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Classification and Reclassification – Categories, Tags and the End of an Era

- March 22, 2017

classification One of the hardest things to do, especially with an “everything” website like mine, is classification. Assigning articles to the right categories is hard, even more so without using tags to divide them. For me, it’s going to change soon.

I started this website with the idea that I wouldn’t use tags to divide categories. I’d never have enough categories to worry about it. I was wrong and I have some choices to make. Either I reclassify things with categories and tags or I narrow my focus.

Classification is an Annoying Task

Categories and tags are classification tools designed for visitors more than website owners. They exist to make it easier to find things. If they’re used effectively, visitors can find what they’re looking for by browsing through categories and tags way faster than using a search tool.

Since I’m not using tags, I have to pick one or more categories every time I publish an article. I’m probably right more often than I’m wrong. Some websites don’t use categories or tags and some websites use only tags. I’m not smart enough to figure out which way is best.

The End of an Era

The Open Directory Project (ODP), dmoz.org, closed on March 14, 2017 after 19 years. It was a human-edited directory and it relied on volunteers. It was the closest thing to the original Yahoo directory in existence.

Sure, there are other directories on the web, but nothing like the ODP with millions of links.

If you’ve browsed through the directory as it was, you know how hard it was to find exactly what you were looking for. That is, if it even existed.

A “frozen” copy of the ODP now exists at dmoztools.net. You can browse through it and see what’s there but I’m sure it’ll be mostly outdated within a few short years.

How can I Reclassify?

I don’t like classification to begin with and I’m sure I won’t like reclassification. I think narrowing my focus is a better idea but then, it could be pointless. I’ll explain.

I’ve lost interest in maintaining this website. Perhaps it’s because I rarely hear from anyone about it. The only reason I continue to work on it, behind the scenes, is because I like programming. It keeps me busy.

I’m retired, so I don’t have a real job anymore. Doing this has kept me busy for more than 10 years. I left my last real job in March of 2006. This is what I replaced it with.

I’m contemplating my next move, much like I would in a game of chess. I could take one or more categories and move it to a subdomain (something like tech.rtcx.net instead of www.rtcx.net) and see where that leads. I’ve done exactly that before — things didn’t work out — I might do it again just because.

This is a static website, using self-hosted WordPress as a static site generator. I have one page for all the categories. I’ve already written the script to create separate category and tag pages. I’ll have to work on the classification scheme before I go live with them, if that’s what I choose to do.

I’m seriously considering the same thing the ODP did, shutting down. The only thing I’m afraid of is having too much idle time on my hands.

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