We’re trying to revamp the Popcorn Dialogues site, and it’s making us look at websites in general and PopD in particular in a new light. The current topic is “categories” as we try to figure out the best way to organize the site. We’ll be tagging the posts, so this isn’t about searching for a topic, it’s about how the overall organization of the posts work. The problem is that Lani and I define the site in different ways.
I think of the site as a teaching/research resource and that categories are part of the description of the site: you read the title and subtitle and then you look at the categories to see a breakdown description of the elements that make up this site. So I think the categories should be the different genres we’ll be studying—Action-Adventure, Comedy, Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal, Romance—so that people will see that we’re looking at kinds of stories to analyze them, and then click on a category to see what we’ve done in that genre.
Lucy thinks of PopD as a show, and that people want to access what the episodes are about, so she sees categories as more of an episode guide. She feels that categories should offer a different way of accessing the information on the site, rather than just replicating content material that you can already access through a search (should you know what you want) or a tag cloud (should you just want to browse). So, for instance, we did a series on romantic comedy; that should be one category. If we do a series on British Romantic Comedy, that would be another category; if we do a series of Robert Downey, Jr. movies, that should be a category.
What we’ve realized is that our backgrounds are affecting the way we view the project. Lucy has a background in television production so she sees the site as presenting a show. I have a teaching background, so I see the site as a learning resource. It’s entirely possible we’re both wrong. So of course we turned to you all (you all being the Argh People, the Betties, and the PopD people; this is simultaneously posted on all three sites).
So here are the questions we have:
1. How do you use categories on a blog; that is, what are you looking for when you look at a blog’s category list?
2. Popcorn Dialogues is a website that posts a weekly podcast of two writers talking about a movie they’ve just seen in order to understand story better. If you went to that site, what categories would be most helpful to you? (The podcasts will all be tagged for search purposes.)
So here the tentative plan:
Categories by genre because that’s how bookstores and video stores are organized, so it’s the default way to search for story.
An Index Page at the top that lists all the movies in alphabetical order with links to their posts.
A Series Page that lists all the series in alphabetical order with the movies under them and links to their posts.
Tags for craft and content.
How’s that sound?
And we thank you for your support.