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We need to add tips on how the Library of Congress Authorities (subject headings catalog online) helps to find useful, standardized category titles. Ritcheymt 08:24, 24 January 2008 (MST)



On each category page we create, we should add text to the category page which tells where we got the heading or what our decision making process was in taking ideas from FHLC, LC, and other sources to create the new heading/category.  That way, people who are tempted to rename a category can at least see the thought process that went into the name so far. Ritcheymt 08:30, 25 January 2008 (MST)



Realizing just how huge the issue of categorization is, I took a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Categorization#When_to_use_categories to try to figure out what information we need on our site.

I need help!

This page is 5297 words long. If pasted into MS Word, it would take up 17 pages.

Now I know what you're thinking: "C'mon Mike, what are you worried about? Our users can't possibly need all that information." And I agree. But now try reading it. There are some issues you can pretty easily redline, saying "This is advanced stuff we won't need until the site matures." But really. Try to cut it down to its simplest elements. Try to whittle it down to, say, three or four screens worth of information. You'll find yourself cutting information that our editors will be asking for within weeks months.

So the knee-jerk reaction may be "Okay, let's just make a simple page on our wiki that links to the one on WikiPedia and let our users use their guidelines." But it's not that simple, either — the page contains the following elements which give information that's not germaine to our site, such as:

  • Examples that are non-genealogical (it's hard for the reader to imagine how these examples would apply to our genealogical content)
  • Links and processes which rely on bots we don't have.
  • Links and processes which rely on templates we don't have.
  • Links and processes which rely on tags we don't employ.
  • ...and all these require a myriad of other supporting pages we don't have.

And there's another problem. Since we don't use the GNU license, we can't even copy sections of the text and republish them on our site. So everything will have to be written from scratch to avoid violating fair use. Ritcheymt 15:57, 25 January 2008 (MST)


Hi all,

I just wanted you to know of a mistake I made so that hopefully what I learned will help you (and save you lots of time and anguish) when you create category names.

When it was time to name the category for the country we live in, I was told that the term "United States" didn't just apply to our country, but to another one as well. I thought it would therefore be a swell idea to call the category "United States of America." It's the real name of our country, after all, so this name should help distinguish between our country and that other country whose people know it as the United States (of something or other).

Well, as fate would have it and as anybody with better intelligence than mine would predict, some folks created a United States category. The last time I checked, it was associated with 17 articles. When I saw it, I thought, "Gee, I really need to have a talk with those folks so I can bring them into the fold and we can merge these two categories."

Lately, though, I've been thinking my choice of category names is going to present search problems for those who just use the terms "united states." So I checked the Library of Congress authorities to see what they use. Sure enough, United States of America is listed with zero bibliographic entries, with a See Also that leads to United States, which has gobs of bib entries.

So now the wiki has a long list of articles associated with United States of America which need to be disassociated with that category and associated with United States instead....

....but I'm not going to touch this yet. First I'm going to figure out whether we want to implement Wikipedia's page=category instead of page is related to category philosophy. Because if we're going to go that route, I don't want to recategorize things twice.

Anyway, just thought I'd share this with you in case it helps in your work. Ritcheymt 12:26, 12 February 2008 (MST)

All articles have been from Category:United States of America have been recategorized as Category:United States. The United States of America category has been deleted. Molliewog 10:48, 17 March 2008 (MDT)



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