Robert Paterson's Radio Weblog
What is really going on beneath the surface? What is the nature of the bifurcation that is unfolding? That's what interests me.
        

Categories

Understand Radio Categories

Many people appear to have a hard time grasping what this is all about, as did I at first.  I think part of the problem is the terminology, because Internet technology is being used in new ways, even more revolutionary than the World Wide World.  Today most any Internet user is familiar with www and e-mail and word processing and other applications which have been around for a while, but they must have been tough on some people when they were new.

To get a firm grasp of this reality, stuff we ought to learn includes:

  • What are Radio Categories?
    • What can they be used for?
    • What are their limitations?
  • Before getting involved in Categories, what should we already know about Radio?
  • What alternate systems exist for organizing our Subject Matter, other than Categories?
  • When starting to use Categories, what are the first things we need to do?
  • How do we enable Categories?
  • What are some gotchas, to avoid, that can get us into trouble?
  • There are a bunch of options available when we setup new Categories. 
    • What are the pros and cons of the different selections?
  • How do we post stuff to Categories?
  • When we first started with Radio, there was a place we went to, to get the url to supply to people, like mine is now on the bottom of e-mail that I send out.  Where do we go to get that url for our Categories?
  • Joining dws.Radio.FAQ.
    • If you look on my site, in the upper left corner just below Home, there is another link.
      • Initially My Friends and Family, but by the time you read this there may be more.
      • That is called a Navigation Link to my Categories.
      • How do we do that?
    • What else is good to know about Categories?

    Most of this appears to be documented some place.  Some of it is clearer than others.  Some of the material won't sink into our brains right away because we have to pass Junior 101 class before tackling more Senior 201 topics.  It is possible that some of the needed documentation does not yet exist.  Some of the language in some of the documentation on Categories is pretty geeky, assuming we know some stuff that perhaps we don't.  So for that reason I try to give alternative sources of how to do the same stuff.  By trying it out and reviewing what different sources say, hopefully the geeky stuff won't be a barrier to understanding.

    Have I given you a link that appears to be broken?  There should be an image of the back of a tiny envelope below the white on orange XML symbol.  You can use that envelope symbol to e-mail me.  Often a link is to some HELP documentation inside your Radio application, so the link is broken if your Radio application is not running.  Another problem when linking to our own stuff is that updates to Radio are not always instantaneous, so we might be trying to link to something that has not yet been upstreamed to the web site.  Try again later.     For more on this topic, see my Radio url number system.

    Ok, now that I have outlined the goals, let's tackle filling in the blanks with the answers.

