Ning has a new feature--the ability to create categories for forum discussions. When you post a new discussion, you have the option of choosing a category. I believe I have to create the categories--and, unfortunately, put past posts into the appropriate categories! (That won't happen overnight...)

I created a couple of categories already. One is "Introductions," and while I only expect one original post there, I think it makes sense. I also created "Help Needed" for when you are asking for help or feedback, and "Site Features Discussion" to talk about this site and how we can improve it. There is also a "Site Announcements" category (which I'm using right now), that only I can post to (although anyone can reply/comment on). You'll need to reply here and let me know what other categories you want.

The value, I believe, of the categories is that you can subscribe to the RSS feed just of certain categories, if you like. It doesn't appear to affect the way the discussions appear on the front page, but if you look at them under the Forum page, you will see that they separate out.

Let me know what you think.

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How about a category to point people to an interesting article, Website, tool, or blog entry. Maybe you could call it "Check this out!"
OK, I called it "News or Noteworthy"
The categories really make the forum more manageable. It is great...I think the topics you have are fine and that as the forum develops the categories will become clearer.
I like the categories, but I was getting everything in the forums sent to my aggregator, and that clearly has stopped working since the categories appeared. I will subscribe to the various categories, but there may be some confused people for a while.
Is this your feed address: ""?

This is the feed Ning now shows for what would appear to be all forum discussions. Possibilities: 1. They have a problem; 2. They changed the feed for the general listings; or 3. This is a new feed address and I need to let everyone know about it...
I checked my original feed for the forums and it matches the one I just posted, and it seems to be working to catch all categories... ?
Hmmm... Must have been a problem on my end. Unfortunately, I erased the original feed when I subscribed to the categories, so I can't compare. Thanks for checking!
Would you consider a category for specific academic content areas (science, math, social science, etc), and then some that are more broad, such as career education ideas or developing student independence? I'm sure there are some content-specific educators here who may like that type of organization.

Perhaps also: "Elementary Corner" or "Secondary Posts"? I know those terms are more predominately used in the US, and maybe somone will suggest terms that are a little more neutral. Another possible category may be related to parents' issues.
So, could we get to a point where we might have too many categories? When would that point be? If we had ones for specific academic content areas, it would really lengthen the list.

I think what may help is that Ning is going to introduce "groups," so we can have a specific group for math, science, etc. I think that may take care of this particular need.

The other thing we can do it so encourage tagging. For instance, if something might be both "Elementary Corner" and also "Help Wanted," how would someone choose? I think it would make sense to start using and to encourage some tags instead of categories.

What say you?



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