Organizing Articles

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Overview

Users can add content to and navigate sasCommunity.org via the use of categories and sub-categories. The use of categories is sometimes called or referred to as tagging and can provide a very robust and flexible technique that allows anyone to create an entry on the Wiki and have it appear in the appropriate contexts without requiring the intervention of another person or a page owner to add a link to their page.

An Example: Categories to Facilitate Access to User Group Pages

sasCommunity.org has a category for Events which is one of the links in the main menu box on the left hand side of the page (in the default skin). And that category has several subcategories, e.g.,

This allows any user (e.g., from a local, regional, company, etc. User Group) wants to add a page for their event, they can have it appear on the appropriate category page. For example, if a representative from a local user group added a page for their event and tagged it with [[Category:Local User Group Meeting]], it would automatically be listed in the page for that category. And navigating to that page is simple:

At which point the user can see a list of all local user group meetings with pages on sasCommunity.org. And for the groups they are interested in, they can use the Watch tab so they are notified whenever the page changes (e.g., it has been updated to reflect the date and time of the next meeting).

Defining and Using Categories

The entire organization of the site can be defined and handles using categories. Any category can be treated as:

  • An entity in, and of, itself.
  • A sub-category of one or more parent categories. A sub-category is simply a category which is a member of another category.

A category can be associated with multiple parent categories and any page or article can be associated with multiple categories. And the same categories can be used in multiple ways. And categories can be defined and used as needed:

  • Examine the list of currently defined/used categories. This list parenthetically includes the number of times this category has been referenced on a page.
  • The list includes categories that are wanted. They are wanted, since someone has tagged a page with the category, but the category page has not been defined.
  • And since any category can belong to any other category (e.g., it can be seen as a Subcategory, you can also see the list of categories that have no parents. Typically these will be Categories that have an explicit link to them in a prominant place (e.g., in the main menu box).

And categories can be used to classify or organize the content in many different ways. For example, a category that is associated with a particular SAS product can be used to categorize or classify:

  • Books
  • Training Classes (or any event for that matter)
  • Presentations at User Group Meetings
  • A member of sasCommunity.org
  • A company that has expertise in the use of that product
  • and so on, and so on . . . .

Navigating sasCommunity.org using Categories

Consider the following example where a user attended a Presentation and the presenter told the attendees the link to the sasCommunity.org page that had all the materials related to the presentation (of course, a user could also find it via Search). Upon visiting that page, the user would see, in addition to the content, the categories that page has been tagged with. Those categories listed might include:

  • Products or features addressed (e.g., ODS).
  • The conference or conferences at which the presentation was made (e.g. SAS Global Forum and SESUG).
  • A topical list (e.g., Techniques to Optimize Performance)
  • and so on, and so on . . . .

The user could click on the category for the feature (e.g., ODS) and then see all the pages or articles that were 'tagged' for that category. The user might find:

  • Books on the topic.
  • Sample SAS code or tools related to the product.
  • Training classes on the topic.
  • sasCommunity.org members with expertise on the topic.
  • Companies that have expertise on the use of the product
  • and so on, and so on . . . .

Any number of paths can be followed by the user in order to discover more about any area they are interested in.

Summary

The implications and benefits of using categories to manage the organization and navigation include:

  • Complete flexibility that will allow any user to contribute pages containing information that can be linked to by navigating from any appropriate context (e.g. by Product, by Event).
  • Minimal overhead because it is the responsibility of the user to add or edit their page and have it linked from the appropriate context.
  • Enables the top-level constructs to be centrally maintained and administered by a small set of site administrators without restricting users ability to add links to them for their content.