Speculative fiction and its subgenres

Hmmm. As examples there were “Fantasy” and “Science fiction”. What I’d like to see as we obviously have now subcategories would be “Speculative fiction”, With subcategories for “Fantasy”, “Science Fiction”, and then those umpteen types that fit either into one of those or both or neither (under “Other” or directly): Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Alternative History, Magical Realism, Paleofiction, Horror… etc. etc.

(hmmm. title must be at least 15 characters. Why?)

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That is the Discourse default setting. I don’t think @Heather_Dudley had had time to really adjust the settings yet :slight_smile:

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Now that I’m in a sane browser, I wanted to add a comment that I personally think the main category should serve as the “Other” Category. You can’t really prevent someone from posting in a parent category (you can but it’s an administration pain in the rear) so it would just make moderation a pain as you’d probably end up having to regularly move stuff to “Other” category.

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Hmmm. I was not actually thinking it that way… I thought of “Speculative fiction” (in general) with main subs Fantasy, SciFi and (possibly) Other. And then possibly second level subcategories to these (like “Hard SciFi”, “Political Fantasy”, “Alternative History”, “Horror”).
Whatever you do, it is hard to keep the categories neat.

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Ah, that makes sense. The main issue you’ll have is eventually the navigation gets incredibly long and complex when you start adding a bunch of sub-sub categories. Some of those examples would work great as tags though.

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The way tags work, too, it tends to behave essentially as a custom forum; You could easily create your own person subforum with a tag. That’s probably how we’ll handle a lot of subgenres. This does subfora gracefully, but doesn’t do sub-sub (not even an option, it may be a possibility, but it doesn’t work well with how the categories work)

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It’s now 5. :slight_smile:

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The other nice thing about tags is that you can have a global search (if all categories is selected) or limit to a specific category. Alternative History is a good example of one that definitely works great as a tag because it could easily apply in other places like Role Playing. :slight_smile:

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You could do away with the envelope categories. Once people find the forums they’re interested in, those are pretty much the only places they go. I don’t think I’ve ever visited I Wrote a Novel, Now What? or NaNo Tips and Strategies, for instance, despite all the time I’ve spent in Novel Draft Aftercare and Ref Desk.

Just order the forums in the same way they would be with the envelope categories, and you’re set.

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The top level categories actually serve two useful purposes. It keeps the actual category list small, and they also list all threads in the category, including the subs by default. None of the sub categories have regular posts at the moment so the latter behavior isn’t obvious.

EDIT: if you go view #site-feedback it will make sense now, I also accidentally demoed another feature of Discourse LOL!

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I’m not sure that’s a good thing in instances where there are many specialized subforums. Horror genre writers won’t care about threads from the Romance or Literary genres, for instance, so there’s little value added by displaying them.

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It’s a trade off. Shorter listing on the home page but busier thread listing vs longer category list but without the thread list pollution. Unfortunately, there’s not really a one size fits all approach, and it has to take into account how moderation will be handled. :slight_smile:

Personally I’d love to see #diversions-procrastination:roleplaying not be a sub-category of games and diversions for precisely the thread pollution issues. Those forums are probably going to be a madhouse for the mods who aren’t used to how Discourse does things. It’ll be a bit of madhouse for me and I admin several Discourse instances for friends. :slight_smile:

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That’s my thinking, too. If it is a fact, as @Heather_Dudley said, that sub-sub-forums can’t be readily done, and if the point is to be able to use those sub-sub-forums, then the only option I see is chopping off the other end. Turn the forums into categories and the sub-forums into forums, which makes room for the desired sub-sub-forums as sub-forums.

The idea to use tags might work, too, but I wonder if that will be intuitive enough for the users who just want to get back to writing.

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That’s the thing, there is no difference between categories and forums in Discourse. Everything is a category. In fact if the setting wasn’t already turned off that allows it then it’s possible to have threads that don’t have a category at all. Discourse uses categories the way blogging software does rather than the way more traditional forum software does.

sub-sub-categories are possible, but it requires a plugin to do it. I use custom built Docker images for the Discourse instances I admin that include a plugin for it and enable it by default. I’m so used to dealing with those that I forgot it wasn’t part of the core :slight_smile:

Discourse has a bit of learning curve initially, but once you get used to how the parts work it actually makes sense. I think my favorite way of explaining it was what a friend told his site’s members “Think of it as a Wordpress blog with a really bizarre template that everyone is allowed to create posts on.”

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