Gatherings somewhere in time and space but not on the page. March 2, 2010 12:17 PM   Subscribe

Is there a "Gatherings" link? What "categories"? Huh?

Mefi meetups get posted under the "Gatherings" category. I don't see a direct link to this anywhere except under postings already in that category.

How do I directly get to the "gatherings" category, or any category for that matter?
posted by chairface to MetaFilter-Related at 12:17 PM (11 comments total)

The quickest route to a view of just metatalk posts under one specific category heading is to click on the category name in a post with that category (this one, for example, says "Metafilter-related" in the byline and that's a clickable link).

I guess we don't have a category listing in the sidebar or on the Archives page; it might make sense to add that. In general, we haven't done a lot of work (or any, recently, that I know of) to spruce up category view stuff in Metatalk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:20 PM on March 2, 2010

That's what I suspect. Then I change my chat to a pony request to make categories useful or obvious in some way; or to just quietly take them out behind the barn and put them to rest in favor of tags.
posted by chairface at 12:55 PM on March 2, 2010

We used to have a category link in the header but they should be on the archives page.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:11 PM on March 2, 2010

I'd be in favor of making them more obvious, but not eliminating them completely. Categories work differently than tags. They're helpful here, especially because users are inconsistent regarding how thoroughly they tag their own posts.

If I want to see all posts related to "etiquette" on Mefi, for example, I can click here. I don't have to guess what random word each user may have chosen to describe their own post. It works for me.
posted by zarq at 1:12 PM on March 2, 2010

zarq, you can only click there because you put that link in your comment. That's my point. There isn't a home for those category links anywhere that I can see. If I want to see the category posting I have to find something already going to that category or maintain my own bookmarks. If there are categories with no recent posts, they aren't easy to get to. Categories are are second class citizens of post organization.

The little pony is to just make some way to get to posts in a category as a first class feature of the site. A drop down menu would be grand.

The big pony is to kill categories and change the way tags work to replace them. You still need what I said above: A drop down or other first class navigation tool. However, the categories in this tool are just tags; tags that the moderators deem worthy quick navigation. Right now, categories are a separate thing from tags and categories are mutually exclusive of each other which prevents correct categorizing of questions about etiquette of riding a hyperspace transport. It's easy to tag but it cannot be in both transportation and etiquette categories.

I hope that was clear.
posted by chairface at 2:35 PM on March 2, 2010

The little pony is pretty doable and something I don't think we have any problem figuring out. Really, it's a matter of omission—if you'd asked me point-blank, I'd have thought we had a small category listing in the metatalk sidebar.

The big pony isn't I think likely to happen. Categories as they exist right now don't cause any problems; they're at least minimally useful (though maybe we can make them more useful in the future) and historically part of the site's function, and they have the advantage of being a fixed taxonomy which tags do not. It think categories + tags (especially if we can e.g. incorporate category into search options in the future) is more useful than just one or the other, all in all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on March 2, 2010

chairface, I'm not really sure you understood what I was trying to say. I'm fine with your small pony. I think it's a good idea. I don't like your big pony idea.

I suspect eliminating categories or reverting only to tags would be problematic, for the reasons I listed above.
posted by zarq at 2:49 PM on March 2, 2010

I just added categories to the MetaTalk Archives page. So that's a permanent home you can use to get to the MetaFilter Gatherings category page.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:57 PM on March 2, 2010

Thank you, pb. :)
posted by zarq at 3:00 PM on March 2, 2010

Thanks, it's the little pony that I care about really. I think I understood you zarq and I'm not saying a set of fixed categories is bad. I'm saying the separation of categories and tags is artificial and limiting. Tags could be extended to fulfill the role of categories and do it better. However, explaining this in little ASCII blurbs is beyond my writing talents. I need a whiteboard and some vigorous hand-waving to really communicate effectively.

No matter. Thanks for reading and confirming my suspicion there wasn't a way to get to categories directly.
posted by chairface at 4:16 PM on March 2, 2010

Would it be possible to auto-include the category as a suggested tag?
posted by Karmakaze at 5:56 PM on March 2, 2010

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