I’ve just read two hours worth of tag and categories conundrums on meta.discourse.org, and I’m still struggling with a solution to fit my use case: one that works for the users and for my sanity.
The site revolves around local cycling communities and all aspects of cycling: recreation, racing, bike shops, etc. The “local community” part really defines the site and intends to be a way to following your local cycling community. For example, Sydney, Melbourne, London will have their own communities. So the cities seems the obvious choice for top-level categories, but given the one subcategory level of Discourse, sweet category love seems but a pipe dream.
For example, Sydney could work well as its own category, allowing Sydney-siders to follow the entire local cycling scene, or just niches [sub-categories] of it, without being exposed to the local cycling scenes in far-away places like London. Here’s how Sydney could easily work…
/c/sydney/ /c/sydney/roadies /c/sydney/fixies /c/sydney/bike-shops
And Melbourne could be categorised and subbed in the same way.
/c/melbourne/ /c/melbourne/roadies /c/melbourne/fixies /c/melbourne/bike-shops
And likewise for London.
/c/london/ /c/london/roadies /c/london/fixies /c/london/bike-shops
But it quickly becomes apparent that cities should sit inside a country category otherwise top-level category creep will be huge, and because there’s the duplicate city-name issue like Newcastle (there’s one in Australia and England). Also — importantly — I want to geo-target the different regions via Google Webmaster Tools, which could be done for each city individually, but would be much simpler under a single top-level country category like /c/au/ and /c/us/.
So… I could use country/city as the category/subcategory and easily geo-target the category, except then I loose all the community niches because I can only sub-category 1 deep.
/c/au/sydney /c/au/sydney /c/au/melbourne /c/us/nyc /c/us/nyc
So a country-city hybrid top-level could defuse the duplicate city issue, still work with GWMT (albeit painfully), and retain the niche sub-cats…
/c/sydney-au/fixies /c/newcastle-au/fixies /c/newcastle-uk/fixies
Except now I’m still stuck with the inevitable top-level category creep because there are quite some cities in the World.
Using Sitepoints HTML category for example, if users following the HTML page could see the tag label, wouldn’t that benefit to everyone? I actually expect to see labels there because labels live there on so many Discourse pages (Top page, Latest page, a tag page), and it gives an inconsistent feel that they’re not present on category pages. I know multi-tagging would cause grief with the limited space available, but have the tag labels on category pages been discussed or considered? I know it would it would solve my riddle, and I’d be interested to hear @HAWK’s thoughts on this.
If tag labels were displayed, I could use /c/country/city as the category and sub-category and use tags for the niches. Given tags are admin-moderated, I can ensure their exclusivity. This would allow users to also click the tag label to see all the threads outside their city and country which relate to their /sub-category of interest.
/c/au/sydney [page shows tag labels [rodies], [fixies], [bike shops]
It does break down here thought because I would expect clicking the “rodies” tag on the Sydney subcategory page to show me /c/au/sydney/roadies but I still think tags labels showing is better than no tags labels, and the tag label linking-out to the global tag scene might not be a bad option at all.
Below is a screenshot of my very-pooly photoshopped tag labels proposal on a Sitepoint category page