Categories and tags are the organizational building blocks of this discussion space. However, the distinction between the two can be challenging to understand at first.
Categories are static, broad sections that organize topics at the most basic level. They necessarily remain broad, because topics can be assigned no more than one category. As Discourse developer codinghorror puts it, “Categories are like walls. Build 4 and you have a nice house; build 24 and you have a maze.” We want the basic walls to allow for some necessary sorting, but nothing more.
Tags, on the other hand, are much more flexible. They fill in all the gaps and can reflect different levels of specificity. Tags could pertain to a particular event, a location, a user group, a project, the language of the post, and anything in between. Topics can have many tags assigned to them, and the maximum number of tags allowed per post is configurable.
The original categories and tags in the Wikimedia Space prototype have been intentionally kept to a minimum. Individuals, groups and communities will be critical in building this framework to best suit your needs.
If you have an idea for a category or tag that would enable you to better participate and connect, please become a part of the discussion below.