    • What are Radio Categories?
        • Aug 15 I outlined this.
        • On the top of your Radio Home Editing Area there is what I call the Top Command Menu.  At the far right of that Menu is HELP.
          • Select Help then second group of links, labeled Home, of which one is Categories.  Click on that.  There is an introduction here, and also a link to how to publish a category to a different FTP server.
        • Scott Johnson Radio FAQ outlines:
          • what Radio Categories are;
          • what default Categories come pre-supplied;
          • how to turn them on;
          • how to create a new Category;
          • Don't forget to bookmark Scott Johnson, since he has other useful stuff about Radio on his web site.
        •  Russ Lipton has several documents of relevance.  Check out
          • How to Create a Category
          • Russ outlines what we can use them for, walks us through step by step how to create them, and set the rules by which your new Category will operate. 
          • Don't forget to bookmark Russ Lipton, since he has a wealth of documentation about Radio for us to explore.
        • Basically, most humans have a myriad of different subjects that we are interested in.
          • Aug 18 I charted my thinking on what Categories I might start, based on my interests.
        • We also have different sub-groups of people that we share them with.
          • Family, Co-workers, old friends, new friends.
        • Different people share our interests in different mixtures of topics.
          • I share some kinds of Humor with some co-workers, family, friends, professional associates, but most of my contacts are not into this stuff.  I have built up a large collection of jokes, which I have organized into categories such as: suitable for young children; stuff we would expect a child to create and enjoy but it not appeal much to adults; jokes naughty in to such an extreme, as a man I am embarrassed to tell a woman that I enjoyed; jokes about computer users who don't get it (such as the CD Rom tray and the cup holder); in jokes that only computer professionals would get; jokes about other professionals (scientists, engineers, lawyers); some of these get printed out and passed around the office, given to collegues (in sealed envelopes) at conferences.
          • One co-worker shares my interest in military history.  I have a few friends who share this interest of mine.
          • Most of my family shares my interest in current events.
          • Most of my science fiction pals are not interested in simulation games, but there is a hard core of enthusiasts who play my Time Travel game simulation.
        • So, we can organize our posts into parallel text structures.
        • So that
          • our friends who are into book reviews about science fiction, just see that and not the computer geeky stuff;
          • the folks who are working with us on some joint project, only see the stuff relevant to the project, none of the humor, or current events.
        • Instead of our home page being a hodge podge of everything imaginable.
      • What can Radio Categories be used for?
        • Radio Userland top executives Robert Scoble and John Robb wrote Radio Userland for Webloggers to get Radio 8.0 users started.  Categories are included in their introductory remarks about what they can be used for, and how they appear if you have set them up right, not how to enable them, create them, or populate them.
      • What are Radio Category limitations?
        • There was a Radio Discussion Group Thread saying that Radio Stories do not work inside Categories. 
        • That's where we can refer to something we have written using the title of the story in double quotes.  So if a post is made to a Category, we need to remember to use the hard url in our link.
        • "Understand Radio Links" is another topic for me to clarify some time.
    • What alternate systems exist for organizing our Subject Matter, other than Categories?
      • Remember that multiple methods for Knowledge Management exist.
        • We can use several in combination.
        • Radio Stories can contain essays, like this on Categories is a story.
        • See my other stories via http://radio.weblogs.com/0107846/stories/
        • We can then interlink our stories by enclosing their titles in double quotes.
        • Top Command Menu / Shortcuts = stories alphabetized. 
          • We can also key in chunks of text here in addition to our Stories.
      • Don W Strickland's [dsw.Radio.FAQ] has the following tip (thanks Alison Fish [Blogfish] for passing along this link to Al via RSS (If you do not know what RSS is, check out Understand Radio News Aggregation) which originated with Ernest Svenson [Radio Questions & Tips].  See further down for details on joining Don's multi-authoring documentation category.
        • - Matt Mower's liveTopics tool is amazing.  Rick insisted that Ernest load it (Rick is Ernest's personal tech trainer). 
        • You create a topic for a post, and then later posts on the same topic get tagged under the same grouping.  You combine that with an outliner (ala Marc Barrot) and you've got something that really adds to the KM power of Radio.   
        • Matt showed Ernest how to add a macro that goes beneath each "tagged" post (We don't have to assign a topic if we don't want to).  The macro shows the topic and if the reader clicks on it they are taken to that part of the master outline that has similar posts.  Wow!
    • Before getting involved in Categories, what should we already know about Radio?
      • This is a large topic that I plan to address in the future.
      • I envisage a flow chart of topic links that are coded as
      • Pre-Requisites, like in College.
      • You ought to know this topic before diving into that topic.
    • When starting to use Categories, what are the first things we need to do?
      • Categories have to be enabled, as a function that you can do on your Radio Weblog.
