Definitely agree with the need for synonym functionality - we’ll need to put some thought into making it clear and escapable (so we don’t give people news about the L.A. Lakers when they just want a nice cut of beef).
Just a thought - we need to decide how strict these categories are, with regards to cross-posting: Should a cross-post be a duplicate of the content, or just a link to it?
- Reddit decidedly takes the prior approach, which makes it easier to have category (sub-reddit) specific styling, and creates strong sub-communities, since, e.g., /r/news can set different community standards than /r/politics and /r/worldnews
- The latter approach (basically prefixed tagging, with admin-approved standard prefixes) is more flexible, and prevents the spawning of a billiion ghost towns (sub-reddits), that no one knows of, are difficult to search, and side-steps issues with tyrannical category moderators.
Stack Exchange actually takes the prior approach as well, if you consider the different Stack Exchange sites to be different categories. They avoid some problems Reddit has by essentially having strictly separated admin-decided categories, with moderators migrating topics to the appropriate category. No runaway categories, and strong community standards, but their implementation caused community fragmentation (each stackexchange site has to start from scratch), and their strict separation seems to just piss off their users (“this question has been moved to programmers.stackexchange, where you have no karma”) without providing much utility. Also, not sure if they’ve ever released a cross-site search, but again, that’s really just implementation.
I can conceive of a hybrid approach (where Topics can be cross-posted, but comments belong to a (Category,Topic) pair), but I don’t think it’d work for our content, since edits are pretty tightly coupled to their discussion (both conceptually, as well as in our current implementation).
I’m rather strongly in favor of the prefixed-tag approach, but that does give us the downside of having one massive community, with little room for sub-communities to build their own culture.