professions of software development, consulting, and librarianship.

Taxonomy work comes closest to the latter, and many taxonomists were trained as librarians originally. So, if libraries are both a business and an occupation, then some might make the assumption that taxonomy is also both a business and a profession. Taxonomy Boot Camp has a mini exhibit of six sponsors usually, on the other hand with the co-located KM World conference showcase of over 30 sponsors.

Indeed, commercial software suppliers of real taxonomy management tools (not just a feature of a more substantial solution) can be counted on one hand. Taxonomists work in every industries. I’ve worked well in full-time long lasting positions as a taxonomist in sectors including publishing, software, consulting, and alternative energy, and also have provided taxonomy consulting services to many more industries: financial services, retail, hospitality, biomedical research, production, and education.

Despite my various industries of my employment, I have always applied the wide “Information services” or “Information technology and services” as my “industry” in my LinkedIn profile. For this good reason, trying to analyze the industries used in taxonomist LinkedIn profiles might not be accurate or useful, due to the preference of those two industry designations. Indeed the Taxonomy TRAINING conference has participants from many of these varied sectors, but all with a distributed professional fascination with taxonomies. That’s what makes this conference feel more like a professional meeting.