In general I think the subdivision of a forum into (too many) categories is not conducive to a particularly healthy community. Some categorisation is good - people seem to need a bit of structure - but the line between the right amount and too much can be quite a fine one. Particularly as somewhere gets bigger and more people want more categories, it’s all too easy to create silos where people don’t stray outside to see what is in the other side of the fence. The other side of the fence is, to me, where often the most interesting conversations and learning take place.
Having said that the forum software used here does seem to work quite well in stopping this. The general view of all categories in one list, opposed to the more segmented view of a typical phpbb forum for example, means that (unless you specifically mute a category) you are more likely to see/read/respond to things whatever category they are in. Certainly this is true for me anyway.
No disrespect to @kisielk’s idea but I’m honestly not sure what benefit it would bring. The “no-category” category is full of fine conversation on interesting topics that could quite easily be a place for discussion about composition or creative music practice. I don’t think having a category for these is going to elicit a different response to such topics from members here, although I’m pretty new and could of course be wrong!
I could go on but I’d be rambling even more than I have already
I will chime in to say, that I too like the idea of less categories.
On Muffs, for example, I mainly use the Eurorack forum, and feel like I miss a lot of possibly interesting conversations in other sections of the site. But the idea of checking multiple section for new posts, is just too much, so I don’t.
I really enjoy the balance/mixture of topics that flows through Lines as is, and I tend to just look at the forum using the “LATEST” posts view.
The only category I ever use and appreciate it being one is the “TRADE”.
Yup I agree with this, having “grown up” on forums and stuff, I very much found that to be the case, especially with the oldschool message boards where you rarely see anything outside of your specific subforum.
But as @sandy pointed out this forum software defaults to seeing ‘all’, so I don’t even notice the categories, and as such treat them more like tags, so you can search by keyword/tag if you want.
Agree with @laborcamp and @sandy - the less categories, the more we’re exposed to different styles / schools of thought. I was a linear hip-hop beat maker and drummer before joining this forum and I have to say that dialogue here has broadened my horizons in terms of composition.