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Folksy Categories

by admin

Hello. A while back we said we were reviewing the categories on Folksy. And we did. We did some user testing and developed a ‘taxonomy’ (a list of meaningful terms) to describe the stuff on Folksy effectively. But it’s incomplete and we want your help in reviewing where we have got to and in helping to complete it. We currently have seventeen categories and there exists a lot of overlap between them (for example ‘papergoods’ and ‘books and notepads’) and they’re not ‘logical’ (weddings is an ‘event’, distinct from the other categories which are objects). So it needs reworking.

Our criteria for the work is that each category…

  • Must be meaningful – must have mainstream use / currency
  • Must represent a ‘significant’ number of items
  • Must be well ‘bounded’ or at least minimise the need for items to be in more than one category

Here is our draft of categories. Our rationale is based on the categories representing ‘objects’:

  • Clothing. Here “children’s clothes can be a subcategory rather than existing in the category “Children’s” as it could now.
  • Furniture. We don’t have a lot of furniture on Folksy but it’s a very distinct category, the only item which has been difficult to place has been ‘mirror’, which could be in homeware.
  • Bags, purses, wallets. There are a *lot* of bags, purse and wallets on Folksy and we thought they deserved their own category. As they are not part of a ‘family’ of objects we needed a descriptive, literal category.
  • Soaps and Oils. A very distinct set of items in terms of their materials.
  • Homeware. Potentially very big but it’s a category that seems to be widely understood and used by High Street and online retailers.
  • Materials. Obvious.
  • Toys and Dolls. We found that there are lots of different types of toy on Folksy and the term itself is contentious (you can’t call a toy a toy unless it meets strict guidelines) but it is a very well known grouping and our testers couldn’t come up with a better title. Can you?
  • Gadgets and Geekery. There are things which fall outside of
  • Stationery. Replacing Papergoods and “books and notepads”.
  • Art and Photography. Replaces just ‘Art’.

The categories we’ve really struggled with are Jewellery and Accessories. Jewellery is Folksy’s biggest category. Jewellery accounts for over 30% of all items listed. However, there’s a *lot* of overlap with accessories. Indeed we struggled to locate where Jewellery ended and Accessories started. ‘Cheap’ jewellery is often referred to as “accessories” but Accessories can also include things that are not Jewellery, such as belts, hair clips etc. First question: Do we split this into two categories and accept that there will be a lot of overlap or keep it as one? If we keep it as one what do we call it?

The next problem is that we couldn’t find a ‘home’ for these things:

Where do they go? They don’t seem to fit neatly anywhere do they? If they need there own category, what do we call it?

So, we have the basis of an improvement. The draft categories have been reduced from 17 to 11 and we seem to have got a more logical set where there is generally less overlap and ‘bleeding’ between categories. But your help is needed to complete it. Leave your comments here or on the relevant flickr image of the different categories in this set.

Thanks in advance

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49 comments

marceline April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I miss Accessories! I have always thought of jewellery as necklaces, rings, earrings etc. and accessories as badges and hairbands and keyrings etc. I see that there’s overlap (brooches, in particular) but I don’t think they should be lumped together, especially if the jewellery section is already huge.

Rowan | KitschenSink April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

All looks good. I think jewellery and accessories can be seperate, I don’t think cheap/fashion jewellery are usually classed as accessories (I wouldn’t if I were shopping), and I think all the things you don’t know where they fit ARE accessories (plus hairclips and belts)… it’s brooches I never know if they are jewellery or accesosories!

Also, when listing these, will we choose what category to put them in rather than it be chosen for us by keywords (i.e. all the comic themed items that are in ‘books and notepads’, when clearly they are handbags and jewellery… because ‘comic’ is a keyword…)

Super.

nickyp April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Please let’s have accessories. It is a recognised term, but you’d need to encourage people not to tag jewellery as accessories as it has its own category. A lot of the brooches on Folksy (the fabric ones) would sit better in accessories than jewellery I think. When you look at it, everything belongs in more than one category but equally you can’t force some things into categories just to be neat – hats aren’t really clothing and hairclips aren’t jewellery. We NEED accessories!

Also please can we have a discrete “children” category. Most other places do (not that that’s a reason in itself) but I do see it as a separate category and I do a LOT of shopping online for children – I wouldn’t want to have to decide which category and then narrow it down to children, in fact it would actively discourage me from buying.

Great work so far!

