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Meta: Articles That Cross Categories?

By evro in News
Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 11:02:05 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

The "theme" of kuro5hin is technology and culture: how they affect each other, work together, etc. As rusty wrote in his State Of Kuro5hin, the two are coming together so that they are basically one and the same. Since the site's focus is on tech and culture, most of the stories necessarily involve both of them, and this leads to my problem -- what do you choose from the pull-down menu when selecting a category for a story you're submitting when there is more than one correct choice?


Let me list some stories I've submitted where I've had this problem:
  1. Lawsuit: Metallica v. Yale University
  2. Kozmo Sued For Discrimination
  3. IM Rivals Ask FCC To "Encourage" AOL To Open Its Network

In each of these stories I wasn't sure what category to select. The Metallica story went under Music, but it could have gone under Freedom or News. The Kozmo story was filed under Politics, but could have been Culture, Freedom, possibly Internet. The AIM story went under Freedom, but could have also been Internet, Politics, or Software (at least these are the ones I considered when submitting the stories).

I was wondering how everyone decides which category to use when there are several that fit the story well. I pretty much end up picking the one that applies most to society in general -- ie, Politics over Software, Freedom over Internet. I don't know that this is a really pressing problem, but what remedies can we concoct? I was thinking maybe adding some checkboxes to allow a "primary" category and some "secondary" categories, so that if you search for stories on Software you don't miss a great one that was listed as Freedom. But like I said, I don't know if this is a dire problem. As usual, I was just wondering what everyone else thought.

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o Kozmo Sued For Discrimination
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Meta: Articles That Cross Categories? | 24 comments (24 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
You just pick the best of whats ava... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by inspire on Tue Apr 25, 2000 at 11:48:28 PM EST

inspire voted 1 on this story.

You just pick the best of whats available. Welcome to reality, where everything cant be neatly pigeonholed.
--
What is the helix?

Just pick one. Who cares? Who even ... (3.50 / 2) (#2)
by xah on Tue Apr 25, 2000 at 11:54:13 PM EST

xah voted -1 on this story.

Just pick one. Who cares? Who even looks at the categories once it's posted?

Not everyone posts stories. Not eve... (none / 0) (#6)
by Velian on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 12:13:17 AM EST

Velian voted -1 on this story.

Not everyone posts stories. Not everyone who does post stories has this "problem." It's not a pressing problem - use your own judgement. This should be in the "What Now?" thread, not the main page.

Secondary categories would be usefu... (none / 0) (#16)
by CmdrPinkTaco on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 01:24:15 AM EST

CmdrPinkTaco voted 1 on this story.

Secondary categories would be useful, but IMHO they should be a "check all that apply" scheme. That way there are less limitations to what the topic could cover. The primary topic would still be single but allow the poster to submit multiple secondary categories
--
Guess CmdrPinkTaco's .sig and win - nothing :)

Not really a problem for me; if I'm... (none / 0) (#7)
by Ozymandias on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 01:29:53 AM EST

Ozymandias voted 0 on this story.

Not really a problem for me; if I'm searching through the story after it's off the front page, I'm most likely going to be able to search by the specific title, or at least a keyword of the title. On the other hand, I can see where other people would find it useful. So I'll vote "0".
- Ozymandias

Whatever is closest. I wouldn't wo... (none / 0) (#3)
by mattc on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 02:14:26 AM EST

mattc voted -1 on this story.

Whatever is closest. I wouldn't worry about it.

This is a great idea. At this poin... (none / 0) (#9)
by locutus074 on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 03:03:12 AM EST

locutus074 voted 1 on this story.

This is a great idea. At this point, k5 is still quite small, and it's not really needed yet. But big things are coming, and there will be a need for something like this. As well as coughcoughvotingpreviewingcoughcough. (/me grins at rusty.) Don't blame me if the formatting on this comment isn't quite right. :)
--
"If you haven't gotten where you're going,
you aren't there yet." --George Carlin

I think your problem is the notion ... (none / 0) (#8)
by your_desired_username on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 04:10:38 AM EST

your_desired_username voted 0 on this story.

I think your problem is the notion that categories should be mutually exclusive. If an item seems to fit into multiple categores, well, it probably *does* fit into multiple categories, and should be posted as such; if you feel an item fits just as well under freedom as it does under music, put it in *both* categories.

Re: I think your problem is the notion ... (none / 0) (#21)
by your_desired_username on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 02:01:43 PM EST

yuck. I must have not had nearly enough caffiene when I posted this early this morning.

[ Parent ]
Re: I think your problem is the notion ... (none / 0) (#22)
by rusty on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 02:58:11 PM EST

I was kind of wondering if you just weren't too familiar with the posting interface, or...

But lack of caffeine would explain it pretty convincingly. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

You found a good solution. A given ... (none / 0) (#4)
by Markee on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 05:41:14 AM EST

Markee voted -1 on this story.

You found a good solution. A given category system will never fit all possible items, so using the system means making arbitrary decisions sometimes. I don't see a practical way around this for Kuroshin. (Multiple categories? category inclusion/override trees? Personal category preference parsing? Category distance vectors per story?)

I have not posted yet, but agree wi... (none / 0) (#10)
by scorpion on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 07:40:41 AM EST

scorpion voted 1 on this story.

I have not posted yet, but agree with your comments. I would like to see primary,secondary,etc for posting articles. It would also help when there are categories for people to enter from the beginning instead of seeing all the articles on the front page.

