Redundancy, anyone?
Redundancy anyone?

 

As you all probably know - Narrative niches need to be unique, clear, correctly spelled, and to not violate the Terms of Service.

To coordinate down-voting of redundant or invalid niches, rather than creating dozens of threads, we can alert the community here in one place.

Bookmark the thread for easy access, and follow the thread to be alerted via email when there are new posts.  Remember - voting to validate or invalidate niches under review, builds your Narrative reputation, which will strongly shape your experience of, and success with Narrative network.

Correctly voting down redundant or otherwise invalid niches is a powerful contribution to the success of Narrative - we're building the fabric of the network, one link at a time - that process started in late March and is on-going, with over 500 purchased niches already in place.  Ensuring each niche in the network is unique, and clearly understandable, is laying the groundwork for Narrative to excel. 

Let us know you voted by quoting the post in the thread, and saying you voted too - it will help anyone following you to become aware of the niche needing voting on, and so will help spread the alert.  If you give an explanation of how you voted, this might provide good information to the community as we all learn the best ways to evaluate niches.

Onwards!

Original Post

A couple of redundant niches to get us started - help avoid these going to the Tribunal for determination (which chews up energy the @Narrative Network Team could be using to build the platform)!

The Gaming Corner niche is redundant:

https://alpha.narrative.org/ballot/10182477413128240

The Gaming niche already exists ( https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/gaming  )

The ICON niche is redundant:

https://alpha.narrative.org/ballot/10323310571542334

The ICON - ICX niche already exists ( https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/icon-icx )

@Malkazoid. Thanks for starting this thread. I have a handful of  potential duplicates identified that have already been approved by the Community and being sent to the Tribunal.  So, the earlier we recognize the duplicates the better.

Also, beyond this thread (which will be very useful), remember to put comments in when voting. I think it really helps.  People can agree or disagree with comments, but they are still helpful and will get voters thinking.  

Ok, so don't hate on me.  I like pandas.

But the Panda niche has a problem.

https://alpha.narrative.org/ballot/10464048070848469

The description says it is about the Giant Panda, but there are several types of pandas out there.

So either the niche name needs to become Giant Panda, or the description needs to be changed to include all pandas.

As it currently stands, the niche needs to be down voted.

When the beta platform launches, how well presented the niches are will have a very direct impact on how the platform is perceived.  Cleanup has to happen now, before launch.  It goes against my nature to be this anal-retentive about things, but Niches, and the Search functionality that depends on them, will not work properly if we are not precise about these things.

https://alpha.narrative.org/ballot/10323310573468737

This niche is a mouthful: BITTUBE - MONETIZE YOUR CONTENT & FREDOM OF SPEECH & DECENTRALIZED MEDIA PLATFORM.

Should we perhaps enforce a character limit for niche names, @Narrative Network Team?  The niche should really just be called Bittube, with the rest of the information placed in the description...

For now though, there is a spelling mistake in the current name, so we should vote to disapprove of it in its current state.

Agreed. Besides, 'The Video Vault' already exists, and that's the function this Niche would serve, albeit with a different name.

These spelling mistakes and other simple fixes in names should be able to be changed without having to go through a week of waiting.

Either way, duplicate by function.

Michael posted:

Agreed. Besides, 'The Video Vault' already exists, and that's the function this Niche would serve, albeit with a different name.

These spelling mistakes and other simple fixes in names should be able to be changed without having to go through a week of waiting.

Either way, duplicate by function.

Hello Michael

Bittube appears to be a streaming platform but it is external to Narrative, and so should be allowed to have a niche dedicated to it.

The Video Vault is a Narrative niche that I think hopes to be the home for videos people post to Narrative directly.

I may be wrong, but I think that if the person who proposed Bittube makes a reasonable niche name, devoid of spelling mistakes - it should be acceptable.

Malkazoid posted:
Michael posted:

Agreed. Besides, 'The Video Vault' already exists, and that's the function this Niche would serve, albeit with a different name.

These spelling mistakes and other simple fixes in names should be able to be changed without having to go through a week of waiting.

Either way, duplicate by function.

Hello Michael

Bittube appears to be a streaming platform but it is external to Narrative, and so should be allowed to have a niche dedicated to it.

The Video Vault is a Narrative niche that I think hopes to be the home for videos people post to Narrative directly.