Kate April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Have commented on the ‘stationery’ pic – i do wedding invites so they should probably go in there if you’re getting rid of the wedding category… (but would love to see you keep the wedding category!!)

Pretty Peyote - Dawn Deacon April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I agree with a number of other people, that accessories and jewellery should be seperate. I would also agree that I would place brooches in accessories.
Is there no way that you could produce a pull down list that would add items to categories rather than it being based on key words(when listing a new item). eg: select necklace, added to jewellery, select brooch, added to accessories, select birthday card, added to stationary etc.
I think the facility for people to be able to categorise their own shops also would make life easier for sellers and customers.

Nicsknots April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I agree with Nickyp. Please don’t get rid of ‘Children’ or else shopping for them really will become trickier than it needs to be.
As for hat, scarf, gloves, shawl; they are accessories. Handbag surely belongs in the bags, purses, cases category?

JamesB April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Hi.

Thanks for your comments so far.

@Nickyp
The issues we have in having a Children’s category is that: 1. it breaks the idea of categories being about objects (though this isn’t a big issue) 2. anything related to children could go there – ‘toys’, furniture, accessories. It becomes a ‘higher level category’. Do you think you’d be happy browsing for children’s things in subcategories e.g. clothing -> childrens??

@Kate
Weddings is interesting. A lot of things for weddings are not solely for weddings e.g. tiara, garter, invites etc. Again, would you be happy to browse for wedding related items in a subcategory e.g. stationery -> weddings?

Thanks for the feedback.

nickyp April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

@JamesB, thanks for your response. I do see your point about having a Children’s category (it’s like the Weddings category I suppose). However I really do think that shopping for children’s things is a very different experience to shopping for adults. If I’m looking for a present for a child I want everything in front of me for inspiration – I wouldn’t think “I know, I need a plaque for their door, I’ll look in homewares”. In a way, children could be a sub-category in every single category. In the bricks & mortar world I wouldn’t go to a jewellery or furniture shop and necessarily expect them to have a children’s range – I’d go straight to a shop specialising in items designed with children in mind so you can see everything at once. I think the same holds true for Weddings. Please can we have these two? You know it makes sense!

heather aka niftyknits April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

You know, I don’t think “Materials” is obvious, judging by the number of forum posts asking if it’s ok to sell supplies on folksy. I imagined it meant “fabrics”

I’m puzzled as to why “brooches” aren’t deemed to be jewellery.

And hats/scarves/gloves are surely accessories.

If you’re going to continue with the everlasting totes feature, I think there needs to be a separation of bags that actually could replace a plastic carrier, and other bags. I don’t think little glitzy handbags should be benefitting from front page exposure in a promotion intended to get rid of plastic carriers.

hatastic! April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I think the initial categories should be made really simple initially. Ie Jewelery and Accessories sholud be seperate, but that bags, purses & wallets should be in this category with the hats, shawls (possibly shoes in time!), and then split this into the nessesary hats, scarves, bags, purses, wallets, gloves, hair accessories…

Really keen to get a good catergory for hair clips and combs that I sell (which I would list under hair accessories)

Hope it all makes sense soon!

CeeGee April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Are there going to be two levels of categories? If so I think it’s quite straightforward to have a jewellery category with subcategories of necklaces/pendants, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks etc, and an Accessories category with subcategories for hats, scarves, bags etc. However it’s done, I’d still like to see a separation of jewellery and accessories, and would also vote to keep the Children’s category.

laurenceramics April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

surely there is no doubt we need an accessories category. Please, please.

Will we be able to list in more than one category? and if so won’t people do that for max exposure? I see things tagged with ceramics that are made out of fabric, so won

laurenceramics April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

you might need a category for music, or gig tickets as they seem to be cropping up a lot lately.

Nicsknots April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Replying to Lauren’s comment about people putting things in the wrong category; this is due to Folksy putting things into a category based on keywords.
If you insist that we can’t have a drop-down menu to select, for ourselves, which category to sell our things in, then can we, at least have a list of keywords so that we know what goes in what category?
LMAO at the music category ;) We might need a ‘knock-off foreign imports’ too ;)

Jenny April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

You know I’m going to push for accesories too as everything in my shop belongs there! I am probably against the wedding category although I had contamplated putting all my corsages in to get them seen! Resolving this would be seriously good news. Thanks!!!

