At the time of Overgrow 1.0 everything was easy. There were walls dividing topics into categories. These walls also separated community into movements (Hydro vs Soil). I think we can design forum to be more inclusive and unite… We don’t want to define hard barriers. We want to overcome them.
Sometimes your topic fitted into more than one category, but you needed to select just one of them. Otherwise it was recognized as unwanted behaviour - cross-posting (creating duplicate posts). Our new forum has slightly different approach.
Solution - Tags
The problem of cross-posting (duplicating topics) is solved by tags. These are short descriptive keywords, relevant to your topic. You can choose them when starting (or editing) topic and if you are regular member you can also create them.
Tags help further organize topics. You can add up to 5 tags per topic.
Say you want to upload new photos of your greenhouse into galleries. You will start a topic in Gallery category and tag it #greenhouse.
It helps better usability of forum because it adds new dimension of filtering topics.
This way anybody can search for greenhouses by tag #greenhouse across all categories.
Categories are still important
Categories will continue of course, but I’ll try to limit their number. The lower the number is, more easy is to navigate through the forum. Using tags we can notice when some tag becomes popular and start category for this new topic - and keep up with trends. So please use tags so we can identify new possibilities for opening new forum categories.
Categories should be used for lively topics with at least 1 new topic per week. This way we limit the number of categories to sensible number, so you can orientate better. It is easy to get confused by high number of categories.
I’ve prepared this map of old categories (as you knew them back in pre-2006 era) to new categories.
† - Basic Growing Information -> Indoor or Outdoor #newbie
† - General Indoor Growing -> Indoor #indoor
------ Growroom Diaries -> Growroom Diaries
------ Organics -> Organics #organic or #soil
------ Micro/Fluoro -> Indoor #microgrow
† - Hydroponics -> Hydroponics #hydro
------ Organic & Aqua Hydroponics or Organics #aquaponics
† - General Outdoor Growing -> Outdoor
† - Sick Plants & Problems -> Sick Plants & Problems
† - Step-by-Step Tutorials #tutorial #stepbystep
† - Growroom Design & Setup -> Indoor #design or #setup, #equipment
------ Lighting and Ventilation -> Indoor #lighting or #ventilation
† - Adv. Tech & Experiments -> Advanced Experiments #experiment
† - Strains & Hybridization -> Breeder’s Lab
------ Breeders Lab -> Breeder’s Lab #breeding
Harvest & Photography
† - The Cannabliss Cafe -> Smoker’s Lounge
† - Smoker’s Lounge -> Smoker’s Lounge
------ Political Debate & War -> Political Debate & War or #politics
------ High Entertainment Smoker’s Lounge #fun #entertainment
† - Introduce Yourself -> Smoker’s Lounge #introduction
† - mota20’s Medical Club -> Medical Club
† - Activist Corner -> Smoker’s Lounge #legalize #activism
† - Security & Legal -> Security & Legal #security #legal
† - GrowFAQ Contributions -> GrowFAQ #faq-candidate
† - StrainGuide Improvements -> Breeder’s Lab #strainbase
† - Suggestions & Feedback -> Community #support
Just for inspiration you can use tags for various uses: