BST Sub categories?

@jhb8426 you and @vegabomb are appreciated… as well as @codinghorror

i think you do well any way… but, i’m
a grumpy old man, so…


Discord, eh? Maybe pay attention to the words you’re using and the products they refer to, before people start lecturing everyone about having more categories… I mean people can’t even pay enough attention to the name of the actual software, and we’re expecting them to somehow list things in the proper sales/trade etc subcategory?

Good luck with all that! You’re gonna need it :wink:

KISS is my advice. :kiss: … if anything I think we should remove a few of the less used categories here.


Even I was thinking the same if the forum is on discord


Your product that can do no wrong and never has room for improvement has an extremely similar name to Discord, lord forbid someone mix them up :roll_eyes:


I think it’s best to have lower expectations when it comes to people doing exactly the right thing all the time… and less choices is generally less opportunity to mix things up in my experience, therefore resulting in better outcomes most of the time :man_shrugging:

You love posting that book even though the studies in it have never been replicated :slight_smile:

The same thing has been repeated here, in the context of categories:

Over specialising categories is a common problem that manifests itself differently in communities old and new. It most commonly manifests as a gigantic front page, filled with every possible permutation of the community’s general topic. A community about games might have separate categories for first­person shooters, third­person shooters, side scrollers etc, where they would better be served with either a category marked “Shooters” or simply an overarching category marked “Games”.

In new communities, this stems from a desire from the founder to make sure that any topic the community could want to talk about is covered. While this is understandable, it will lead to users simply being intimidated by the enormous number of categories at their disposal. In most communities with vast numbers of categories, the majority of them will lie fallow. If a new user posts in one and doesn’t get a response, they’re unlikely to persist much further.

In old communities this is simply the result of gradual category­ creep. For example, any general discussion community will sooner or later have users asking to create a whole category based around the more popular threads. Sometimes these are topics that can sustain their own category easily. At other times, these will be fields that are sufficiently specialist that you would simply be shunting the dozen or so people who already post in the relevant threads into a category on their own, where it will become obvious that the topic does not have enough interest to sustain it. These categories will either die out, or loll around for years with a few dozen posters, becoming increasingly cliquey over time.

So when should you start a new category? There might be a number of reasons that are particular to you, but I try and keep two criteria in mind before I start a new category. The first is whether this category brings enough unique value to the community to be worthwhile regardless of whether it sees a lot of traffic. An example of this at Penny Arcade would be our categories dedicated to art and writing (The Artist’s Corner and The Writer’s Block). They see comparatively little traffic (although both are still active), but both offer something special that can’t be found in other categories. The other criteria is whether discussion of the topic covered by the new category would simply not happen otherwise. Another example from Penny Arcade would be our Games and Technology category. Games discussion was so popular that any discussion of Technology issues simply dropped off the front page. With the extra visibility of it’s own category, our Technology category was able to generate much better levels of discussion and traffic.

Anyway, I’m in agreement with the general sentiment of the topic! Adding more categories is probably not gonna be effective for a variety of reasons.

Four walls makes a nice livable house. Sixty walls makes an impenetrable maze. There’s some kind of parable in there that @yoyodoc could probably elaborate on :wink:

“Your studies have never been replicated”

“Oh yeah? Lemme link you to a blog post that agrees with me”

We’re not talking about sixty walls (sub-topics). But of course, you are never wrong and nothing about this forum should ever change since it is perfect as is.