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Author Topic: labels/tags instead of subfora?  (Read 2252 times)
niko
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July 31, 2012, 06:59:54 PM
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Most threads naturally belong to several topics. With the proliferation of available subfora the problem gets bigger, and information is harder to find. Being able to attach multiple labels (or tags, or whatever you call them) makes more sense than insisting on the choice of one particular subforum.

Labels work great for blogs, email, photos - would they work for a forum? Simply turning current subfora into the list of pre-approved labels for users to choose from would do it. Mods would still be able to add/remove labels as needed.

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There are several different types of Bitcoin clients. Hybrid server-assisted clients like Electrum get a lot of their network information from centralized servers, but they also check the server's results using blockchain header data. This is perhaps somewhat more secure than either server-assisted clients or header-only clients.
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July 31, 2012, 08:14:46 PM
 #2

You're talking about a fundamental redesign, and at that point it's no longer what anyone would think of as a "forum."

I'm not saying it's good or bad, but it's an enormous change.

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July 31, 2012, 08:17:10 PM
 #3

Wow, that would be a big kind of change to wrap my brain around. I already use this in my PMs since that functionality is there, but for a whole forum? I really wonder whether and how it would work in real life. Are there any forums that do this already?

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niko
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July 31, 2012, 09:35:05 PM
 #4

It wouldn't be a big change at all - just like now you go to Speculation or Meta to see what's new in these topics, you'd go to Speculation or Meta to see what's new in these topics. The only difference is that threads could be labeled with multiple labels, which right now we can't do.

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July 31, 2012, 10:10:54 PM
 #5

That would be good. The tags would need to be admin-defined, though. Tag systems where posters can come up with arbitrary tag names make it hard for readers to find stuff, since posters often choose strange and incorrect tags.

This'd be pretty hard to add to SMF (and probably most forum software), though.

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niko
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July 31, 2012, 10:31:25 PM
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That would be good. The tags would need to be admin-defined, though. Tag systems where posters can come up with arbitrary tag names make it hard for readers to find stuff, since posters often choose strange and incorrect tags.

This'd be pretty hard to add to SMF (and probably most forum software), though.
Yes, tags would be pre-approved by admins. In fact, current list of boards may be just fine. If an article is published that deals mostly with Bitcoin mining, I can start a discussion with tags 'press' and 'mining'. The way things are now, we end up with cross-posting mess, or even worse: multiple threads dealing with same story in multiple boards.

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July 31, 2012, 10:36:41 PM
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There are tagging plugins for SMF; implementation would be easy.   Getting users to properly and consistently use it would be the nightmare. 


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July 31, 2012, 10:46:38 PM
 #8

There are tagging plugins for SMF; implementation would be easy.   Getting users to properly and consistently use it would be the nightmare. 


Frank

Not a bigger nightmare then getting users to post in appropriate boards. Can you provide examples of plugins?

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August 01, 2012, 09:08:18 AM
 #9

There are tagging plugins for SMF; implementation would be easy.   Getting users to properly and consistently use it would be the nightmare. 


Frank

Not a bigger nightmare then getting users to post in appropriate boards.
Yeah, the Global Moderation team already handles this, anyway. It would only be slightly more work.

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August 01, 2012, 01:29:55 PM
 #10

As long as users were forced to apply a minimum of one tag, I think it wouldn't be too hard to get used to. A new topic could automatically get the tag of the current section inserted upon creation.

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August 01, 2012, 09:50:46 PM
 #11

Wouldn't this drastically increase board size increase? A huge board is not optimal.
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August 01, 2012, 10:05:38 PM
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Wouldn't this drastically increase board size increase? A huge board is not optimal.

I don't think "drastically" is the word I would use. It might make for some boards being considerably larger, but not all, as most things would only fit into one category anyway.

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August 01, 2012, 11:05:25 PM
 #13

I totally support this.  Some of the new sub-fora have been located in counter-intuitive places and the "right" place for topics isn't always the logical one. 

