I’m thinking out loud here…
I want to write a message about a fairly technical topic (DM integration tests with the Camera DAQ software, to be concrete, but it’s just an example of a general issue). There is a small audience of people who should definitely read and think through the issues I’m going to raise. There is nothing actually private about the topic, as far as I can imagine, so I don’t feel the need to use a closed category with a restricted set of users, and - in any event - no suitable closed category exists.
If I were writing this message as an email to just the people I definitely want to read it, I would write a fairly short message that presumes that they know certain details about the system design that I suspect most DM’ers don’t know and don’t need to know. That would also be true (psychologically, for me) if I were posting to a well-defined category like “Infrastructure” or “Commissioning” or “System Interfaces”. I would assume that people following that category had chosen to do so and would recognize the existence of some expectations associated with the category.
In contrast, posting this to “Data Management” feels a bit like getting up in front of a plenary session at the AHM and starting to talk about this; it seems like there’s an implication that I’m addressing everyone, and that I should a) write the post with somewhat more of a didactic opening and b) expect a substantially wider range of feedback.
I don’t feel that the tags that current exist are likely to serve this function. Tags are not visible on the default topic-list screen, and the current set don’t really seem to form a coherent taxonomy.
This is a bit of a psychological obstacle to getting a quick post out and getting on with the rest of the day’s work. It may be argued that in the long run it’ll be good for the project for me to write a clear tutorial explanation of this area, of course, but for today, it was an obstacle to doing what I wanted to do.
So, after that ramble… I think it would be helpful to have a modest number of categories that can accommodate the idea that there are different - self-selected, not enforced - audiences for different topics.