Innocencejewellery April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Hello. I agree that Jewellery & Accessories should be separate categories. I think of hats, bags, scarfs, gloves, shawls, belts, cufflinks, bag charms, mobile phone charms & hairclips as accessories and not jewellery.

milomade April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I agree and think jewellery and accessories should be separate. Brooches are definitely jewellery. Accessories are things like belts, hats, scarves, badges, mobile phone charms and the like. If you don’t have an accessories category where would I list a mobile phone charm as I don’t consider them to be jewellery and there’s no other category it can go into.

milomade April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I’ve just looked at the DaWanda site and within their accessories section they have listed the following: shawls & scarves, gloves & more, headgear, Shoes & Hosiery, Belts & Sashes, Keychains, Hair jewellery, Patches & Appliqu

Nameless Wonders April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I agree with everyone who’s asked for accessories to be retained – my mobile phone covers just won’t go comfortably into a category like bags, wallets and purses, and I can see it’s the same for things like Milomade’s mobile phone charms.

rhubarbcrumble April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Yes, please keep accessories category – as you’ve noted, it does cover quite different things to jewellery and not just ‘cheap’ jewellery (although I’m not quite sure what you mean by that!). I’ve had to list belts as clothing in the past, which is ok but not quite right.

Also children’s, I’d agree with NickyP’s comments, that if I were looking for an item for a child, I would not waste my time trawling through numerous categories in the hope that i’d find a child’s item.

And can you please help with getting items into the right category? I’ve had a heck of a time listing bags sometimes, and had to use tags and keywords that were, frankly, inaccurate and inappropriate in order to get the item categorised. It would be really, really nice to some control over what category our items are listed in!

Hopscotch April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I have waited since joining folksy to see if amongst all the categories I would find one appropriate for the pieces I create.

Whilst the obvious are book covers and jewellery.
Most of my creations are Mixed media and Textile Art.

Unfortunately people seem to think of Art in terms of oils, watercolours and acrylics. Not velvets,Fabrics, metal, foil, acetate, paper, plastics….. Art is considerred to be aesthetic not functional.
Please could we have a Textile Art category – or at least Mixed Media. I am quite dissappointed by the lack of more informative categories.

Louise Horler April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I agree with nickyp that we need a seperate ‘childrens’ category and maybe even a ‘baby’ category too. I buy (and sell) lots of childrens stuff and I usually go to the ‘children’ section and browse to get inspiration for things to buy rather than search for specific things. Likewise I sell things like tooth fairy cushions and baking bags which people buy because they are unusual – they wouldn’t search for them as specific items. What would I list these things under?

Didi April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I agree that there should be a separate category for accessories into which should go hats, bags, belts, mobile phone charms etc.

Brooches are very much jewellery, as are tiaras.

Weddings is difficult – so many things crossover here but if I was looking for homemade things for a wedding, whether that be invites or tiaras, or even necklaces for the bridesmaids, I would want to look in just this category. The items could be listed in the main category (stationery, jewellery etc) but it would be good to have it in one place. Also – Folksy could get some publicity in the wedding mags if it had a category devoted purely to this.

David Oswald April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I think ‘jewellery’ and ‘accessories’ should be separate- I always think of accessories as serving a function as well as looking good. I would agree with Didi and others, and consider brooches as jewellery.

sparklyjem April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I think they should be separate too… I think everyone knows what costitutes jewellery and whats an accessory – a delicate beaded belt would be jewellery and a leather one an accessory…

Re bridal/weddings It would be a useful category but perhaps we could have a main category and a secondary one?
if you’re looking for something specific like a fascinator or corsage you can always pop it in the search box after all….

wightrose April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Much of my stock is accessory rather than jewellery. I think it’s confusing and misleading not to have seperate categories.

heather aka niftyknits April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

sparklyjem says “a delicate beaded belt would be jewellery and a leather one an accessory” I hadn’t thought of that distinction, I’d call both an accessory. To me jewellery is non-functional, purely about adornment. A jewelled belt is still for holding my trousers up, albeit in a beautiful way! Having said that, I suppose brooches can be used as fastenings. I’m still curious about the “cheap jewellery” JamesB refers to. Is this a way to remove all the beautifully made crochet and knit corsages from the jewellery section?

Vicky aka ClaraBows April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Now all the bits you couldn’t find homes for I believe fall under accessories. Would it be possible to subdivide into their own little groups from there a bit like the other craft website over the pond?