I may be wrong, but I think that if the person who proposed Bittube makes a reasonable niche name, devoid of spelling mistakes - it should be acceptable.

If it's an external website or platform, that's called a link.

I'll have to let @Ted or @MOLLY O respond to this one, because if Narrative wanted external links, they'd probably just use Google.

If we don't know what it is, needless to say, it will need to be specified.

Malkazoid posted:
Michael posted:

Agreed. Besides, 'The Video Vault' already exists, and that's the function this Niche would serve, albeit with a different name.

These spelling mistakes and other simple fixes in names should be able to be changed without having to go through a week of waiting.

Either way, duplicate by function.

Hello Michael

Bittube appears to be a streaming platform but it is external to Narrative, and so should be allowed to have a niche dedicated to it.

The Video Vault is a Narrative niche that I think hopes to be the home for videos people post to Narrative directly.

I may be wrong, but I think that if the person who proposed Bittube makes a reasonable niche name, devoid of spelling mistakes - it should be acceptable.

Agree with you @Malkazoid. I voted down for misspelling. @Michael This would be a valid niche assuming it is not just a link. Assuming this niche is to be about posting content related to that platform.

I'm not sure what the difference between "Shopping" and "Shopping Haul" would be.

Shopping: https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/shopping

Shopping Haul: https://alpha.narrative.org/ballot/10041739938077770

 

Hard to say, but if niches are very similar like this, their owners might end up fighting later on as to who has the valid space, it also might end up confusing members as to which niche to post in.

Technically, they're different, but really they're not. My thought is, why have a niche for both fishing, and fishing haul? Is one JUST dedicated to everything about fishing, while the other is dedicated to JUST showing pictures of what a person caught while fishing?

Does the owner of Shopping Haul promise not to post anything later on about Shopping. hahaha

It really depends on the precision of language, and if Niche owners intend to stick to that narrow niche, or if they'll eventually 'niche creep' into other areas.

MOLLY O posted:
Malkazoid posted:
Michael posted:

Agreed. Besides, 'The Video Vault' already exists, and that's the function this Niche would serve, albeit with a different name.

These spelling mistakes and other simple fixes in names should be able to be changed without having to go through a week of waiting.

Either way, duplicate by function.

Hello Michael

Bittube appears to be a streaming platform but it is external to Narrative, and so should be allowed to have a niche dedicated to it.

The Video Vault is a Narrative niche that I think hopes to be the home for videos people post to Narrative directly.

I may be wrong, but I think that if the person who proposed Bittube makes a reasonable niche name, devoid of spelling mistakes - it should be acceptable.

Agree with you @Malkazoid. I voted down for misspelling. @Michael This would be a valid niche assuming it is not just a link. Assuming this niche is to be about posting content related to that platform.

Okay, cool.

It looks as though it's a Youtube replica. Users can broadcast as well as just upload videos.

https://bit.tube

Michael posted:

I'm not sure what the difference between "Shopping" and "Shopping Haul" would be.

Shopping: https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/shopping

Shopping Haul: https://alpha.narrative.org/ballot/10041739938077770

 

Hard to say, but if niches are very similar like this, their owners might end up fighting later on as to who has the valid space, it also might end up confusing members as to which niche to post in.

Technically, they're different, but really they're not. My thought is, why have a niche for both fishing, and fishing haul? Is one JUST dedicated to everything about fishing, while the other is dedicated to JUST showing pictures of what a person caught while fishing?

Does the owner of Shopping Haul promise not to post anything later on about Shopping. hahaha

It really depends on the precision of language, and if Niche owners intend to stick to that narrow niche, or if they'll eventually 'niche creep' into other areas.

Yeah @Michael, I don't know what the endgame regarding similar Niches is. It seems even the Tribunal doesn't care too much if Narrators have to 'duke it out' for content. I know I'm preparing for a 'fight' with at least one of my Niches 

Michael posted:

I'm not sure what the difference between "Shopping" and "Shopping Haul" would be.

Shopping: https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/shopping

Shopping Haul: https://alpha.narrative.org/ballot/10041739938077770

 

Hard to say, but if niches are very similar like this, their owners might end up fighting later on as to who has the valid space, it also might end up confusing members as to which niche to post in.

Technically, they're different, but really they're not. My thought is, why have a niche for both fishing, and fishing haul? Is one JUST dedicated to everything about fishing, while the other is dedicated to JUST showing pictures of what a person caught while fishing?

