As the number of niches grows, it will quickly become impossible to find a niche. This problem is already apparent. When suggesting a new niche, there's really no way to find out if there are already existing niches that may conflict. Name search is completely inadequate, because the name chosen for a particular topic may not be at all apparent.
I've built a sample hierarchy of the more than 900 niches that are currently active:
Several things have become clear to me in the course of this exercise:
- An overall hierarchy is an excellent way to discover and navigate to niches. I'm already using it myself!
- Proper organization requires organizational place-holders to group related niches. In many cases these "organizational" niches don't exist, so there must be a mechanism for creating them.
- The organization of the hierarchy must evolve over time. For example, if there are two niches relating to photography, they might each be listed individually under a category like "creative art." But when there are six photography niches, it makes sense to insert a "photography" category. (By the way, I did not group the photography niches in my sample hierarchy. It was simply too difficult moving things around using the post editor.)
- There are some really bad niche names. It should be pretty easy to determine what a niche is about, just from the name, and in many cases it's not.
- I think that the "niche map" in the Narrative roadmap could be used to extend and manage the hierarchy, but without an overriding framework, I think it will simple result in disconnected "islands" of niches.
Please check out the hierarchy I've built - but remember, it's just a rough prototype, built using the post editor. Use it for finding places to post, niches to follow, or "gaps" for creating new niches.
If you find it useful, or have thoughts, please comment on the post.
And if you think it's a good idea, vote for this proposal.