Do we need different discussion categories?

I was just noticing that we have 145 topics in the “General Austin” category and a total of 4 topics in the remaining ~17 categories.

Perhaps we could take a look at the existing discussions and classify them into buckets that help us browse and explore the forum more easily?

Yeah, we probably don’t need the different categories. We could just delete all of the unused ones even? Otherwise, if there’s any categories that make sense to you, just let me know.

I think we could benefit from some sort of “official business” topic, where things like FAN meetings, external presentations, and internal votes are announced.

It might be also helpful for final Resolution language to get a top-level post in an official channel as well in conjunction with a vote being sent out. There could be links to relevant discussions elsewhere on the forum (or externally) - it can be hard to tell which posts are leading to these sorts of resolutions versus just information.

There’s then the dilemma of double relevance - Like say some FAN members were giving a presentation to an existing Neighborhood Association. It could be somewhat considered “Official Business” but also relevant to the people who subscribe to that neighborhood as they may want to show up to the meeting to show support, or ask further questions.

I think it would also be wise to promote to users that they update their “subscription” preferences, perhaps in that sticky about email subscriptions, and show them how they can prioritize topics from within their profile by identifying which kinds of topics they would like “Watched”“Tracked” & “Muted”

So, I saw this on the Discourse Meta forum, and it’s an awesome analogy that illustrates the intention of the software’s creators.

What if the categories were based on the types of conversations we want to encourage in our neighborhoods? At first, I looked at our Vision for guidance:

[…]we support the kinds of changes that will enhance the affordability, inclusivity, connectivity, mobility, and quality of life in our neighborhoods.

That seems to be the closest thing to topics or “areas of interest”, yet they’re overlapping and not mutually exclusive. After a short 6 months of observing and participating in this group, here’s how I think things could be organized:

  • Live (Housing, Developments, Diverse Neighborhoods, Sars, etc.)
  • Work (Commuting, Better Builder Program, Parking Space Requirements, etc.)
  • Play (Nightlife, Festivals, Recreation, Parks, etc.)
  • Travel (Bicycle Master Plan, Ridesharing, Rail Bond, etc.)
  • Us (Announcements, Meetings, etc.)

Or maybe we’d be better with tossing categories out the window and going with tags instead? Idk.

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What do you think our topics should be changed to? If I can remember where that’s changed, I think I can easily change it. =)

FAN Announcements

I somehow missed the rest of your message in my email, but what about the following? Is that too many?

Is there a need for General? I think General is a category that you can’t delete in the options.

Work and Jobs
FAN Announcements

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I would definitely favor the use of tags instead of categories, based on the rationale of the creators of Discourse cited by @skylar_buffington. It’s not like we’re getting overloaded with messages at this point. So let’s not erect “walls” around our conversations.