Technical note: The Topics features mentioned below no longer are supported on Grist.
As Dave noted yesterday, we rolled out a new site feature last weekend, and although we simply call it “topics,” it’s something we’ve been working on for months. Eventually it will be integrated into the site just as profoundly as commenting.
Like the integrated search rolled out a while back, “topics” is meant to give you another tool to find current and archived articles.
Some features will be helpful for everyone — the “read more about” tool embedded in articles and posts, or basic browsing in the “topic results” page. But we also created some advanced features that will more likely be embraced by “power users” — the topic cloud being one of them.
Also note that that you can access articles pertaining to a topic directly by pointing your browser to an address like https://grist.org/coal. You can also narrow down results by adding more than one topic using the “+” sign between topics (e.g., https://grist.org/topic/coal+carbon_sequestration). Also, RSS feeds are generated for each topic or combination of topics (e.g., https://grist.org/topic/rss/coal).
Other advanced tools are in the works and will be added soon. Like our search feature, topics are “beta”.
Finally, I’d like to give a massive shout out to our Dave, Skray, and the editorial team who created the taxonomy for this feature and gave Chris and myself tons of feedback, Chris for pushing me to the limit but giving me great advice, Tom for helping me with the look of the Topic Cloud, Dean, Corey and the rest of the tech/production team, the Open Source community that provided the technology to make this possible, my girlfriend for putting up with me while I was working on this [music starts], OK, OK! my boys Quez, Jackson, Steve, Avie, my family, little Neeshia, little DeeDee [music plays louder], and my mom, I LOVE YOU!!!