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PVA - Jim

Forum Tagging System

Question

This was in another thread, but felt it merited it's own discussion:

 

On 6/13/2017 at 5:01 PM, bcd said:

Speaking of tags - I like the idea but wonder if there any editorial oversight on these. I find myself tagging posts hopefully but I'm aware that it's an adhoc effort. Perhaps a menu of possible tags would be helpful or the presence of an editor who could amend imprecise tags and add additional ones where necessary. 

 

 

4 hours ago, Christiaan said:

I agree, I would like there to be some editorial oversight, consistency and predictive tags. 

 

Tags have really been relegated to individual use for now. For instance the default search doesn't search tags.

 

But overseeing tags is a pretty big management task and the idea is that they should be flexible, having a pre-configured list would go against this principle.

 

So maybe the process could be:

  1. Guidance on the use and creation of tags is written up. As one example, I think we should refer to official names like "wall tool" rather than "walls" when talking about the tool in VW, or "digital terrain model" rather than "site model". Another example would be to keep tags to a minimum, so for instance there's probably no point in using "vectorworks" or in using "double" + "triple"  when all you need is "glazing". Maybe the guidance would be different for each sub-forum, maybe not.
  2. People can create new tags or choose from a list of existing tags, that appear as a list when you start typing.
  3. Moderators would be able to edit tags after they're added to posts, working to the guidance. They would consolidate tags, remove tags, add tags. Basically keep the tag list on topic and within the guidance.
  4. With this in place then maybe tags could also be included in the default search.

 

 

I've been rolling the Tag system around in the (admittedly very chaotic) back of my mind for awhile now. A lot of other projects have my attention at the moment, but it's definitely something we should be using more productively. 
 

Things to consider:

 

1) The Tag system can, and does function completely separate from the rest of the index. Searching for a Tag has to be done separately in the Advanced search, I can't choose to roll it into the general search as things stand right now, though this may be configurable by the Web team later. 


2) The current Forum tech supports both Open tagging which is what we have now, where anyone can tag anything they like with any words they like and Closed tagging where an admin sets what tags can be used and users must pick from a predefined list. We elected to go with the Open system for the time being for the most user-customizability. Unfortunately there is no middle ground option at the moment where users can easily suggest tags and have them approved by mods quickly, they would all have to be wishlist items or something similar which I think would muddy things up more than it would help.

3) There are settings for both minimum and maximum tags. I think a setting of 4-5 max makes sense but I see no reason to FORCE users to pick a minimum amount of tags.

4) After doing this kind of user relation work for a very long time, I can assure you that there is no way to create a set of tagging rules and get the whole community to follow them, (herding cats and all that) and placing that responsibility on Mods is a bigger job than it might seem. Traffic on the Forum is way up (which is good) and with the rate of registration rising as well it likely will become a mountain of work to manage very soon. However, there are a few automated tagging solutions created by IPS community members that I could look into, I think without automation a Closed system would fall apart or be of limited use rapidly.

However, at the end of the day the goal is making it as quick and easy as possible for anyone to find what they're looking for, as the Forums now dominate the majority of Google search results related to Vectorworks that don't land on youtube or the main website, and I am open to any additional categorization that helps the average user get what they need.

All thoughts, suggestions, agreements, and disagreements welcome below! Since this is a very community-centric feature, it only makes sense that the community it is intended to serve have a great deal of input on it's design.

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4 minutes ago, JimW said:

2) The current Forum tech supports both Open tagging which is what we have now, where anyone can tag anything they like with any words they like and Closed tagging where an admin sets what tags can be used and users must pick from a predefined list. We elected to go with the Open system for the time being for the most user-customizability. Unfortunately there is no middle ground option at the moment where users can easily suggest tags and have them approved by mods quickly, they would all have to be wishlist items or something similar which I think would muddy things up more than it would help.

 

Absolutely the right choice in my opinion. Much rather have an open system than a closed one. A closed system would soon become redundant if not updated.

 

9 minutes ago, JimW said:

4) After doing this kind of user relation work for a very long time, I can assure you that there is no way to create a set of tagging rules and get the whole community to follow them, (herding cats and all that) and placing that responsibility on Mods is a bigger job than it might seem. Traffic on the Forum is way up (which is good) and with the rate of registration rising as well it likely will become a mountain of work to manage very soon. However, there are a few automated tagging solutions created by IPS community members that I could look into, I think without automation a Closed system would fall apart or be of limited use rapidly.

 

Exactly. 

 

It's a shame there's no middle ground. I wouldn't actually want a system that required mods to approve tags, even if they could do it quickly. I'd rather just have an open messy system that mods then clean up periodically afterwards. Even if was simply consolidating similar tags. This might mean that sometimes a user is presented with multiple tags for the same thing but in the long run it would self-correct as people get used to using the officially blessed tag for any given topic.

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yes to all this. I see it as a 2-sided question. Tag Editor & Tagger.

 

Tag Editor:

I could image a tag-bot similar to a spell check, where the editor/moderator is presented with a trawl of all the tags and has the option to ignore, learn, replace.

Tagger:

An editor would be presented with tagwords from the bodytext of an untagged post and would have the opportunity to allocate a tagword based not on the content, which will be visible to the search engine, but on the intention. AI anybody?

 

 

 

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