moderated Re: Categories for groups -- idea suggestion


We are talking about improving users' ability to search for and find groups that are relevant to their interests, right?  And to do that by allowing group owners to characterize their groups to make them more findable in a search.

The goal of all search systems is to get an appropriate number of results that are highly relevant to the search query, without missing any. 

I am not convinced that library classifications are useful in this instance.  Dewey is a means of classifying knowledge, not conversations.  It's top level categories are
  • 000 – Computer science, information & general works
  • 100 – Philosophy and psychology
  • 200 – Religion
  • 300 – Social sciences
  • 400 – Language
  • 500 – Pure Science
  • 600 – Technology
  • 700 – Arts & recreation
  • 800 – Literature
  • 900 – History & geography
Some might translate to groups discussion topics, but not all.

English-language library cataloguers create catalogue records that assign both a classification number (Dewey or Library of Congress) and subject headings (usually LCSH) to each item in order to reduce the field of search for useful materials about any given topic not necessarily to one specific place but to at least get it down to a handful of possible places out of a field of thousands of possibilities.  In both cases the schemes are controlled and have rules for assigning them.  The classification category is used as part of the construction of a call number that locates a particular item on a particular shelf in a library.  That is not what we are trying to do here. 

Yahoo's broad categories seem to me to reflect a reasonable, if not perfect, analysis of what people group together to talk about.  Its broad categories could be used for classifying groups while the subcategories (examples after each dash) could suggest potential tags.
·       Business & Finance – Employment, Investments, Industries
·       Computers and Internet – Cyber culture, Internet, User groups
·       Cultures and Community – Issues, Cooking, Seniors,
·       Entertainment & Arts – Movies, TV, Books
·       Family and Home – Gardening, Genealogy, Parenting
·       Games – Cards, Computer, Board
·       Government and Politics – Law, Military, Parties [political, I assume]
·       Health & Wellness – Beauty, Fitness, Support
·       Hobbies & Crafts – Antiques, Collectibles, Models,
·       Music – Rock & Pop, Rap, Country
·       Recreation & Sport – Travel, Cars, Outdoors, Wrestling
·       Regional  – Countries, States/Provinces, Regions, Cities
·       Religion & Beliefs – Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Paganism
·       Romance & Relationships – Anniversaries, Heartbreak, Marriage
·       Schools & Education – Classmates, High schools, Colleges
·       Science.  – Astronomy, Biology, Pets
( )

Al is right that without the need to locate a specific item on a library shelf, assigning multiple categories is a valid approach.  And allows for, e.g., discussion of Politics in a particular Region. 

Mark's preference for bottom up tagging by users removes the need to maintain a controlled vocabulary of tags but introduces the inherent disadvantages of inconsistency in choice of terms, spelling, punctuation, etc.  Unless the search engine can accommodate differences such as "colour" versus "color" or "railways" versus "railroads" or "weaving" versus "weavers" to the degree that Google does.

The assignment of one or more general categories will definitely narrow the field of search compared to the current undifferentiated list of groups.  That would make searchers happy.  And maybe needs to be implemented sooner rather than later given the growing number of groups. 

The combination of a few general categories with user-generated tags may improve the accuracy of searches still further.  But implementation is maybe not as urgent if it involves a lot of work. 

Shal, in your PTA example, how many of your tags appear as words in the description of your group?  How much more discoverability do the tags give you?


At 2018-04-02 10:56 AM, Jim Fisher wrote:
If the Dewey system were used all Mark would need to do to implement it would
be to add a field to the public list of groups to hold the code, and then sort
on it, leaving group owners/moderators to fill in the field as appropriate. A
list  of codes could be on a publicly available database for reference. Two
digits would probably be plenty for this purpose.

Jim Fisher

On 1 Apr 2018 at 12:38, Jujube wrote:

> We could use the lists you mentioned.  I didn't know of them, so
> I thought we might have to make up one, though it's always good
> to find some inspiration.  My personal favourite is Yahoo Groups
> categorization because it's very specific, though we don't have
> to be nearly as fanciful.  The nice thing with Yahoo
> categorization is that there's various levels of categorization. 
> I'm not saying that we have to use Yahoo Groups categorization
> method.  Even a few caffdhories would help a lot.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "toki" <toki.kantoor@...
> To:
> Date sent: Sun, 1 Apr 2018 17:38:03 +0000
> Subject: Re: [beta] Categories for groups -- idea suggestion
> On 04/01/2018 04:59 PM, Jujube wrote:
> We'll have to decide on a list, though.
> What is wrong with using either Dewey Decimal or LCC categories?
> jonathon

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