Does the owner of Shopping Haul promise not to post anything later on about Shopping. hahaha

It really depends on the precision of language, and if Niche owners intend to stick to that narrow niche, or if they'll eventually 'niche creep' into other areas.

Good questions!

Niche creep may well be a thing, and it is difficult to predict how many resources will need to be devoted to keeping it in check.

Before reading the full length of your post, I was of a mind that the niches are both valid and can coexist, because I saw the distinction that you mention: that Shopping seems to be all about shopping, and Shopping Haul seems to be specifically about sharing what got bought on the last shopping trip.  (Neither are very interesting to me so I have to make an effort to project myself into this space to begin with).

Once I read your post to the end, I still felt, and feel the niches are sufficiently different, given that distinction evidenced in the descriptions.  But I am concerned about niche creep.  No doubt this will be an on-going discussion after launch, and we may need to adjust policy if it becomes a significant problem.  For now though, my recommendation would be for the @Narrative Network Team to try to message clearly that niches must abide by their descriptions, so the moderators understand that a great article on how to determine what drone to buy, for instance, should not be accepted for publication on the Shopping Haul niche.

I see a different problem with the Shopping niche though.

The description says it is all about ONLINE shopping, but the niche name is more general.  Online shopping may one day be the only form of shopping (scary thought), but that day has not come yet and until it does, that niche should be considered unclear, and invalid.

I'll post about it separately so it can be addressed as a separate issue.

- EDIT

Ok - I see now the Shopping niche was approved already.  I've put in an appeal to the Tribunal.

Michael posted:

Talent acquisition phrase is used in two Niches.

As someone that hires others on Upwork on a contract-basis, these two terms are interchangeable.

Any thoughts?

talent acquisition

Yes - I agree they are interchangeable.  Worse still: there was a recruiting niche approved before either of these cropped up.

https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/recruiting

 So please downvote the Talent Acquisition niche if you agree they are redundant.

https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/talent-acquisition

Technically, the Recruitment Process Outsourcing niche could be considered unique because the niche name makes clear its focus is specific to outsourced recruitment - that's my take.

@Micheal - things will be easier with the beta launch. The matching will be better, etc.  For now, if you notice something , please keep posting here and also in the comments as you vote.  We appreciate your time and effort. All of these actions in alpha are helping with beta. 

Michael posted:

Done.

Yeah, I think Narrative will have to incentivize people to go through these. I'm a pretty busy father, and don't *usually* have the ability to spend half an hour searching through previous Niches or their synonyms.

Thanks for your attention to detail, @Malkazoid.

I agree!  I'm hoping we'll see that as one of the features of the new version of the alpha launching next month, or as one of the early upgrades they will roll out between that and Beta launch.

We're working to a deadline on a film edit here, so I only duck in to Narrative when I can steal a few minutes away!  I'd do more if I could...

The following German Shepherd niche is really problematic, downvote if you agree:

https://alpha.narrative.org/ballot/10464048079638319

Reading just the niche name, you would immediately assume this is a niche for posting all sorts of material about German shepherds.

Instead, when you read the description, you discover it is for a printing service that wants to help you print German shepherds onto merchandising.  

Description

"Print German Shepherd photos on T-Shirts , Mugs , Pillow , Mobile back cover , Tank Tops"

I'm open-minded, and completely cool with this being a thing, but the niche name has to reflect something of the service, rather than squat on the entire subject matter.  There are other things to do around the topic of German Shepherds than just printing them on T-shirts.  (I assume.  I've met a few German shepherds and was able to interact with them without reflexively emblazoning them on coffee mugs.  I'm hoping I'm not alone).

This sort of mercantile grab of a generic niche name will do a big disservice to Narrative, making it confusing for users wanting to tag their posts to the right niches in an intuitive manner.

And if you really want to be precise, throw the word 'dog' in there somewhere.

Otherwise some people might think you're referring to this:

( He might look good on a tank top though... )

Please vote down "Van Life" which is a redundant niche:
--> https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/van-life

The current VanLife niche is already active:
--> https://alpha.narrative.org/niche/vanlife

The "Van Life" niche already exists. Having two niches dilutes the concept of a niche. Having "VanLife" and "Van Life" as two separate niches devalues the original niche, and the second niche as well.  If Narrative is to call these topic areas, "niches" and gives them value, we cannot allow niches with such clear similarities as these two. 

