Okay, driving the Tangent Train back onto the tracks....

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Mar 6 00:47:39 EST 2003


I think I have a good solid base now for categorizing stories to my
satisfaction.  Here is how my system works: (and I'm forcing you all to read
this because I'm going to beg and whine for help again)

There are three levels of categories, which work essentially the way
scientific nomenclature works, only without the Latin, which I never was
allowed to learn in school.  The first level is *very* general, with room
for different types of media (magazine, comic book, newspaper) as well as
broad categories of books: fiction, non-fiction, biography, poetry,
reference, role-playing.  I only recently realized the possibilities of an
extra level of categorization, so it's a little scanty now.  The program
refers to it as Type.

So then the second level is slightly more refined (Category) but still
refers to broad classes of written material: subcategories of fiction, most
of the big Dewey second-tier classes, stuff like that.

The third level is my attempt to subdivide the Categories into useful but
still broad Subcategories: in Science we have Biology, Botany, Physics, etc.
Science fiction and fantasy have most of those useful subclasses Jon
proposed.  And so forth.  The good thing is that occasionally I find that I
need to elevate a Subcategory to a Category, and that's really easy to do.

Refining the database further requires keywords, so that ultimately you
could create a search that would return exactly one result out of all the
hundreds of records.  But mostly, I want to be able to see loosely-related
groups of books; I want to specify Alien Encounters and see all the books I
have on that broad topic.  (Sometimes I don't know what I'm in the mood
for.)

The on-topic thing is that of all the DWJ books in the database (and there
aren't many; I've just reached the 'D' section, and the DWJ books are just
the ones I had purchase records for) not ONE of them seems to fit into a
good subcategory.  I dislike the messiness of seeing [none] as one of the
subheadings in a category report.  I'm trying to leave alone the books that
don't easily fall into a category, but it's starting to get on my nerves
that all of my favorites seem to defy description.

So, does this make sense, what I'm aiming for here?  The keywords generate
very specific results, but I like being able to group books by general topic
or theme or whatever.  And defining a subcategory that is "books that just
give you that strange but hauntingly beautiful feeling" is probably going to
strain the limits of even my favorite program.  Anyway, if anyone has any
thoughts on how to arrange DWJ books in relation to others, I'd love to hear
about it.

Melissa Proffitt
<toot toot>

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English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, hits them over the head and goes through their pockets for loose vocabulary.

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