Why the Galapagos Tortoise?


In my presentations on the 11 Strategic Considerations for SharePoint Migration at various SharePoint events, I share with the audience a picture of a Galapagos tortoise and, on occasion, offer up some freebies to anyone who can tell me the picture’s relevance to my presentation. Only once has someone guessed correctly.

What does a tortoise have to do with metadata and SharePoint?

Here’s the story behind use of the picture: I was watching Master and Commander with Russell Crowe (great movie) one Saturday afternoon with my oldest son, while at the same time building out my presentation for an upcoming SharePoint Saturday event. I was looking for relevant, interesting images to help me tell my story. When I came to the section of my deck discussing metadata, I was stumped. How do you capture metadata in a visually compelling way? Suddenly I heard the word “taxonomy” within the film, and my ears perked up. In the film, the characters had stopped at the Galapagos Islands, and the ship’s doctor was explaining to a young boy the important work done by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle in the 1830’s. Darwin, the doctor explained, had documented the complex taxonomies of many of the islands creatures.

Taxonomy is the practice and science of classification. Metadata is the primary tool for classification within SharePoint. Tortoises are dang cute. And now you know the connection.

I make the point again and again that metadata and taxonomy management is the single most important factor in a successful SharePoint implementation. Metadata is the glue that binds SharePoint. It powers search. It enables social computing. It drives enterprise content management strategies. And tortoises are dang cute. But I repeat myself.

My recent post on the Axceler blog outlines more best practices around metadata and taxonomy management. Read more here.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (https://rencore.com/), leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.