Tags are It Right Now

Of those blogging about, as well as at, WordPress.com, few are as forthright as “that girl again.” Her view of our host’s implementation of tagging is a mess.

There is however one aspect of the tagging implementation she likes more than I do, or did. It’s the fact that tags at the end of posts are linked to global tag pages. So, for example, the tag “wordpress.com” at the end of this post will link to a list of posts so tagged at any and all WordPress.com blogs.

[M]ost of us would define a tag as an external, mob-folksonomical term which you use in order to connect with what other people have had to say on the same subject, whilst a category is a recurring topic within your own blog. I have no problem with my TAG links sending people to global TAGS.

Put like that, the links from posts to global tags make more sense. One of the things that seems strange to me is that global means WordPress.com. Our host includes a huge and diverse collection of blogs, while being a lot smaller than the blogosphere. If the host in question were a more focused WordPress Multi-User site (e.g. edublogs.org), links to global tag pages would be more intuitive to me.

There are at least two plausible reasons for global meaning WordPress.com. The primary reason is that having lots of blogs link to the WordPress.com-wide tag page attracts the attention of search engines to that page.

A secondary reason might be the difficulty in finding a suitable blogosphere-wide tag page. engtech remarked in a comment on that girl’s post that Technorati doesn’t matter anymore. By the way, there’s an excellent article, maybe even book, to be written on how Technorati, which once appeared to be central to a rapidly-growing blogosphere, managed to find itself marginalized.

Coming back to that girl again, again, she remarks that “tags aren’t showing up in themes,” meaning that some themes do not display tags attached to posts. I’ve started a topic in the support forum to capture information on which themes seem to be “tag-aware.”

4 thoughts on “Tags are It Right Now”

  1. The wordpress.com is a beta testing community so to be charitable the testing is now underway and once feedback has been received adjustments can be made.

    I’m trying to think positively about this. We have been offered an enhancement. It doesn’t work as we assumed it should. What we need to do is articulate what doesn’t work for us and to suggest changes.

    Both of you geeks (term of endearment) are very good writers so I’m sure that you will be ale to make it clear to Matt and the team which changes are needed. 🙂

  2. @tt: I don’t think that WordPress.com is a beta testing community. But I am able to think positively about tagging. Thanks for the encouragement to write constructively about it.

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