So What Ever Happened with the Tagged Tanakh?

Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Education, esoterica, InteractionDesign
So What Ever Happened with the Tagged Tanakh?

From 2007-2010 I worked at JPS; first as a contractor, then as an employee. Publisher of the Hebrew to English translation of the Jewish Bible, JPS has a 124-year archive of intellectual property built around an ancient text.

The former CEO of JPS,Ellen Frankel, a biblical scholar and librettist took a chance on me. First, in 2005 when she published my graphic novel Megillat Esther. Then, in 2007 she asked me to develop a long-term content strategy plan and new revenue stream for an ailing publisher. The result of my collaboration with Ellen, in addition to a distinguished cohort of scholars, technologists, designers, educators and assorted volunteers is the Tagged Tanakh.

The Tagged Tanakh was my solution to a technological, business and design dilemma. Would people or organizations subscribe to an online service that facilitated Bible study or was the venture more viable as a software product enabling semantic structuring of multilingual and complex relational datasets? From an unstructured xml version of the Bible to a comic book rendering of an imagined user experience, I was involved in every facet of the project from scope requirements to load testing.

The Tagged Tanakh (TT) is now in a cocoon state. With the JPS union with the University of Nebraska, the Tagged Tanakh’s future is unknown. A web application that enables users to remark upon, moderate and relate content to a complex and shared dataset might be useful to some one else someday. The site is still online and receives a trickle of new comments and activity even with no one tending the garden.