Wait? Isn't the new voting method ... (none / 0) (#1)
by bmetzler on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 09:23:22 AM EST

bmetzler voted 1 on this story.

Wait? Isn't the new voting method giong to take care of this?
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.

Re: Wait? Isn't the new voting method ... (none / 0) (#18)
by ramses0 on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 11:23:35 AM EST

But still, this just brings the issue even more out to the forefront. What section should *you* vote the "Metallica v. Napster" story? Music, or politics?

I kindof like the idea of "vote which section to go into", but I think it still might have some flaws. For example: consider a story about cryptography. The warmed over average of k5 readers says: "duh, that looks like security to me. I don't want to read it, so i'll click "security". If that story was about "using Rot-13 as a secure replacement for ssh", then obviously the moderation system has failed.

One idea I had a while ago was "don't let non-readers of a section vote for stories to go into that section". It just seems polite: since you don't read the section, you don't know what's going on in that section, what the atmosphere is, what the discussions are like, etc...

I like the idea of a "major" and "minor" topic. For Metallica, I would vote "Politics, Music", which is 10x more descriptive than either one alone.

It will be very interesting to see exactly how story moderation evolves :^)=

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Wait? Isn't the new voting method ... (none / 0) (#24)
by rusty on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 10:02:45 PM EST

There will always be an "I'm not voting" vote-- a "null" category in the new system. Your vote will be gone, but you will not have actually voted anything. For just this reason-- if you don't know, then don't vote! Also, the categories will be way broader than you think-- they are not replacements for topics; they'll be more like "News", "Tech", "Media", "Discuss" and "Mindless Link Propagation" (and "Rewrite" and "Decline"). In fact, I think those probably will be the categories. So there will still be a place for topics. I like the idea of picking one or more, from a more specific list of topics. There would obviously not be big-ass icons anymore, but it could be nice for archiving and searching purposes.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I think the idea is worth a shot. ... (none / 0) (#11)
by marlowe on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 10:04:32 AM EST

marlowe voted 1 on this story.

I think the idea is worth a shot. Rounding up from +0.5
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

This just goes to show that categor... (none / 0) (#14)
by Camelot on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 10:14:08 AM EST

Camelot voted 1 on this story.

This just goes to show that categorization and classification stuff is not easy, as anyone who has ever sorted out netscape bookmarks can testify :)

Re: This just goes to show that categor... (none / 0) (#20)
by fluffy grue on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 01:24:16 PM EST

Hey, bookmarks are easy. Run a large shareware archive for nearly 3 years and tell me bookmarks are hard. (FYI: I used to run the aforementioned archive. When I inherited it from the previous maintainer, there was absolutely NO coherent organization. Users from back then will testify that for several months I spent a long time deliberating about how to classify every single file and then took the better part of a year in rearranging everything.)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

I think the multiple categories ide... (none / 0) (#5)
by eann on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 10:22:57 AM EST

eann voted 1 on this story.

I think the multiple categories idea is being folded into a future version of Scoop, as part of the concept of "sections". If this wasn't decided during the last round of feature requests, it should be. Like, soon.

I've had some trouble picking a category for a couple of my stories, too. I generally go with what I would pick as "primary", or just select one at random. It's not as if we're paying that much attention to them anyway. :)

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


How about creating a Weblog Talmud,... (none / 0) (#13)
by End on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 10:23:02 AM EST

End voted 1 on this story.

How about creating a Weblog Talmud, with thick, detailed rules for describing what stories should go under which categories ;-)

-JD

discuss, for sure. multiple choice... (none / 0) (#17)
by shevek on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 10:28:29 AM EST

shevek voted 1 on this story.

discuss, for sure. multiple choice topics?
-- Philosophy:Cosmology::Signified:Signifier

I don't think this is really necces... (none / 0) (#15)
by yebyen on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 10:39:17 AM EST

yebyen voted 1 on this story.

I don't think this is really neccesary. If there is a story about "France wants open source" then that is clearly politics to me. Listing it as software would only pollute the software section.

--
yebyen:~$ man woman
No manual entry for woman

Other Features I Want (none / 0) (#19)
by hoss10 on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 12:04:06 PM EST

I suppose this should go on scoop.kuro5hin.org
  • Editing of posts - How many times have you read a reply to a post and wished you had worded the original properly
  • A way to reply to multiple comments with one comment! - You could correct multiple comments with one comment and maybe decrease redundancy - multiple threads starting from the one comment all going over the same stuff is annoying to see

Re: Meta: Articles That Cross Categories? (3.50 / 2) (#23)
by Mrs Edna Graustein on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 06:35:54 PM EST

Why do we need the pretty pics to say which category a story belongs in- I use the story titles to see what a story is about. The only use I have for the story categories is when I am trying to search for stories on a certain topic, and as such a group of checkboxes would be more useful for me than one icon.

I also do not see the point of filtering certain articles off the front page because it is so easy for stories to overlap, and takes so little time to read a header that it is in my opinion preferable to spend 30 seconds (if that) reading a useless header than filtering out useful information. The S/N ratio on the front page is very high, and so any filter is likely to loose more S than N.
--
And if any of you put that in a .sig, I'll hunt you down and kill you twice. ;-)
Rusty

Meta: Articles That Cross Categories? | 24 comments (24 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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