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question about directory arrangement

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question about directory arrangement
Hey,

Getting ready to launch a site driven by Links SQL and had a question about what directory arrangement I should pursue. I'm interested in your thoughts for the best way to streamline this in terms of usability and minimizing directory size.

Here's what I want to happen:

Users will post listings (think classifieds) based on their college and the subject the listing pertains to.

Students can then go to each college's directory listing, and be presented with listings by subject category.

So, a student at Ohio State looking for a Chemistry book could go to:
example.com/USA/OH/Ohio_State

and then browse the subject listings and select

example.com/USA/OH/Ohio_State/Chemistry

Each school would have the same broad subjects, about 80 or so (I'm not up for the task of getting every individual subject for each college, at least not yet). Multiply that by about 800 schools and that's about 64000 categories to start.

The only thing that bugs me is the mass duplication of these 80 subject categories or so. I wasn't sure if there was a better way to approach this.

One thought is to not create a category for each subject, but allow the users to select a subject field for each listing. Then when a user visits a specific college in the directory, they will be presented what looks like a typical directory with all the subjects (think 2 or 3 columns), but clicking on each respective subject will simply run some type of search or filter to display only the listings from that institution for that specific subject.

I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on an arrangement I could use.

Robert
http://www.pcprofiles.com
PC Profiles and hardware reviews

Last edited by:

Robert_B: Jun 24, 2005, 7:50 AM
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Re: [Robert_B] question about directory arrangement In reply to
Bump...

Robert
http://www.pcprofiles.com
PC Profiles and hardware reviews
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Re: [Robert_B] question about directory arrangement In reply to
Hi Robert,

Quote:
Each school would have the same broad subjects, about 80 or so (I'm not up for the task of getting every individual subject for each college, at least not yet). Multiply that by about 800 schools and that's about 64000 categories to start.

The only thing that bugs me is the mass duplication of these 80 subject categories or so. I wasn't sure if there was a better way to approach this.
You might just want to call Andy your life saver. He has a Multi Category plugin, which I believe can do the task of adding 64000 plugin one of the easiest thing.

Quote:
what looks like a typical directory with all the subjects (think 2 or 3 columns), but clicking on each respective subject will simply run some type of search or filter to display only the listings from that institution for that specific subject.
Not sure how would you make it look like it without having to add all those categories.


If I were you I would
1) Use Andy Plugin
2) Display the number of links in each category, so users know what categories are empty.
3) Let users add their listing in their desired category
4) Keep up with the listing validation part.

I am no GLinks Expert, but hope this helps.

Vishal

Vishal
-------------------------------------------------------
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Re: [Robert_B] question about directory arrangement In reply to
I suppose DBManSQL would be your friend.
It would be easier to solve this kind of database structure with DBManSQL, instead of LSQL.

Otherwise you would need a filtering plugin, for which I have plans in my mind, but it's far from starting its development.


Just my 2 cents.

Best regards,
Webmaster33


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Re: [Robert_B] question about directory arrangement In reply to
Hi,

This is a big problem for a lot of sites.

You want to have a format, either alpha or by region, but by the time you get to the "leaf" nodes, you have loads of duplicate and redundant and empty categories, giving a very thinly populated directory.

There are a number of ways of doing this.

In your case, you want it listed by school, I'm assuming so students can meet each other, and not have pay shipping (eg: books)

example.com/USA/OH/Ohio_State/Chemistry

example.com/USA/OH/Ohio_State/Books

Would be a better format. Within books, you can divide the area up into a large number of ctaegories, *or* you can simply add a drop down field that has all the categories, and allow users to search the books category and limit it by category.

That would provide a large category of books, that is keyworded by topic, rather than categorized by topic.

You also need to allow the user to enter a few other keywords, as not all books, especially in esoteric areas or language, fit into a single category.

By using a subcategory "Books" even if that is all your site is about, will allow you to add in things like Clothing, Course Kits, Models or such that are needed by some classes and which are not books.

On the other hand, if you don't think people are going to be browsing by school, (but they probably will) you can layout the site by category and topic, then add the school or even town as the keyword.

This makes a lot of very fat categories, that are "filtered" by several keyword fields.

It makes the directory look much, much "fatter" and less sparse.

You can also pull out stats for the main pages, or by state, showing the number of schools and items available in each.

Personally, I'd do it that way, so people looking for rare or hard to find items may find them at another school, much more easily, simply by not limiting the search to a geographic area.

You populate several databases -- States, Cities, Schools, etc. You use javascript list boxes to help populate the select boxes depending on user preferences. It's a bit more work to set up, in the templates, but it makes the back end very easy, and once set up, it doesn't have to be redone.

You can store the user preferences in their profile, so a user doesn't have to enter their geographic regions for their default searches. You can also store a list of recent searches for the user, and other features. You can add in email notifications if someone posts an item they might be interested in, etc.

Good luck :)


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