General discussion


Need feedback: Tagging threads

By sMoRTy71 ·
OK, I'm going to throw out an idea that I started kicking around over the holiday break.

One of the problems we have had in Discussions is in regard to taxonomy. How broad do we make the categories? Do we try to manage a list of subcategories? What if the subcategories don't get any posts? Etc.

So I was thinking that we could combine our current discussion category structure with a tagging system that would allow the community to create the subtopics.

Here is how it would work:
You start a thread in a category (say "Miscellaneous"). After you enter the title and the body of your post, you get the option (it would be optional) to enter multiple "tags" or keywords that more specifically describe what the thread is about. Using the "Miscellaneous" category, a tag might be "politics" or "Bush" (or both).

Now, imagine viewing the "Miscellaneous" listing page and seeing the 10 or 15 most popular tags within that category. Voila! Instant subtopics that don't ever get stale because they are based on what people are posting about (instead of being limited to what we think the subtopics should be). Of course, clicking on the tags would take you to a view of the threads that use that tag.

To take it a set further, you would be able to see all of the tags you have used on your "My Discussions" page so you could easily sort/find an old thread based on the tag you placed on it.

And on the new user profile pages, we may want to display the tags that you use most (along with your other discussion activity stats).

And finally, imagine finding a tag that you really want to keep up with (say "VPN"). You could get an RSS feed that would send you only the posts for that tag. I could even see users putting their alias in as a tag so that users could keep up with each others posts via RSS.

OK, enough of my rambling. Let me know what you all think about that idea. Thanks,

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Sounds like a very good idea to me

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Need feedback: Tagging th ...

If it can be pulled off it would be great and make life so much easier.

I know I'm lazy but at least I admit it.


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Solid idea... tagging should not be a required field though

by house In reply to Need feedback: Tagging th ...

I am able to join the more active discussions by using the 'new' and 'hot' links above. I rarely use the categories to browse topics that might be interest me. However, I did use the categories when I initially started here on TR. Perhaps this would work to our advantage - in luring in new members.

Just a few days ago, I had been involved in several Linux/MS threads. When I received your TR mail, I noticed that Dave had started another thread "again" that slipped past me. There were so many new threads posted that day, that it had been bumped outside the 'new' master list.

This is a very good idea, though maybe the tagging of your threads could be optional. I'm not sure that everyone would actually care to enter their key words. Personally, I like the idea, as I have a good understanding of how the site works, and how easy it is to lose a discussion that has been inactive for a couple of days.

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No comment

by Oz_Media In reply to Solid idea... tagging sho ...

Seriously, hold onto your hats, I have nothing positive or negative to say about the whole concept, I just wanted to post and practice my typing.

I don't know if it wwill work or not, what if people start MIStagging posts just to get attention drawn to it? We know they do in in post titles, why not by creating a cool buzz word for your post?

I think it's simple enough now, I have no problems staying on top of my topics and following them through My Discussions then just having a quick boo for New topics to add ot that list of Discussions.

I don't care when it's been dead for three months if someone wants to drag it up and repost something to it, I'm done already and have moved on.

I would MUCH rather see you find a way to get the Q&A out ofthe NEW discussions lists though, that just pisses me off. Are people REALLY that dumb that they can't find the right forum?

Pretty page tweaks and such are all fine and dandy, but completely useless if people can't navigate the basicis of the site.

Well, I guess I did have an opinion after all.

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by house In reply to No comment

my main issue with the 'new' discussion link. The fact that most of the new threads are actually Q&A, has lead me to simply scan the number of posts tagged on each, weighing it's worth. This is unfortunate, because I am sure that I have bypassed several threads that would've otherwise caught my interest.

"Are people REALLY that dumb?" I guess we know the answer to that. C'mon TR web-devs... I know you can sneak in a link to the Q&A on the new thread page; a temporary "band-aid" solution.

"I don't care when it's been dead for three months if someone wants to drag it up and repost something to it, I'm done already and have moved on." Yeah, but it does bump one of your current discussions off of the list. I made the mistake in posting to the "evolution lie" thread when it was initially composed, and now I have that stupid thing floating around on my list. I don't give two craps about the subject anymore, besides, there are less than ten key arguments that have been repeated themselves almost fifty times each.

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Discussion subscriptions

by Oz_Media In reply to That's

If I remember correctly, if not please do correct me, they USED to have a subscribe check box for the discussions. It would just track those you were subscribed to and display them as they do now, with the most recently changed at the top.

That's a feature I'd like to see back again, then you could just unsubscribe and it is no longer tracked in your list.

Then it would screw up the issue when you are looking to see what discussions someone else has participated in from their profile page, by creating a new lookup.

They would need to change that option to "See what discussions XXX has subscribed to" instead and it should work fine.

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Depends on your interaction

by sMoRTy71 In reply to Discussion subscriptions

You can unsubscribe from something you have subscribed to; however, if you have participated in a discussion (as I think house was saying), you can't remove that from your list.

I'm not sure if that requires new functionality to fix or if that belongs under "be careful what you reply to" :)

I'll look into adding an unsub option to threads you've participated in and let everyone know.


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That would work

by Oz_Media In reply to Depends on your interacti ...

Just a way to stop following recent threads i fyuo don't want them in your My Discussions listing.

Almost like an ignore feature.

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Well OZ if you reply but do not

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to That would work

Subscribe there wouldn't be a problem would there. I do that with a lot of the Discussions that should be questions just point them in the right direction and forget.


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Did you miss the point?

by Oz_Media In reply to That would work

I NEVER subscribe to discussions anymore, maybe when I was new here but other than that i don't care once a topic is dead. The recent discussions is enough for me.

MY point was that we should be able to stop monitoring a discussion altogether. Like the Why I am voting for Bush thread, when someone stumbles across it months after the discussion dies and posts to it, it turns up un My Discussions again wheter I am subscribed to it or not because i had posted there and now it has been added to, even if not in response to my own comments.

I don't care anymore, I don't want it in My Discussions. There needs to be a way of removing these from your discussions participated in list so that when people drag up old topics, they don't pop up as the most recent discussion in My Discussions, as they do now.

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