Thank you for voting down the redundant niche. 

On suggestion I am reposting here. 

Hi Folks,

Lots of people are voting for Vintage Glamour but as the existing owner of Vintage Style I see this as way too redundant. The suggestion is trying to be a broad Vintage catch-all, for which i already own. 

case in point: the dictionary term for Style:

  1. .
    a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.
    "the pillars are no exception to the general style"
    • a particular design of clothing.
      synonyms:fashiontrendvoguemode
      "modern styles"
    • a way of arranging the hair.
  2. 3.
    elegance and sophistication.
    "a sophisticated nightspot with style and taste"
    synonyms:flair, stylishness, elegancegrace, gracefulness, poisepolish, suaveness, sophisticationurbanitychicdashpanacheelan
    informalclasspizzazz
    "wearing clothes with style"
    comfortluxuryeleganceopulence, lavishness
    "Laura traveled in style"

 

I would be supportive of a vintage niche that drills down to more specifics aspects of the alternative clothing choice, such as Vintage make-up looks, or Vintage Hairstyles, or perhaps exploring certain decades in more depth (I believe we have an 80's niche already), but Glamour is clearly redundant. 

If you have voted yes already, I hope you will reconsider after my plea. I hope you will vote it down as redundant, if you haven't already. If this does get approved I will be making a case against it at tribunal, as I very much see this as redundant.

Thank you for your time.

Please read Niche titles and descriptions carefully.

If a Niche is poorly written and gets approved... it's "approval" is a testimony to the efficacy and quality of (to borrow @Ted's language) "The Wisdom of This Crowd."

And, there are some Niches getting upvoted that should not. 

Here are a few from my perusing of the ballots this morning. I try and always leave a comment when I vote no in order to help clarify the thinking behind my vote. 

Beta Testing
https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/12716610878367493

These next three are all submitted by @yousaf1981 and all exhibit the same behavior. Submitting a Niche, and a poorly written definition of the title word instead of describing the type of content that it would contain. These are all three passing with overwhelming support. Check your work, people.

prediction
https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/12575872447897609

success
https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/11168345952844470

celebration
https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/11309083456079189

Allowing a Niche to be submitted with only a definition (no matter how poorly/eloquently it is written) for a description... then we're heading towards reinventing the dictionary. 

Bryan posted:

Please read Niche titles and descriptions carefully.

If a Niche is poorly written and gets approved... it's "approval" is a testimony to the efficacy and quality of (to borrow @Ted's language) "The Wisdom of This Crowd."

And, there are some Niches getting upvoted that should not. 

Here are a few from my perusing of the ballots this morning. I try and always leave a comment when I vote no in order to help clarify the thinking behind my vote. 

Beta Testing
https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/12716610878367493

These next three are all submitted by @yousaf1981 and all exhibit the same behavior. Submitting a Niche, and a poorly written definition of the title word instead of describing the type of content that it would contain. These are all three passing with overwhelming support. Check your work, people.

prediction
https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/12575872447897609

success
https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/11168345952844470

celebration
https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/11309083456079189

Allowing a Niche to be submitted with only a definition (no matter how poorly/eloquently it is written) for a description... then we're heading towards reinventing the dictionary. 

Thanks for raising the issue of poor descriptions again Bryan.

I feel like this has not been clearly addressed by the @Narrative Network Team.

My sense from Tribunal votes is that niches with seemingly viable names, but imperfect descriptions, seem to get approved by the tribunal?

Which in turn forces me to vote in a similar fashion, because I don't want the rep penalty for voting out of step with how the Tribunal will finally vote - even though I suspect it would be better for us to reject niches with poor descriptions.

One of the reasons I feel this way is because we are rewarding niche suggesters with reputation bonuses if their niche gets approved.  It doesn't make sense to do that unless they put the effort into making a niche viable and well described.

And to go in Bryan's direction, a good description is not just a definition of the word(s) in the niche name.  As he points out, Narrative isn't a dictionary.  We need to know what kind of content belongs on the niche.

My understanding is that the team has so far operated on the notion that a viable niche name can get approved, and the description can be cleaned up later, but if we are to continue in this fashion, we really need to know precisely how this cleanup will be enforced.

