I’m setting up a forum and wanted to get input on how best to structure things. I realize that “I won’t get it right the first time” like the docs said, but I think I can foresee some issues here. Plus there are a number of older forums in my domain to look at.
My domain is reptiles, and there are primarily two axes on which I need to divide content.
First, is the species and this is primary, because these people tend to be in communities that are almost separate from one another. Let’s call this the “taxological” dimension. The desire to isolate these calls out strongly for categories.
There are a lot of species, but they can be grouped into ~10 main groups. For example, all the pythons (e.g., Carpet Pythons) could be subcategories under Pythons. However, 75% of the traffic is about 1 species - “Ball Pythons”, so as much as I hate to do so it can merit special treatment.
The second is the nature of the post about this type of animal, and there is generally 4 buckets: care, genetics, breeding and sharing photos. Let’s call these the “purpose” dimension.
A 3-tiered category system would handle this, but as the docs say that’s almost always a mistake. The second thing I lean toward is having the taxological organization be in category and subcategory but the purpose organization be in tags. I think this is mostly right, except, as I mentioned 75% of traffic is in one category, Ball Pythons. So what other forums in the past have done is to give formal categories to the 4 purpose dimensions for this species alone.
The organizational nut in me hates this but it does make the most sense of anything I can think of, because it does seem like categories do a better job at dividing up content than tags do (e.g., the way navigation works, being forced to categorize). But then I am left with what I do for the other categories – do I still create purpose tags for them, and then I basically have overlap between these species specific tags “Ball Python Care” and “care” tag. If I could automatically tag everything in that subcategory with “care” then it wouldn’t be as bad I guess.
Thanks in advance for your advice and/or links to other relevant posts.