What makes a category "inactive"?

As we add more and more categories we should try and clean up the ones that already exist so the list on the front page looks nicer.

My proposal is that we should archive:

  • Categories that have not had any activity in a few months
  • Categories where the owner no longer needs it, but has a decent amount of posts in it

delete categories:

  • That have never been used
  • That have had little use and the posts are not really valuable

There are also some categories where they are so low traffic that a single thread would suffice. For subcategories we can merge threads back into the main category.

I’m not sure we’re in a position to make that judgement, and even if we were I think the only posts we should be deleting are ones which are very obviously spam.

More generally I’m not sure archiving is necessarily the correct action for us to be taking with inactive categories. If a category is inactive because of a now-finished event or a retired project, then I think that’s an appropriate use of archiving, but if it’s just not seeing much traffic, then I think we should look to other options.

Combining with other categories, or merging subcategories into the parent category is certainly an option. I think this is also an area where we should be looking at tagging. I expect a number of the categories in #communities aren’t seeing much action, I know #communities:uk isn’t, and here using tags like #uk, #north-america and so on, I think, makes a lot more sense.

I think there are other arguments for implementing tagging (such as giving users and communities more control over categorisation without requiring our intervention, and them being able to span across categories), but they probably belong in a tagging proposal post.

As for dealing with inactive categories at the moment, I think we should be clearing up any unused empty ones, slimming down on the number of subcategories we’re handing out (and currently using) and archiving anything retired or expired, and then see where that leaves us.

I agree on not removing. Archiving for historical purposes should be enough.

When to archive? My proposal would be:

  • When the category maintainer request it. (Probably requiring the team in charge to agree on a “Goodbye topic”)
  • When there is no activity in the last 3 months and the maintainer is no responding.
  • When a project is over and the maintainer or the team in charge of the project decides so.
  • When a category remains empty during 2 months after open it.
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