      • Then you can have multiple Categories in existance with different rules by which they will operate.
        • You can give them different Themes.
          • I do not want to go into detail on this here & now.
          • I may later write something up like "Understand Radio Themes".
          • I suggest that beginners just use the default Theme, then later when you more comfortable with some aspects of Radio, you might experiment.
          • The important gotcha about Themes is that they are Templates controlling many aspects of the appearance of our Radio Weblog.  If you have tinkered with appearance settings and failed to keep a good audit trail on all your changes, there is the risk of implementing a change in Template, wiping out many of your changes, and you losing track of what you did.
          • One of my Radio Wishes is that there would be a Tool that could compare a site's settings to what are the defaults for the Template that it is using, and generate a report on what the setting changes are, and optionally put them in some kind of a work file, so that then we could change our Template, and reapply our old changes from the work file.
        • You can have Categories in languages other than English.
        • You can give them a meaningful description.
        • You can render them in HTML, or not, your choice.
          • I have not seen a clear explanation of what difference this makes.
          • I have experimented both ways, to try to figure that out, but there was other stuff going wrong when I was trying that, so my experiment got contaminated.
        • You can publicize when they are updated.
        • You can have different categories hosted by different ISPs.
          • I have not actually seen documentation yet on how this is done, but I have seen stuff on Radio Discussion Group about the process of updating our links when we move our stuff to a different ISP.
      • You can have posts in a Category, on your Home Page, or multiples, same post in more than one place.
    • How do we enable Categories?
      • Aug 3 I talked about this.
      • Russ Lipton has several documents of relevance.  Check out:
        • Overview of Preferences because it is in here that we Enable Categories.
        • Weblog Overview because a Weblog option is Managing Categories.
        • Now make sure your Radio Application is running and click on
        • Russ's Categories short cut.
      • Scott Johnson Radio FAQ outlines:
        • what Radio Categories are;
        • what default Categories come pre-supplied;
        • how to enable Categories;
        • how to create a new Category;
        • Make sure your Radio Application is running.
        • Get to the Desk Top Editing Page.
        • Select from the Top Command Menu.
        • Drill down the following options.
        • Prefs then Weblog then Categories.
        • Check the box to enable Categories.
        • Then press the Submit button.
        • Return to your Home Screen Edit Page.
        • Notice that below the edit box, right above the Submit button, there are now some categories available, and a link for creating new ones.
      • What are some gotchas, to avoid, that can get us into trouble?
        •  Russ Lipton has several documents of relevance.  Check out
          • How to Create a Category
          • Russ outlines what we can use them for, walks us through step by step how to create them, and set the rules by which your new Category will operate. 
          • He has some nice illustrations illuminating his explanations.
          • He warns beginners not to change the name of an existing category, until we understand more about what is going on behind the scenes.
      • There are a bunch of options available when we setup new Categories. 
        • Scott Johnson Radio FAQ outlines:
          • how to enable categories;
          • how to create a new category;
          • how to assign a post to a particular category.
          • Andy Sylvester has several relevant documents.  Check out
            • Andy's directory of new features since Radio 8.0 came out
            • He includes Categories upgrades that might have been added after some of the other people who did Radio documentation on Categories.  There is also the possibility that you have an older version of Radio software and you might want to review this documentation to make sure you can take advantage of the latest Category features.
            • Andy's links to more info, on the new features from Radio 8.0 onwards, connect to Radio Userland pages.
            • The new features in general is on support for Category Themes different from the Main Theme, and other stuff mentioned elsewhere, with links to related documentation.  
          • What are the pros and cons of the different selections?
        • How do we post stuff to Categories?
          • Russ Lipton has several documents of relevance.  Check out:
            • How to Post to Weblog Categories
              • Russ assumes, in this document, that we have already created categories, then these instructions are how to post stuff to them.
              • As usual, he has some illustrations to help verify that we are at the right page doing the right stuff.  He also has links to other relevant documentation.
        • When we first started with Radio, there was a place we went to, to get the url to supply to people, like mine is now on the bottom of e-mail that I send out.  Where do we go to get that url for our Categories?
          • Take a look at my Radio url number system and substitute your home url in place of my user number logic. 
          • I was very confused about stuff at some stages of learning Radio.  I would get to a geeky page, think something was wrong, and not explore any further.  Well now you see how to get past the geeky page to the good stuff.
        • Joining dws.Radio.FAQ.
          • Aug 15 I outlined this.
