Organization: tags vs heavy categorical separation

Continuing the discussion from This site’s categorization by language doesn’t seem to be useful:

Yeah. I just posted over on Fedora Discussion about tags vs categories. In short, tags can really act like mini-categories themselves, and it’s best to use categories when there is a functional different. The language separation is a reasonable one, and same with Announcements (limited access to posting) and Start Here (we want to limit the number of posts, and sort differently).

Other possibilities could be “prefilled template”, which I guess we could make different for “troubleshooting” vs. “how do I?” vs. “why is this”?. But I don’t see that as super compelling. Any other ideas?

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: This site’s categorization by language doesn’t seem to be useful

The main problem with tags vs categories is that many people don’t understand and won’t use tags.

It doesn’t matter how much education you do, a significant portion of the population will never use them.

Tags a great if they are totally optional but making them an important part of the site or needed to find and categorize information will end up in a mess.

I think tags can work in two situations:

A. A limited selection of tags around broad areas, and choosing one is required. This is what I’m proposing for Discussion.
B. An arbitrary number of tags, where using them gives some advantage but isn’t required. That’s the “tags are great” part of your reply I think — and I think what we’d want here.

I think having technical areas deeply-separated by categories also really has a “people don’t understand and won’t (properly) use” problem. So I agree with Ankur. And people who want to help categorize things can help tag posts.

1 Like

If possible, it will be helpful to:

  1. For certain Category, make Tagging required when creating new topic, choose from a pre-defined Tags Lis
  2. For certain Category, for certain User, allow them to use custom tag.
  3. Do regular reports on popular Tags used - it will increase the awareness for using Tags to discover posts, and tag more correctly.

I am not sure if Discourse allo this: (But it can be overly complicated)

  • Have Site Tags which is more “Official” and more restrictive on who can set it.
  • Maintain User Tags, which is more freely used by Users.