Don’t Get Lost in the Tag Cloud! Wednesday 2006-03-01
Word, words, words. We are spreading single words around us on the Internet as never before. It’s a new kind of poetry, where long lists or big clouds of words pop up where ever you go. It resembles the very long lists of uncommented links, so common in the early days of the web. There are tags for finding related posts on a certain blog you visit, or on other blogs. There are syndicated bookmarks, tags on your every blog post and tags on your photos at flickr.
With two hundred words in different font sizes, what do you do? Should you tag? How would you let others make good use of your tags?
I’ll leave the answer to these and other crucial questions to the more experienced bloggers and taggers, and give you some links.
I recommend you first to read Carthik Sharma’s article “Tags are not Categories“, where he makes it chrystal clear, why you should not confuse one for the other. It’s good reading and will set you firmly on track.
Then I suggest that you read two articles by Lorelle. The first one elaborates on “The Problems With Tags and Tagging“. She writes:
“As the blog administrator and writer, tags make sense. In addition to the high concentrated use of keywords in posts, as well as the good use of categories as tags, and inclusion of tags in my posts, Iâ€™m doing my best to make sure search engines and tag services can crawl my site and store my information in their database for others to find. But then what?”
Se goes on to answer that last question, providing the pros and cons of using tags.
The other article I want to bring to your attention, is her excellent post on efficient techniques you can use to insert tags into your posts. To know how you go about, you should read “A Tagging Bookmarklet for WordPress and wordpress.com Users“.
Categories are for structure, and tells us what domain a certain class of posts or images belong. Tags are for cross reference between more loosely related posts and may very well span different categories. Let’s keep that in mind as we tag along!