Reorganized Discourse Categories

The IAPCT Board and the administrators of have been reorganizing the architecture of our Discourse community forum. Please examine this proposed taxonomy of categories and subcategories and discuss it here before we implement it.

  • Column A lists categories.
  • Column B lists subcategories under each category.
  • Column C indicates the current location of topics that will be relocated.

To understand the references in Column C, look at the present arrangement of categories in this other spreadsheet, or by navigating them from the top level of our Discourse forum.

The new information architecture is designed to be easier to understand and use, and therefore more welcoming; to enable more productive and interconnected discussions with fewer heedless repetitions; and to support more orderly development of the field.

In addition to categories and subcategories, you should learn how to cross-associate your topics with related topics, using tags. By using tags we can keep the number of subcategories manageable. Tags are more ad hoc, and topic titles are the most ad hoc elements in the overall information architecture.

I’m taking the liberty of replying here to a comment that Fred made by email to a smaller group. I trust that’s OK with you, Fred. It’s relevant to everyone.

On Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 3:15 PM Fred Nickols wrote:

I still like Work and Management. I also like Human Behavior and Performance in the Workplace but that’s a really long title.

Fred, those sound like names of topics under the Applications/Management subcategory, Fred.

A topic is more than an email thread. Think of a topic as an ad hoc kind of subcategory. It’s more ad hoc because the name of the topic is up to the person who first posts under that topic. (It can be revised later.) Unlike email threads, topics remain consistent and coherent around their stated subject matter, in part because a reply that changes the subject can be moved to a different topic, either an existing one or a new one.

In addition, the name of a topic doesn’t have the same restriction on length. (BTW, the administrative preference for 1- or 2-word category names serves the convenience of people who want to stick with the email interface.)