6

On this thread it seems like a consensus was reached that we should begin allowing regional questions. Here is a very brief summary of the discussion:

  • There are many people visiting the site but people are losing interest because there are not enough questions to answer.
  • The low hanging fruit is being picked. Soon there will not be an extremely large amount of questions to ask. This is different that SO since the biking technology is changing much more slowly and I think in general because questions are less complex.

I think that the main problem with allowing regional questions is they are usually not relevant to users from different regions. To solve this we need some form of filtering mechanism. Ideally having some built in method would be great but in the meantime I think we should just start using tags.

I think that all regional questions should be tagged with:

  • tag: regional
  • tag: <Country> ie: Canada
  • tag: <Provence/State> ie: Ontario
  • tag: <Closest Major City> ie: Ottawa

Some questions may not require all tags. For example:

  • "Where can I order used bike parts online in Canada?" - would only require the regional and Canada tag
  • "What is a best two day trail to do within 6 hours Ottawa?" - would require the regional tag, the Canada tag, the Ontario tag, and the Quebec tag. (Ottawa is on the border of Quebec and Ontario so both provence tags would apply).
  • "Where can I find a 27 inch tube in Halifax?" would be tagged: regional,Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The logic about what questions to show users seems pretty simple too. Seems to me:

if(regionalTag)
    if(userDisplayAllRegions)
        display question in list; 
    else
        if(countryTag == usersCountryTag)
            if(provenceTag == usersProvenceTag)
                if(cityTag == usersCityTag)
                   display question in list; 

But maybe we are not allowed to touch the code. Regardless I think we should start allowing regional questions and start tagging them.

2

I like the direction your thinking is going, but a tag scheme that involves 4 out of the 5 tags a given item can have is, I think, too many. It only leaves one tag for the actual question, and we frequently need two or three.

The differences in how the hierarchy of regions works in different countries could also make this confusing. For instance, the UK consists of multiple countries.

Maybe just regional and one tag for the largest relevant area, so:

  • "Where can I order used bike parts online in Canada?" - would be tagged regional canada, and parts (and maybe something like shopping or where-to-find)
  • "What is a best two day trail to do within 6 hours of Ottawa?" - would require the regional tag, the ontario tag, the quebec tag, touring and trails. (Since it covers two regions, 3 tags total. Not sure about touring and/or trails, that could depend on the details).
  • "Where can I find a 27 inch tube in Halifax?" would be tagged: regional,halifax,shopping, tire and tube. (and might get closed for being too localized) (I could be convinced that it would be better to be tagged nova-scotia instead of halifax, but I think both is too many.)
  • 1
    I have to agree. It would be nice if we could tag questions right down to the city level where appropriate, but we don't have enough tags to do that. It's more important to tag the questions based on the content of the question. Also, maintaining a tag setup like the original question outlines would be a nightmare. – Neil Fein Dec 10 '10 at 2:20
  • But I think the community wil lose traction if we do not allow regional tags. We need a system that ensures that no question is to localized. Biking is localized by nature. Can we add more tags (say a limit of 9) or can we add a specific kind of location tag? It seems to me that other sites are going to start having similar problems. Cooking - where can I get ___. Finance and money seems to depend a lot on location (tax stuff). Homebrew also probably has a significant locational component. – sixtyfootersdude Dec 11 '10 at 16:08
  • You also might have a problem if you tag something as Halifax, as the one in Nova Scotia is named after this one en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax,_West_Yorkshire in West Yorkshire and there are also a number of Halifax's in the US too. – Amos Dec 12 '10 at 20:33
1

Following on from Freiheit's answer, I think that there should be the regional tag and then the country. You can specify a smaller (or larger) geographic area by the question - When looking at other SE sites I will filter on Australia, knowing that due to the relatively small numbers of questions tagged with this I can easily filter out by the question whether or not I would be interested in it. I cannot see myself ever wanting to filter on a smaller area, say Victoria, since while I know most about my home state, I also know just from interacting with others a lot about what goes on interstate.

  • I agree with this - limiting it to 'regional' and 'country' removes the issue of many countries sharing city/county names. – Kevin Dec 13 '10 at 20:46

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