Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Multi-Dimensional Indexing: An Iterative Process

Developing and refining a catalogue or index is an iterative process that includes cycles of brainstorming, organizing, arranging, testing, reorganizing, editing, and publication. Iterative means we expect to go back and adjust work done earlier in the process, informed by things we learn later in the process. This may seem inefficient if we are comparing to other types of work. But indexing is more like writing or music composition, where the goal is quality content and the product comes as a result of a number of drafts. Although some brilliant artists create and compose well spontaneously, others require multiple revisions of initial drafts. In indexing, we behave more like the latter artists, revising significantly our first attempts based on an evolving conception of what's important or feedback from an audience.
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