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BBC Sport Ontology

Friday, March 11, 2011
posted by admin

If you have access to EBSCO’s SportDiscus database, you probably won’t be interested in accessing the BBC’s new Sport Ontology.  However, if your institution or public library doesn’t subscribe, you may be interested in the following:  “BBC Presents the Sport Ontology.”  In sum:

“The ontology should allow data to be published about the structure of sports tournaments, competition, disciplines that an event involves, awards associated with competitions, and much more.”

The ontology itself is available at Sport Ontology on the BBC website.  It’s a very basic ontology, or as the site calls it:  “lightweight.”  Wouldn’t it be nice if our business enterprise searches could be organized around such a simple structure?

The reality, though, is that with huge volumes of unstructured text within a business, ontologies become unmanageable without assistance.  Smartlogic is a leader in ontology management and automatic classification and can organize your enterprise’s information to make it easy to find. Point your browser at www.smartlogic.com for details.

Ken Toth, March 11, 2011

Semantic Technology Changes the Game

Friday, March 11, 2011
posted by admin

In “How Semantic Search Is Redefining Traditional & Social Media,” Erica Swallow at Mashable examines the ways in which The New York Times and various social media sites approach semantic search. As Internet age phenomena, sites such as Twitter and Facebook go in with a leg up. It’s worth reading the article to see how they’re approaching the issue, but I find the challenges for traditional media more compelling.

The New York Times unwittingly set self up for semantic search success in the 19th century, when it implemented it’s archive system:

“Since the late 1800s, it has maintained an authoritative and controlled news vocabulary to archive clippings from its and others’ publications, which were then stored in ‘the morgue’ at its old New York City headquarters on 43rd Street. These archives were originally created so that reporters could easily research historical documentation on a certain topic in the reporting process. Little did anyone know, this organized structure would set The Times up for having an amazing amount of useful data once semantic technologies would evolve more than a century later.”

In 2009, the Times published indexing vocabulary as linked open data, allowing for interaction with other data sets. Now, they are working to create publishing industry standards so that different organizations will call a spade a spade (as opposed to a trowel) in order to increase the effectiveness of this cooperation.

Of course, if you don’t have an existing taxonomic system that dates to the Fillmore administration, you need a newer solution. Smartlogic delivers this type of functionality for SharePoint at a price point that is much more attractive than that of trying to reproduce The Times’ complex solution.

Ken Toth,  March 11, 2011

2011: The Year of Semantic Technology

Thursday, March 10, 2011
posted by admin

It’s usually hard to answer a flat yes or no to most questions about the future of technology.  “Is 2011 the Year for Semantic Technology?” asks this Information Management article.

With 79 percent of U.S. adults using the Internet and 28 percent of adults making purchasing decisions online, it’s no surprise that semantic technology seems to be cresting.  Facebook is acquiring semantic technology companies to organize its own unique and varied universe.   The article states:

“As the king of the social networks, with more users than Google, Facebook does not have to be in agreement with anyone regarding formats, ontologies, tags or concepts when it comes to semantic search.”

To answer the title question, we think yes, it is easy to say that 2011 is THE year for semantic technology.  The real question is how can businesses best take advantage of semantic technology?

With the Semaphore Enterprise Semantic Platform from Smartlogic, businesses much smaller than Facebook can have taxonomy management, rapid ontology creation, and user prompted classification (tagging) to be the king of their enterprise’s large volume of unstructured content. Navigate to www.smartlogic.com for more information.

Ken Toth, March 10, 2011

More Like This in SharePoint

Thursday, March 10, 2011
posted by admin

Searching in SharePoint can be a challenge. The built in system is reasonably good but may be shown the door as Microsoft works to generate revenue from its $1.2 billion purchase of Fast Search & Transfer’s technology.
Many users see a useful result and want “more like this”. The idea is that a single click runs another query that yields a result list with the clicked link’s content used as a search.

The article “Adding Related Searches in SharePoint 2010 Search” provides some information about how you can configure SharePoint to suggest additional results. The how to says:

“By default, the list of related searches will be populated the same way query suggestions get populated – when users click 6 or more times on the search result from the search keyword they searched for.”

The author provides directions only a SharePoint certified professional can love. For an alternative approach, we suggest that you navigate to www.smartlogic.com and look at the company’s products. Better, faster, and more reliable are, in our opinion, preferable to methods that offer many opportunities for a misstep.

Ken Toth, March 10, 2011

Toward a Bigger SharePoint

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
posted by admin

If there is one thing as predictable as taxes, it is the need to scale SharePoint. As the volume of content grows, doubling every three months or so, your SharePoint system is going to have to run faster, process more content and returning search results more quickly. Poor performance creates a negative user experience.

We found “My Favourite SharePoint 2010 Scalability Articles” by Paul Andrew interesting because it called to our attention two articles that explain how to scale SharePoint.

Document one is  “Estimate Performance and Capacity Requirements for Large Scale Document Repositories”. The write up provides useful information for dealing with a large scale SharePoint deployment. The key point in my opinion was:

In large document repository scenarios, planning for throughput will involve considering how quickly content can be uploaded and how quickly it can expire without a large effect on overall performance.

Document two is “SharePoint Server 2010 capacity management: Software boundaries and limits”. This write up spells out some performance and scope limits of SharePoint Server 2010.  I found this point interesting:

“In SharePoint Server 2010, there are certain limits that are by design and cannot be exceeded, and other limits that are set to default values that may be changed by the farm administrator.“

I came away from reading these two documents with a sense that coping with some of SharePoint’s architectural characteristics is a difficult, on-going job.

You may want to take a look at the software available from Smartlogic at www.smartlogic.com. The company provides semantic enhancement for SharePoint search, content and workflow that can help keep SharePoint performing. You will still have to wrestle with SharePoint’s own up and out scaling challenges, but the Smartlogic approach will keep your users happy as you improve the SharePoint infrastructure.

Ken Toth, March 8, 2011

OpenText, Back on the Acquisition Trail

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
posted by admin

OpenText, like Autonomy, has used acquisitions to expand the company’s scope and capabilities. We learned in “OpenText Says Metastorm Boosts MS Partnership, Centralizes SharePoint Management” that OpenText is betting that the burgeoning SharePoint market will pay off. Metastorm is a business process management company. The idea is that the company’s technology makes it easier to perform business process modeling and analysis. According the to article:

In effect, what OpenText is talking about is turning its enterprise content management system from a behemoth into a super-behemoth.

OpenText already has a formidable, but somewhat disjointed collection of content management and search technology. OpenText offers BASIS, BRS Search, and even embeds Autonomy IDOL in its RedDot software.

Will Metastorm’s technology allow OpenText to deliver an integrated content and work flow system to its customers?

Maybe. The cost of integrating the many different products and technologies that OpenText offers is a big job and one that likely to be increasingly costly.

How can a licensee of SharePoint get additional work flow and content functionality without getting tangled in expensive integration work? You may want to take a look at the cost effective semantic and work flow enhancement systems available from Smartlogic at www.smartlogic.com.

Ken Toth, March 8, 2011