I want to take a little time to explain to the community why we have implemented the categories, and their significance in our mission of building a permanent archive of O gauge content.|
When you start collecting large amounts of items, one of the first things you learn is that you need to get organized with them. Coin collecting, for example, will quickly overwhelm you if you're not organizing the coins in some fashion. I would imagine most people would organize their coins by year or era, and perhaps then by denomination (quarters, dimes, etc.). Can you imagine if you just kept saving all of your computer files in the highest-level directory ("root" folder) on your hard drive? Very soon you would find yourself swimming in an ocean of files, unable to locate what you need and in fact losing valuable content over time. You need folders and sub-folders to keep your computer files organized, so that you can find them in the future.
The same thing applies to collecting large numbers of topics in an online archive like this one: organization is key to retaining topics on a permanent basis. The categories we have created can be thought of as folders, or directories of topics. The difference is that we can cross-reference any topic to any number of categories, and the J&C Studios Archive lets individual members cross-reference their own topics to whichever categories they feel are good fits. When you post a new topic, a pop-up window asks you which categories to place the topic into. Also, you can come back to older topics and cross-reference them at any time - there is a button at the top of your topics called "Cross-Reference This Topic", which brings up the same pop-up window. You can remove the topic from categories, or add it to others.
I encourage you to use this tool, and I also encourage you to give some good thought to which categories your topics should belong. If you're not sure, please don't hesitate to ask - I'm here to help: email@example.com.
We also need to act as a community to create new categories, and perhaps re-name others, or split existing categories into multiple new ones, or even merge multiple categories into a single one. Although the word "archive" conjures imagery of an old, dusty library or warehouse, this is an online archive, and as such, it is very much a living collection that can and will change as we continuously add more and more content to it. If you have an idea for a new category, or an idea about how to alter our categories, please don't hesitate to ask me about it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords and Search Engines
The categories serve another useful purpose, and that is helping the various pages of this archive to get indexed and searchable by the various internet search engines. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. are constantly reviewing this site to assess each page in terms of its merit for the keywords people are typing into the search engines. Keep this in mind when you are writing articles or topics for the archive: what keywords are people going to enter into search engines to try to find your article? The more times that keyword appears in your article, the higher "page rank" it will receive for that keyword.
This can lead to some odd paragraphs if taken to the extreme, so don't over-do it. But thinking in terms of keywords can help you realize why you're writing the article, and who your audience is, and this usually improves the quality of your topic.
If you have any questions about categories, keywords (or anything else for that matter), drop me a line: email@example.com