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niko
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August 01, 2012, 11:25:47 PM
 #14

Wouldn't this drastically increase board size increase? A huge board is not optimal.

If done carefully, users should not notice any big changes. You filter posts based on a tag or tags, and you only see what belongs to that "board."

Right now, the user faces a list of boards and child boards on the main page. The user clicks on one, and topics are displayed.

In the new proposed system, users would face the same list, but with a checkbox for each item. Checking the box filters posts with that tag.

I know the devil is usually in the details, so I'll try to come up with some specific ideas over the next few days. In the meantime, it'd be nice to know what moderators and developers think at this point - is this technically feasible?

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August 01, 2012, 11:40:24 PM
 #15

In the meantime, it'd be nice to know what moderators and developers think at this point - is this technically feasible?

It's a good idea and I'd love to have it (with some additional features), but I don't think it can be done well with SMF.

Thoughts on how best to do it:

Some tags (the current boards) would be listed as they are now on the front page. Additional less-popular tags would be shown in a categorized list elsewhere. A tag cloud could also be made available.

An "ignore topic" feature would be a good complement so you don't keep seeing the same topic you don't care about on multiple pages.

It'd be cool if users could define a number of "tag mashup" pages. Each page would list topics with any of several tags, and topics with certain tags could also be excluded from the page. Like a page containing topics with the tag "development" and "mining", but not "alternative clients" or "alternative currencies". If a topic matches multiple tags, it would only appear once on the page.

A separate report feature for incorrect tags would be nice. The reporter could add or remove tags from the current set for a topic, and moderators would see an easy summary like "+development, +mining, -discussion".

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fm1234
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August 07, 2012, 11:33:35 PM
 #16

@niko  Sorry; I've been away and didn't realise you had responded to my post. 

Tagging System for Topics has been online  and updated since late 2006.  I'm sure there are others, but TST is the only one I've used.   


Frank
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August 08, 2012, 01:13:13 AM
 #17

@niko  Sorry; I've been away and didn't realise you had responded to my post. 

Tagging System for Topics has been online  and updated since late 2006.  I'm sure there are others, but TST is the only one I've used.   


Frank
The issue with that plugin is that it allows freeform tags, whereas ideally you would have to choose from a list of predefined tags.

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August 09, 2012, 03:18:11 AM
 #18

posted by rjk:
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The issue with that plugin is that it allows freeform tags, whereas ideally you would have to choose from a list of predefined tags.

Not sure I understand why it would be an issue -- even using predefined tags, it's going to be like herding cats to get users to use the "right" tags.  There may well be a predefined tag plugin out there, and I'm sure it's possible to modify one of the existing ones to a set list of tags -- just only have experience with the one I mentioned.  Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


Frank
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August 09, 2012, 03:28:35 AM
 #19

Interesting to see this after I just recently added tagging to the Forum package as part of the CIYAM platform.

The approach I've taken is that each user creates their own tags - when you click on a tag it displays the posts beneath (from newest to oldest although I might add the ability to reverse the ordering).

This is most useful when combined with searching and also can be useful for determining posts to be split/merged (which is available for mods/admins).

I think it is a pretty useful feature. Smiley

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rjk
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August 09, 2012, 01:30:54 PM
 #20

posted by rjk:
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The issue with that plugin is that it allows freeform tags, whereas ideally you would have to choose from a list of predefined tags.

Not sure I understand why it would be an issue -- even using predefined tags, it's going to be like herding cats to get users to use the "right" tags.  There may well be a predefined tag plugin out there, and I'm sure it's possible to modify one of the existing ones to a set list of tags -- just only have experience with the one I mentioned.  Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


Frank
Well in this case, the "right" tags wouldn't matter since there would be a minimum of one tag, and the minimum tag would automatically be applied based on which section the topic was started in. Advanced users could tag a topic with additional sections, and then the topic would show in the tagged sections as well as the one it was started in.

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