Community vs Category vs Forum vs Board?

NikK Posts: 903 Forum Champion

In the default community page there's a search function where you can choose type of search. I can't figure out the difference between Community and Category. Is there a difference?


Also I wonder what term to use for all the different communities? When a moderator moves a thread it's usually called to another "board", but that term doesn't seem to be used much anywhere else.


ps. I see the "New Message" button has changed name. Great Smiley Wink


  • Chrissy
    Chrissy Posts: 406 Active Engager

    Hi NikK,


    Great question!  It doesn't seem to produce different results for me between the Community and Category search... might consider removing Category from the dropdown.


    I would use these words as follows:


    Community: The entirety of the discussion forum and the knowledge base.

    Forum: The area where discussions are possible, sometimes referred synonymously as "Community," but when trying to be distinctive, I'd call this the forum.

    Category: Home Security, Business Security, Welcome, Speakers Corner, etc.

    Board: Idea Exchange, Security, Password Management, Home Security Beta Programs, etc.


    // Chrissy

  • NikK
    NikK Posts: 903 Forum Champion

    Ah, thanks for the explanation! So board is the most specific term then.

    Maybe this should be explained on the default community page, something like:


    This Community consists of a knowledge base and several discussion forums divided into categories and boards. Find the relevant board to post a question or start a discussion.


    ps. I've even seen "sub-community" used as a term so no wonder there's confusion sometimes Smiley Wink

  • Simon
    Simon Posts: 2,665 Superuser

    To be honest, I think it varies from forum to forum as to the terms used.  I run two other forums, and both 'boards' and 'forums' are used in different ways by different users.  I tend to work on the following:


    Forums (or Community) - the forums / boards or community as a whole

    Category - the main title of the section - in this case, Home, Business, Beta, etc.

    Forum (or Board) - the 'sub-sections' of each Category, ie Home > Security

    Topic (or Thread) - each separate topic or thread within a Forum (or Board), ie Welcome > News and Feedback > Community vs Category vs Forum vs Board

    Post - each question or reply within a Topic (or Thread)


    As to the original question, I would have thought that there'd be a distinction between a 'Community' search and a 'Category' search - the distinction being that you should be able to perform a search narrowed down to one Category, or even just within one forum / board, rather than the search covering the whole of the community.  This makes for a more precise search 'target', and should produce more specific results.

  • AniaC
    AniaC Posts: 242 Former F-Secure Employee

    Dear @Simon  and @NikK ,

    that's an interesting topic!

    We've organized our Community hierarchically and indeed, community is the broadest term, followed by category down to board, thread/discussion and post. Depending on which level you're searching from, the search granularity is defaulted to that level. The dropdown would let you change that granularity or choose to serch for users.

    Thanks to you, we realized that having dropdown options is actually more confusing than helpful, so we removed the dropdown altogether.


    The search functionality will not change – you'll will be given the results within the node you are searching from  (if you’re in category, you only get the results from within that category; if you’re in root – your search scope is the whole community and so on)

    In the search results page, you are still able to change the scope of the search.


    Please let us know what you think!



  • Chrissy
    Chrissy Posts: 406 Active Engager

    Yes, and just to clarify about Category, as was initially asked:


    Category - in this case - refers to the particular language; so searching from the English Community will leave out results from other languages.  Searching from the root (before selecting a language) will now give results from all languages by default, in the forum & in the KB.

  • NikK
    NikK Posts: 903 Forum Champion

    Removing the dropdown is indeed less confusing. About all the different and confusing terms, it does not help that you now added another one: you'll will be given the results within the node you are searching from Smiley Wink

    And what exactly do you mean with scope in the search results page?


    Still I'm not sure I understand how the search really works:

    If I do a search(for Uninstallation) in any of the boards in Home Security, I still see search results from boards in other Categories. Is this the way it should work?


    Another issue that I haven't mentioned earlier: After changing the Show options(to the left) in the search results page, clicking a thread/post in the search result and then clicking back gives this message:


    Clicking the link doesn't help. And clicking back will take you back to the page previous to the search results page.

  • Chrissy
    Chrissy Posts: 406 Active Engager

    Hi NikK!

    The terminology is pretty confusing, but the search is now really easy.  If you search before entering the English community, you will see EVERYTHING that we have in the forum and KB, in all languages.  If you enter the English community, no matter where you search from, in any board, you will be searching the full English forum and KB.

    The term Category is confusing, because as a search limiter, it just means "language" in our case.  But otherwise, we talk about categories as in Home Security, Business Security, etc.  These are not at all separated as far as searching goes, nor can they be, as far as I understand.

    Node is the fancy word for segregated area of the Community to which we, as moderators, can apply different settings, permissions, etc... so don't worry about this!  Scope is just how many of these nodes are searched.  The home page search has a larger scope (because of all languages) and the English forum search has a smaller scope.

    We've taken the choices away to make the searches more attuned to members' default behaviors, and make it less confused.  This has, unfortunately, removed the ability to choose "user" from the search.  However, if you type something in, and don't like the results, you can THEN change the scope, or switch to the User tab to find a user.

    As for the error, we'll have to look into this, thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  • NikK
    NikK Posts: 903 Forum Champion

    Thanks Chrissy, it's now "crystal clear" Smiley Wink  (copyright A Few Good Men)

  • AniaC
    AniaC Posts: 242 Former F-Secure Employee

    Hi @NikK 

    thanks for letting us know about the error. I tried it out but it doesn't seem to appear for me.

    What I did was

    1. Go to Search Results Page

    2. In the "Show" area on the left, under "By location" I select English-->Home Security-->Security and click on one of the search results

    3. I click Back button in my browser and all is good - no error.



    What did you do differently?


  • NikK
    NikK Posts: 903 Forum Champion

    Hi @AniaC 


    I never initiate a search directly from the Search Results Page.

    Here's what I did:


    Go to

    Enter a search term and press ENTER

    In the Show area under "By type of post" I select "Forums". The page is automatically reloaded.

    I click on one of the search results

    When I click Back button in my browser I get the error


    I think I see why: adding filters in the Show area creates a strange URL in the browser address field, example:

    The part with /:/// looks strange.

  • AniaC
    AniaC Posts: 242 Former F-Secure Employee

    Hi @NikK , thanks for the detaied steps, I'll look into this. One more question, what browser are you using?

  • NikK
    NikK Posts: 903 Forum Champion

    Internet Explorer 11

  • AniaC
    AniaC Posts: 242 Former F-Secure Employee

    Hi NikK,

    strange as it may be, I've not been able to reproduce this behavior in IE11 or other browsers I tried.

    I've consulted our supplier about this and they are not getting the error either. Could you try to clear the cache and your browsing history, if you haven't tried it already, and see if this keeps happening?



  • NikK
    NikK Posts: 903 Forum Champion

    I tried both clearing history and resetting security levels but no change. However, it works with Firefox so I think I'll just have to accept that it's a problem possibly only with my IE.


    I've tweaked some IE settings and it's possible the community search filtering function doesn't like all of them Smiley Wink


    Thanks for looking into this. 

This discussion has been closed.