And to conclude, I would reiterate that we're being wasteful if we accept flawed descriptions from users we are still rewarding with rep for those flawed suggestions, then having to organise cleanup work of what should have been done right the first time.  So I remain in favour of rejecting niches with confusing and/or poorly written descriptions.  If the team agrees that the efficiency of doing so is in fact preferable, then we need some clear expression from them that the Tribunal guidelines will be updated mandating that they vote in the same manner.  This decision needs to be from the top down since we get rep hits for voting out of lock step with the Tribunal.

Another Niche falling into the Dictionary Trap

https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/13279573545214159

If I submitted "the" as a Niche... and "described" it as: 

denoting one or more people or things already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge.

Would this fly? Should this fly? 

It just takes a couple extra seconds to present a point of view on the type of content that could be submitted to a Niche. And then, that point of view should be written using complete sentences. 

Malkazoid posted:
 

because I don't want the rep penalty for voting out of step with how the Tribunal will finally vote - even though I suspect it would be better for us to reject niches with poor descriptions.

One of the reasons I feel this way is because we are rewarding niche suggesters with reputation bonuses if their niche gets approved.  It doesn't make sense to do that unless they put the effort into making a niche viable and well described.

My understanding is that the team has so far operated on the notion that a viable niche name can get approved, and the description can be cleaned up later, but if we are to continue in this fashion, we really need to know precisely how this cleanup will be enforced.

And to conclude, I would reiterate that we're being wasteful if we accept flawed descriptions from users we are still rewarding with rep for those flawed suggestions, then having to organise cleanup work of what should have been done right the first time.  So I remain in favour of rejecting niches with confusing and/or poorly written descriptions.  If the team agrees that the efficiency of doing so is in fact preferable, then we need some clear expression from them that the Tribunal guidelines will be updated mandating that they vote in the same manner.  This decision needs to be from the top down since we get rep hits for voting out of lock step with the Tribunal.

I guess I don't care if I'm out of step with the Tribunal. I was drawn to this project because I believed that quality content was an integral aspect of building the new content economy.

It's hard to criticize people for submitting definition Niches when the @Ted is doing it too. Come on, Ted!

I agree @Malkazoid that we're rewarding/creating bad behaviors. It's just easier to approve things and let Time sort it out.

I could just approve all Niche submissions. Knowing that the bad ones will just sit in the ballot queue forever, never being bought. And, it doesn't hurt me to do so. And if the Tribunal thinks/acts in the same way (because it'd be a lot of work to regulate this with some standards), then people that disagree will get dinged for shining a light on problems with the platform/process. 

If this is just another type of race to the bottom, then we're closer to a state of idiocracy than I would have hoped. 

Bryan posted:

Another Niche falling into the Dictionary Trap

https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/13279573545214159

If I submitted "the" as a Niche... and "described" it as: 

denoting one or more people or things already mentioned or assumed to be common knowledge.

Would this fly? Should this fly? 

It just takes a couple extra seconds to present a point of view on the type of content that could be submitted to a Niche. And then, that point of view should be written using complete sentences. 

So in the case of the San Francisco niche - I'm torn.

Specifying what San Francisco is may in fact be enough for most people, since it is kind of assumed the niche is destined to receive anything relating to the city.

Then again, since the extra clarity coming from a more explicit description can't hurt and in other instances, is really desirable - I think I'm still in favour of seeking more specificity across the board rather then defining complex exceptions to a rule.

Some niches simply say "All about X".  That could get us across the line with a San Francisco niche, for instance?

Bryan posted:
Malkazoid posted:
 

because I don't want the rep penalty for voting out of step with how the Tribunal will finally vote - even though I suspect it would be better for us to reject niches with poor descriptions.

One of the reasons I feel this way is because we are rewarding niche suggesters with reputation bonuses if their niche gets approved.  It doesn't make sense to do that unless they put the effort into making a niche viable and well described.

My understanding is that the team has so far operated on the notion that a viable niche name can get approved, and the description can be cleaned up later, but if we are to continue in this fashion, we really need to know precisely how this cleanup will be enforced.

And to conclude, I would reiterate that we're being wasteful if we accept flawed descriptions from users we are still rewarding with rep for those flawed suggestions, then having to organise cleanup work of what should have been done right the first time.  So I remain in favour of rejecting niches with confusing and/or poorly written descriptions.  If the team agrees that the efficiency of doing so is in fact preferable, then we need some clear expression from them that the Tribunal guidelines will be updated mandating that they vote in the same manner.  This decision needs to be from the top down since we get rep hits for voting out of lock step with the Tribunal.