This is how they subdivided accessories….but I appreciate you may not want to do that. I also didn’t realise you could buy ‘women’ on that site (disturbing).

apron
belt
case
charm
cozy
cuff
cuff links
eyewear
gloves
hair
hat
keychain
lanyard
leg warmers
men
mirror
mittens
money clip
necktie
patch
pin
pinback button
scarf
shawl
wallet
watch
women

That’s my contribution and it probably was no help!

Vicky

Vicky aka ClaraBows April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Now all the bits you couldn’t find homes for I believe fall under accessories. Would it be possible to subdivide into their own little groups from there a bit like the other craft website over the pond?

This is how they subdivided accessories….but I appreciate you may not want to do that. I also didn’t realise you could buy ‘women’ on that site (disturbing).

apron
belt
case
charm
cozy
cuff
cuff links
eyewear
gloves
hair
hat
keychain
lanyard
leg warmers
men
mirror
mittens
money clip
necktie
patch
pin
pinback button
scarf
shawl
wallet
watch
women

That’s my contribution and it probably was no help!

Vicky

jellybelly*jellybrain April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I class jewellery as;

-necklace
-earrings
-bracelet
-watch
-ring
-tiara

I consider anything else to be accessories;

-brooch
-hair jobby-whatsits
-corsages

However … it’s all very well buyers being able to define their searches, but then when they hit somebody’s shop, they then have to trawl through every single thing the seller has for sale.

Is there any news on when sellers can define their own categories within their shops?!?

jamesb April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Thank you all so much for your comments. So, from the feedback we’ve had:

1. Accessories and Jewellery will be seperate categories.

2. Accessories will incorporate hats, scarves and gloves.

3. Some of you have requested a separate category for Children’s on the basis that people’s shopping behaviour for children’s stuff is different. Hmm. I’m not sure about this. We can have a sub-category in each category for “Chidren’s” that we could promote as we do the Tote bags (thanks nifty – point noted about totes, but if people use the term ‘tote’ to describe their bag that’s how its picked up). Weddings will similarly be treated as a sub-category in relevent categories.

So, that’s what we’re going with and we plan to test it for 3 months to see how well it performs.

@jellybelly*jellybrain – we’ll be having shop specific categories in the next round of development which is scheduled for early to mid-summer. There’s quite a bit of work that needs doing including things like a single edit page for listings and better mini-shops to promote your folksy work on the web.

jamesb April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I should say that we’re starting to run all the 000s of items in the database through the new categorisation system, to re-categorise them. This takes several hours so if there are a few night owls or early birds wondering why their stuff isn’t in a category, don’t by tomorrow afternoon it should be.

Thanks.

niftyknits April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

JamesB I understand that the reason bags that AREN’T totes are in the totes promo is that people are mistagging, but surely that doesn’t have to be the end of the matter?

Or should we all start adding “tote” to our tags? ;-)

heather niftyknits April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I’ve been editing for England again ;-)
Well done on shuffling some items into the correct new categories James. Quite a few have inevitably slipped into the wrong one – I’ve found several in entirely wrong categories. Please check your shops, sellers – you won’t be found in the wrong category :-) I’ve also discovered tha althogh my items tagged “toys” have been auto-slotted into the ne “toys and dolls”, when I edited those items for another reason, “toys” was no longer enough and they fell back out of the category.

Laurenceramics April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

hi admin, great to have the accessories category back but did find that most of my items weren’t in a category despite that category and the key words being in my lisiting.

can we have some sort of communication via email that will reach all shop owners when something like this happens? it would be nice to know what updates are happening as we can’t all read the blog and the forums everyday.

look forward to a one page shop and sections.

and what was the section for gig tickets going to be?

Lupin April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Lovely to see the return of accessories but like Lauren many of my items now all need editing… I would love to see more subcategories added so people can browse more easily and not miss large amounts of items – eg a “hair” subcategory for accessories would be spectacularly useful! Thanks muchly xx

Lupin April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

PS my handmade items (and many other peoples) now seem to be showing up in materials!

Karin April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Taking the children category away is ridiculous. Look at what your competitors are doing! How come etsy can have a very established category for ‘children’ with a set of sub categories? Notonthehighstreet.com and Dawanda both have ‘baby and children’ top level front page categories.

Etsy’s clothing category also contains ‘children’. It’s to do with the way people shop I think. I agree with lousie and nickyp about wanting to browse a good selection..