          • Here's what your News Aggregation needs to subscribe to this
          • Don W Strickland assumes we know all about Categories.
          • His instructions are merely to create a Category called Radio Questions.
            • Into this we will initially populate only
            • Radio Questions, Radio Tips, Radio Wishes
            • later we may also add Answers to other people's Questions
          • Then we notify him of the url of our Category so that he can subscribe to it.
            • We should also subscribe to his Category called Radio FAQ.
            • See Understand Radio News Aggregation for guidance on doing that.
            • You'll probably want to dig into the archives and pick up any nuances from past discussions there.
          • Everything that we post to our Radio Questions Category is replicated to Don's Radio FAQ, so those questions are seen by everyone subscribing to Radio FAQ.
            • Undoubtedly there will be people out there who know the Answers.
            • They then copy your Question, from their subscription to Don's Radio FAQ, and post their Answer to it, in their Radio Questions Category.
            • This information then gets to Don through the magic of Subscribing to these Radio Channels, as I went into in "Understand News Aggregation".
            • Don combines the answers from several people in a new post in his Radio FAQ category and now everyone, who is subscribing to Radio FAQ, is educated thanks to your Radio Questions.
            • When you see this process working, it might inspire you to start up a similar service of your own on some other topic.
          • If you are feeling ambitious, you can follow his instructions how to place news of this great service on your Weblog for other Radio users to discover.
        • If you look on my site, in the upper left corner just below Home, there is another link.
          • Initially My Friends and Family, but by the time you read this there may be more.
          • That is called a Navigation Link to my Categories.
          • How do we do that?
            • Andy Sylvester has several relevant documents.  Check out
              • Andy's directory of new features since Radio 8.0 came out
              • He includes upgrades to Categories that might have been added after some of the other people doing Radio documentation work wrote their stuff.  There is also the possibility that you have an older version of Radio software and you might want to review this documentation to make sure you can take advantage of the latest Category features.
              • Andy's links to more info, on the new features from Radio 8.0 onwards, connect to Radio Userland pages.
              • The one on new features in general basically helps with this Navigation Link topic, support for Category Themes different from the Main Theme, and links to related documentation.
              • The Home Page Category Checkbox link talks about improved state of art of working with posts to Categories.
              • After you done with this information, be sure to navigate back up Top to other Radio documentation available from Andy Sylvester, and bookmark it for future reference.
            • Jenny Levine Radio 101 documentation includes
            • Radio Discussion Group has some relevant Threads.
              • Changing Category Navigator Links talks about how the links on Category Pages, are by default a copy of the Home, but sometimes we might want something different.
              • Navigator Links Bolding talks about Navigator Links knowing where they are, because if you have the same set of links on all pages, you may want the one corresponding to the page you are on to be Bold Black unclickable.
        • What else is good to know about Categories?
          • Once Categories have been enabled, and populated with some information, various places become available that were not apparent before.
            • Lawrence Lee of Radio Userland has documentation for Radio version 7 users moving to Radio 8, explaining the new features as of Radio 8.
            • There is mention of Categories in this document, because of Radio 7 to 8 improvements in that area.
            • He talks about clicking the magnifying glass below the editing box on the home page to get to the Categories Page.
            • Let's check that out.
            • Incidentally, I found some value in looking at the Change Notes for each version of Radio Userland, because as new features were added, they tried to explain them, and this became an alternative way for me to study some of them.  But that is not a good way to navigate the documentation if you are looking for information on a particular topic.
          • All over the place there are white on orange symbols. 
            • The question mark one takes you to Help about that Page.
          • Top Command Menu far right has Help,
            • Select Help then second group of links, labeled Home, of which one is Categories.  Click on that.  There is a link here on how to how to publish a category to a different FTP server.
          • Top Menu drill down options: Prefs / Weblog / Categories / Categories Page.
            • This gives you a chart of the Categories which have been setup for you, to which you can add more, or tinker with what you have.
            • The first box is for deleting a category.
            • The link takes you to where you can change the rules for a category.
          • Check out Radio Discussion Group Thread on RSS re-publication
            • It talks about how number items displayed on our home page
            • controls number days that comes to
            • which impacts what other people see in their subscriptions
            • what is in archives vs. home page
            • and how you can have different settings for Categories



        © Copyright 2003 Robert Paterson. Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.
        Last update: 05/01/2003; 3:29:17 PM.