I guess I don't care if I'm out of step with the Tribunal. I was drawn to this project because I believed that quality content was an integral aspect of building the new content economy.

It's hard to criticize people for submitting definition Niches when the @Ted is doing it too. Come on, Ted!

I agree @Malkazoid that we're rewarding/creating bad behaviors. It's just easier to approve things and let Time sort it out.

I could just approve all Niche submissions. Knowing that the bad ones will just sit in the ballot queue forever, never being bought. And, it doesn't hurt me to do so. And if the Tribunal thinks/acts in the same way (because it'd be a lot of work to regulate this with some standards), then people that disagree will get dinged for shining a light on problems with the platform/process. 

If this is just another type of race to the bottom, then we're closer to a state of idiocracy than I would have hoped. 

As I said in the white paper:

a Niche is a subject area into which any Narrator may publish content. All Niches should be unique. You should not find one Niche called “New England Patriots” and another called “NE Patriots”. The goal is to create unified content streams around singular subjects.

Of course a definition is acceptable for niche title.  A niche is just a unique subject, so the point of the description is to DEFINE/CLARIFY what the title is.  So, yes, I am guilty of using definitions in descriptions because that is the purpose of a description-- to define and bring clarity to what the niche represents.

I also want to be clear about something else.  Niches are not "communities". So a description that says something like, " a place for mom's to hang out," is technically incorrect. I'm not saying you should reject a niche because it describes a niche like that, but I do want to make clear that niches are merely subjects and that a definition of the subject is not only appropriate but ideal, in my opinion.

The goal of the niche description is to define and clarify exactly what the niche represents. Find me a niche I suggested that does not do that.

Is requiring definitions/descriptions part of the problem then?

What ends up happening in voting claims/arguments is really more about the converging/diverging of semantics (see: games, gaming, video games!) than arguing over title word choice—though they are both problematic. This is further complicated by the notion of someone being able to "own" these Niches. My vision for gaming might be different than yours. "I would run my hotdog stand much different than you'd run yours..."

"Hey, no fair, your title means the same as my title even though you used a different word."

"Nuh-uh. It does not. I was here first."

To use another familiar example: NY Giants, NFL Giants, and New York Giants were used to demonstrate redundancy, even though they are unique when evaluating spelling alone. But, if we add to each of these a slightly different definitions/descriptions... then the task of evaluating becomes more involved. Using only definition thinking, two of the Niches above should be rejected as redundant. But, if we consider the descriptions and not the definitions we might learn that:

  • NY Giants is a Niche for a little league jr. football association in NY sponsored by the...
  • NFL Giants which is a Niche for content focused on the NFL team itself, which is quite different from the...
  • New York Giants Niche which collects historical and contemporary biographies of people whose lives had a positive impact on the neighborhoods of Manhattan. Totally not sports-ball. 

 

Or, if people want to contribute content about shredding with guitars and they prefer to identify with the term Metal over Heavy Metal... and some one else thinks there is a difference, in spite of conventional evidence to the contrary, why shouldn't they both exist? Content creators might resonate with one over the other. If we go with dictionary definition, they are the same. If we go with gut feeling, or popular opinion, or subjective preference... they might be totally different to some people.

My point is this: I don't think a dictionary definition is enough. 

@Ted I agree with you here:

a description that says something like, " a place for mom's to hang out," is technically incorrect.

but I disagree with:

I also want to be clear about something else.  Niches are not "communities"... niches are merely subjects and that a definition of the subject is not only appropriate but ideal, in my opinion.

because Niches WILL become communities. They will become interest groups. They will become a place for people to gather and share a point of view on a topic. They won't get warm and cuddly with a dictionary definition. 

OPTION 1
Niche: Trees
Definition: woody perennial plants

OPTION 2
Niche: Trees
Description: a place to share and learn about the varied species, environmental influences, and sustainable use of woody perennial plants. 

Descriptions are very important because a title alone can be ambiguous and by itself may even have more than meaning (many words do).

I'm really not following your logic here, @Bryan.  A definition is the perfect way to clarify the meaning of niche.  What else is there?

A community may certainly develop around a niche, in that it has its own unique set of followers, but the niche itself is just a subject. That is the distinction.  And the content posted to that niche is the important part.  The niche itself also does not have a personality. It is simply intended to be a unique subject. 

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