Children’s stuff is such a big shopping area I think that if it isn’t a top line category then buyers might not realise we have such a variety of kids things on here. It’s such an obvious thing to click on straight away to browse through.

jamesb April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

@Karin I hear you and trust me, we’ve looked at what other people do. We want to trial without a “Children” category to see if the subcategories work well. If not then we’ll re-assess. As other sites don’t publish the success of their architecture/ navigation and we have not seen any evidence to support it we cannot assume that just because they do have it it is right. Let’s see how it goes. We plan to do more user testing in early summer when the next round of changes have been made to the site and we’ll gauge the success of the categories then.

@nifty, yep, the tags that you use will possibly push you into new categories. This is interesting though as we would expect that the majority of items will now be in the category that suits them best – defines them ‘better’. This may not be the case for some things however. What specifically did you have trouble with?

Becky April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Candles! I’ve just checked and my candles aren’t currently in a category. They won’t come under soaps and oils, and I don’t think that they come under homeware. Unless there was a subcategory for candles or, even better, ‘home fragrancing’ under homewares.

Karin April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

@James

Don’t you think the other sites have ‘children’ as a category cos it is a huge shopping area – and a well known and understood term – just as you describe the new homewares category???

I have just started re tagging my tshirts and only one is appearing under the clothing – children sub category. The category has toys and aprons in there too. It just doesn’t look right.

I’ve got a few friends to search for my stuff and they can’t find it. All said lack of a ‘children’ category was confusing.

Anyway, sounds like you are not bringing a ‘childrens’ category back anytime soon. I feel pretty disappointed to be honest and wish I had known this was going to be happening before I spent any more time listing my tshirts here.

Nic April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

@JamesB….why trial something that so many people are opposed to. If its not broken, why make more work for yourselves when you clearly have enough on you plates and lack of time to get it all done?
If, having a separate childrens category wasn’t working then fine, try something different but this is just daft…not to mention annoying if, after people have finally got all of their stuff in the right categories *again* you then come along in a few months time when you realise that you have made a mistake and put it back and people have to go through all of their listings again?

SewScrumptious April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I agree with Karin and Nic and all the other unhappy childrens sellers talking on the forums. People want the childrens section back. I say this as a seller and buyer! It feels like nobody is listening to what people want. While I am here please can you advise me what category the following things should be in…childrens aprons, buggy blankets, bibs, baking bags, childrens activity bags with toys in as they don’t seem to fit in any particular category happily.

Nicola Callow April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I’m a Jeweller and a designer member of the British Jewellers Association. I’d go with the dictionary definition of Jewellery.

Jewellery: is a personal ornament, such as a necklace, ring or bracelet, made from gemstones, precious metals or other materials.

So Jewellery would Include:
Necklaces, Rings, Pendants, Brooches, Cuff Links, Tie Pins, Earrings, Watches, Watch Chains, Lockets etc etc.

I do however think that jewellery should be split into more categories.
Costume Jewellery – e.g articles made from plated metals, plastics & Fabrics (though a seperate mixed media category might be appropriate).
Fine Jewellery – A category for people who make in sterling / fine silver, gold palladium, gemstones etc.

This would make me a lot happier to list my higher end diamond set pieces AND would make it easier for shoppers too. :)

Best Regards
Nicola x

rhubarbcrumble April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Can I make a plea for significant updates – like the reinstatement of categories – to have a whole blog post of their own?

I’ve been checking back here periodically and, as the main blog post hasn’t changed in almost three weeks, have assumed that there’s been no admin communication and no movement in that time.

And I bet I’m not the only one…

sam sargeant April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I agree I keep checking back to the blog for any news but it seems nothing is occuring.

heather niftyknits April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Guys – I know I’ve moaned about the non-stop TOTES promotion, but it’s time you realised that by changing the categories your front page link to totes is now DEAD. Maybe you should redirect the link to MEERKATS, they’re much more fun?

WightRose April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

Dear Admin-is there anybody there?

jellybelly*jellybrain April 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

I don’t know if this information is of help to anybody, but I noticed when selecting the top branch of a category when listing something, it DIDN’T appear in that category. If, however, I manually typed it into my keywords, it did. So since then, I’ve manually typed in the Folksy-given category.
If I haven’t explained that very well :
I choose “homewares” as a category.
The drop down box appears with suggested other keywords
I type in the Folksy-given category before my other keywords.

Comments are closed.