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Is it possible to find a way to more categorization of information in Imechanica?

Roozbeh Sanaei's picture

Information in Imechanica is a little dispersed it is good in its present form but is it possible to categorization of information more?


Roozbeh Sanaei's picture

There are many reasons to do so!

Zhigang Suo's picture

Dear Roozbeh:

A very good question indeed.  Do you have any specific ideas in mind?  Here are some tips about how to track conversations on iMechanica.

Some obvious categroies seem to be effective, such as the channles conferences and jobs in the header of iMechanica.  If you look at other channels, however, you will find that people have diverse interpretations.  For example, people have different views as to what kind of posts belong to the channel research

If you point the cursor of your mouse to a channel in the header, a short description of the channel will appear.  For example, the description for the channel research is "papers of interest to mechanicians".  Perhaps few people have noticed these descriptions.

Because the same post may be discovered in many ways, it is not clear if a way to categorize posts will be effective.  Teng might have this thought in mind when he pointed out this video, Everything is Miscellaneous.  This title might be inspired by a book of the same title by David Weinberger.  Chapter One of this book is free online.  Also see a video of his lecture at Google.  The reader comments on Amazon are also helpful.

For now, to look for an old post on iMechanica or anywhere on the Web, using the search box is the best bet.

Roozbeh has a good point.  However, I feel that one person's categorization (or even a committee's categories) will never be able to fully reflect all needed categories.  A case in point is the Dewey decimal system (or even the library of congress) categorization of books.  My attempt to categorize software and lecture notes on iMechanica is another such case.

The idea of using tags seems to be a decent way out, even though it's imperfect.  What we need is a tag cloud and hope that people add appropriate tags to their posts. 

It will be even better is readers can add categories to the posts that they read and keep a private list of posts and comments that they are interested in (within iMechanica rather than on or a RSS aggregator).  My current way of doing this is to use a RSS feed.  However, the feed has got so cluttered that I have a hard time finding what I want.  The same thing has happened with my bookmarks because there's no fast way of organizing them - even with tag clouds being available.

Given that we don't have much control over how Drupal does things, the only way out seems to be to accept things as they are and hope that our search keywords on iMechanica dig up what we want.

-- Biswajit 


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