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Old_Timer's avatar

Why are there so many redundant or overlapping topics here?

Asked by Old_Timer (163points) July 29th, 2013

I’m new here, and somewhat overwhelmed. Part of the reason is the number of topics. I go to look at Computer topics to follow. I find “computer”, “computers” and “computers.”, along with dozens of others. Why?
And is there some way I can just choose all computer related topics without having to go down the list, following each one individually?

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20 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The topic / filing system is overlapping because the person asking the question has control of the topic / filing tag.
There is no combine / similar word function that I know of. Maybe someone else can shed light on something that would work.

Old_Timer's avatar

So do I understand that I could ask a question, and choose a topic for it totally out of the blue? Just make it up in my head, as they say? Wow.

glacial's avatar

@Old_Timer Correct, although the mods do make some effort to clear out the redundant ones from time to time. Occasionally, this has resulted in consternation among users, who like to keep esoteric, or funny made-up categories in the mix, and I think the rules about creating categories has relaxed somewhat for this reason.

janbb's avatar

The topics are all over the place and not being very controlled or edited at this point since the site is not being developed. Mostlikely if you search just one topic like “computers’ you should get most of the qeustions on that topic. Also, remember to look at the list of “Related” questions that come up in the sidebar when you find a question that interests you.

marinelife's avatar

Sory, it is because people self tag their questions instead of selecting.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

It’s a great question, though.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m a topic editor, but it really is not controlled well. We were on a path to have more control over it and more consistency, but then that kind of fell apart. I still edit at times. If I see only one topic for a Q, or an excessive amount that make no sense, I still edit. “Computers” is such a broad topic anyway. You can go to the top right search box and put in a couple key words and you should get questions that have used those two or three words.

janbb's avatar

@jleslie Me too and I agree with you.

@marinelife It is also because the established topics lists are all over the place; e.g., they have psychology and psycology as topics.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, and welcome to fluther @Old_Timer! Give us a chance, we have a lot of great people on this site.

Berserker's avatar

One thing I believe is important to mention is that those weren’t always ’‘topics’’. There was a change some years ago, before that I think topics were something like interests, and even places where we’ve lived. So back then, people wrote down stuff they were into or know about, and more than one person could pick the same thing. Eventually it got turned into a tag system, using all the interests and stuff that people previously used. So there’s some kind of transition that went from one purpose to another, using the same material.

I’m unclear of the exact details, that was a while back, I’ll also stand corrected if I’m spreading misinformation. I also know that writing down a new tag that isn’t in our library seems to be a bit of work to whoever manages this…say if I write ’‘kitteh’’ and it isn’t there, it needs to be approved or something. my ’‘under the stairs’’ as places I’ve lived seems to have vanished.

augustlan's avatar

Yeah, this is how we end up with topics like seahorse porn and dick punches. :p

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Old_Timer Yes, you can choose to include topics that have nothing to do with your question. For instance, you could have listed cat poo as a topic on this question. Some of us do things like that, just for a giggle, but others choose not to.

marinelife's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I, as a topic editor, delete those when I see them. It is discouraged.

glacial's avatar

@marinelife Party pooper! :P

Coloma's avatar

What does this dream mean?
“Does he/she like me?”
Jesus mercy, make them STOP! lol

ucme's avatar

I like using daft topics in my questions but frequently they’re removed, some of the time other users like minded topics are left alone…work that one out, if you can be bothered.

Buttonstc's avatar

It’s all part of the whimsically charming and quirky nature of the Flutherverse.

It may not be the most efficient , but its ours and we’ve grown rather fond of it (sort of like a beloved but rather daft aging Aunt whose mind sort of meanders from time to time but still retains her charms)

Does that help you feel any better about it? Maybe not, but it was worth a shot :)

Welcome to our unique little corner of the Internet. Stick around a while. It kinda grows on ya.

Old_Timer's avatar

Thanks everybody. I appreciate all the great answers. I guess I understand a little better now.
And I think maybe I’m starting to see fewer trees and a little more of the forest. Perhaps…..

janbb's avatar



WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@janbb You forgot bear poop.

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