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  1. #1
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    Default Categorizing the posts

    When we first started the Discussion Forum, we envisioned separate categories for different types of posts to make it more manageable to rummage through them. We used this text to describe the forum: "Post anything here relevant to Wayland. After there are more postings, we will categorize them into logical groupings." Now with five pages of threads, it seems appropriate to start categorizing them.

    I would love to get suggestions from forum users about the categories they would like to see. Some suggestions we have received already include: Discussion Board Logistics, Schools, Health, Park and Recreation, Finances.

    If you have other suggestions, please respond to this posting.

    Kim Reichelt, Administrator
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 06-11-2008 at 12:47 PM. Reason: to add signature

  2. #2
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    I finally got around to thinking about a categorization of Discussion Forum threads. As you may be aware, we actually have this already, sort of. The DF home page is here. Note that there are three categories, two of which are only lightly used.

    My proposal is to take all of the threads from the three categories and re-group them into 12 categories. I arrived at 12 by listing all of the threads (see Column N of the attached spreadsheet, noting that those in orange and blue at the end are from the second and third existing "categories," respectively), thinking about what they were about, then doing a bit of consolidation into categories (see Columns A-L, Row 2). We might find that 5 categories is more appropriate/navigable, or 10, or 20--12 is just a starting place for the conversation.

    Too many categories, and the home page becomes unusable. Too few, and why not leave it as-is. I propose that only the Administrator be able to add new categories, with input from the DF of course.

    A few observations:

    • It wasn't as hard to categorize as I'd thought, but a few threads are a bit tricky, and some touch multiple topics. It would be great if threads could live in multiple categories. For instance, a school budget thread might fall into "Education" and "Municipal Finance."

    • The number of threads per category in my proposal ranges from 2 ("Real Estate," which perhaps might be folded into "Municipal Finance") to 63 (Education), with "Town of Wayland" not far behind at 56. Interestingly enough, the split in number of threads between schools and municipal isn't far off of how the budget is allocated. "Local Elections" is third at 36. As the number of threads grows within a category, we could of course split them out. In particular, the "Town of Wayland" category might eventually (or now) be divided into things like Pool, Highway, Selectmen, etc.

    • Who knows, maybe this will help boost usage. Maybe one problem is that people are simply getting lost.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  3. #3
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    Default Excellent list

    Jeff,

    I think this is an excellent pass at it. I will plan to implement something like this (subject to further comments from others) perhaps as soon as the weekend.

    Once I do, I will be very interested in feedback - I think it can be somewhat easily undone (though this is a new area for me).

    -Kim

  4. #4
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    Default

    Once the categorization is done, we could also open things up (maybe for a defined period) for thread starters to request that specific threads be moved if they think that their creation has been misplaced.

    Also, Kim, do you know if having threads appear in multiple categories is possible?
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 06-12-2009 at 06:13 AM. Reason: Addition of question for Kim.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Jeff, I do not believe you can post a thread (other than I think there might be some sort of special "ADMIN" that an administrator can post in multiple threads) in more than one thread, but I also think we wouldn't want to do that -- you want responses to a thread to show up in one place, don't you?

    Yes, I agree about giving thread starters the change to have their thread moved if they don't like its placement.

  6. #6
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    If the link on a given category page is to a thread, why couldn't you have a second link on a second category page to that same thread? There's only one thread, just pointers to it from multiple locations.

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