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opinions wanted: do categories even make sense today?

edited November 2011 in Feedback
trying to keep this short: i was having some issues setting up categories (issue with auto-increment) - and so i saw the BRILLIANT option to "not use categories' in the default installation

and then it dawned on me: categories feel old school, like folders - versus tagging, hashtags, @user attributes and so on....

are any of you running high-volume forums with zero categories and only tags? and in these cases, have you done any custom pages to present tags or hashtags differently?

i completely understand the argument for categories, like a gaming forum with different consoles, game types, etc - but one could argue just as well that a standard set of tags like 360 or ps3 would serve users just as well, provided there were an ability to perform multi-attribute searches and drill-downs (tags within tags, similar to how one plugin allows for tags within categories, just a step away from categories)

is there a plugin that might allow for "tagging tags" to extend drill down (multi-faceted) searches?
jspautsch

Comments

  • x00x00 MVP
    edited November 2011
    I have few categories and yes they are old school.

    I am much more tag orientated, I am in the process of enhancing the tagging experience, I have a multi tag search, which I may release in the future.

    User categories, or supertags are new school.

    Meta/composite searches are new school, though personally I think they are too complex syntax for the average user. I'm in favour of abstraction to help.

    grep is your friend.

  • ah, awesome - i'd love to see multi tag search - do you have a live site where i can see it in action? i've also got a prelaunch installation if you'd like another tester
  • Interesting but what about deleting categories in a forum running from years
    when tags weren't invented yet? How to tag those old discussions? Maybe tagging with
    some generics tags according to the categories they belonged? How can be do it?
  • There has been a lot of talks about this. There is a huge difference between categories and tags. With categories, there is hierarchy and structure whereas tags do not

    Categories/subcategories are for people who browse your site, it's much easier for them to look for something because everything is in order. That's why sites like ebay still use it even though it's "old school", which I think is not.
  • candymancandyman ✭✭
    edited November 2011
    I was referring to migrated community.
    If I delete categories from my old phpBB imported forum waht I got?
    I need to assign some generic tags according to former categories before deleting them to avoid confusion.
    It would be nice a solution to assign some tags before importing in Vanilla.
  • categories are mutually exclusive. tags are not. with that in mind, categories still have their place. you just have to use them appropriately.
  • LincolnLincoln Community Instigator Vanilla Staff
    I think they have a place, but are misused frequently.

    Ideally, I'd like 3-8 categories on a site and use tagging for the rest. However, getting this UI wrong is more confusing than having 3 dozen categories, so it's not an easy hurdle to move away from them.

    Sr Developer at Vanilla Forums [GitHub, Twitter]

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