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Old 01-18-2008, 06:11 AM   #16
Jaapjan
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Well the first thing would be to define a list of terms for genre. For example the Bible point is mute if you have a genre called religion.

I tend to prefer more break downs of genre. Everything is either fiction or non-fiction so if there is a choice of horror or fiction then horror gets the nod as it is more specific. You only use the most generic terms when you don't have a choice. In some cases a book defies categorization and needs to be in more than one category I suppose.

I am surprised that most of the eBook readers don't already do category. I use this feature a lot in my eBookwise 1150.

Dale
That actually begs the question if it shouldn't be more like tags! In other words, tag the books as science-fiction -and- romance. Or whatever.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jaapjan View Post
That actually begs the question if it shouldn't be more like tags! In other words, tag the books as science-fiction -and- romance. Or whatever.
A tag is just a generic name for something. Genre is more specific. Most of the time you can just try a little harder and pick the best category that represents the target audience. For example the target audience for SF and Romance are quite a bit different even if there is romance in the SF book.

There are a few cases where it may be appropriate to have more than one category but it should be rare. It is easy to overuse multiple categories and ruin the whole list with all the books in all the categories.

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Old 03-03-2008, 07:23 PM   #18
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I've replaced the file in the first post with an updated version.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:43 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
When you create a MobiPocket book using "MobiPocket Creator" you choose the category from a fixed list. That at least should lead to reasonably consistent classification - in cases where it's unambigous, anyway. Eg, I classify my H. Rider Haggard books as "Action and Adventure"; the Edgar Rice Burroughs as "Science Fiction".
I'm fully with harryt there
burroughs is sf or fantasy
not adventure
Mars,Venus etc...
That's the realm of sf and fantasy
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:27 AM   #20
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Thanks for your list, BenG. Non-fiction is no problem at all -- the Dewey system deals with that. But as Nekokami says, fiction is not really classifiable. Some fiction overlaps any one genre. How would Secker and Warburg, or a bookstore, have presented 1984 when it was first published? As sci-fi?

Please bear with me here while I digress. I am a bird-watcher, and some years ago I wrote some software to analyse my records (thousands and thousands of them, going back 45 years). Among other things, I was making a study of two different lakes, each unlike, and I wanted to know how the difference between them was reflected in the birdlife. So I wrote a sub-program to assemble an "association table", as I called it.

An association table is compiled for each individual species. Each record in my database has 5 fields: site, date, species, number counted, remarks. For this study I was only interested in site, date and species. The association table lists, for an individual species, all the other species present in the block of records being investigated (either for a single site or a group of sites).

The result is a list showing the percentage of dates on which other species occur with the one being investigated -- which obviously is always present 100% of the time. Say the target species is Mallard. The table might look like this:

Mallard 100%
Coot 97%
Moorhen 93%
Teal 85%
...
Green Woodpecker 4%
Tree Creeper 3%
Wood Warbler 1%

Coot, Moorhen and Teal all get high scores because they're water-birds and likely to occur in the same habitat. The others score lower because they're less likely to occur in that habitat.

For habitat, read "fiction genre". For species, read "title". For date, read "one person's opinion".

What's needed is a large number of lists of people's favourite fiction titles. The list can have anything from 2 entries upwards. Given a large enough sample, you could get a pretty clear idea of where a book fitted into the scheme of things. Provided there were enough lists to analyse, it wouldn't matter if the entries in each list were wildly disparate - if you put James Joyce next to Edgar Rice Burroughs.

It's a bit like that Amazon feature: "people who bought this title also bought these", except that it's much more detailed.

I already have the software, though it's written in BASIC (I wrote my bird program in 1996). If anyone can think of a way to get people to submit lists, we might have the beginnings of a way to classify fiction.

If, furthermore, people gave points (say out of 5) to each title on their list, that would make the data richer still.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:23 PM   #21
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There are a lot of lists online at LibraryThing already. I wonder if your feature could be used to enhance that?
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:53 AM   #22
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Now that we have the ability to define both, tags and thread prefixes, I think it's time to go back to the idea of finding genres for our e-book uploads.

What do you guys think?
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:45 AM   #23
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Tags would be best for genres, I think, because they can overlap.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:50 AM   #24
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Or we could use both. The thread prefix for parent categorization (a look at Amazon.com for useful parents could help here); the tags for more detailed information/categorization.

The problem with choosing tags alone is that there is no control over how we tag a thread. You could tag a thread with mystery, thriller, suspense, whatever, essentially meaning the same. Misspellings would be possible too. This would cause ambiguity.

You can filter threads by thread prefixes; you cannot do this with tags. On the other hand, tags are searchable, but so are threads prefixes.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:54 AM   #25
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Something else: Thread prefixes show up in the forum display; tags don't.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:55 AM   #26
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I know what you mean about the ambiguous terms and spelling inconsistencies, but that's what tag clouds are for. I'm just worried about over-using prefixes so people ignore them or put them on threads that don't make sense.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:59 AM   #27
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We are talking about two different applications for thread prefixes now, right? I absolutely agree with you, we must not fall into the trap of using thread prefixes for irrelevant purposes. But when we talk about genres, so specifically about the e-book upload forum sections, I think having a thread prefix for each e-book makes sense in order to give the book a general categorization. The book uploader (and everyone member btw) is free to add tags to the e-book which will then also add to the tag cloud.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:13 PM   #28
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You're right, I'd gotten the two uses of prefixes (and tags) confused, completely forgetting about the upload threads. Yes, it would absolutely make sense to use parent categories for prefixes there. Is there a way to restrict them to upload threads?
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:15 PM   #29
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Absolutely. This is the beauty of it - we can define thread prefix sets and only apply them to selected forum sections (i.e. to the upload sections). We only need to agree on the genres.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:56 PM   #30
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Here the list Amazon has to offer (obviously we'd have to cut it down somewhat):

* Arts & Photography
* Audiobooks
* Biographies & Memoirs
* Business & Investing
* Children's Books
* Comics & Graphic Novels
* Computers & Internet
* Cooking, Food & Wine
* Crafts & Hobbies
* Entertainment
* Gay & Lesbian
* Health, Mind & Body
* History
* Home & Garden
* Literature & Fiction
* Mystery & Thrillers
* Outdoors & Nature
* Nonfiction
* Parenting & Families
* Politics
* Professional & Technical
* Puzzles & Games
* Reference
* Religion & Spirituality
* Romance
* Science
* Science Fiction & Fantasy
* Self-Help
* Sports
* Textbooks
* Teens
* Travel
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