Friday, April 13, 2007

 

Tag - You're It!

After Pi left a comment on my blog, I cruised on over to his blog to check it out. Interesting commentary there. I found a post on tagging, which got me to thinking about my philosophy of tagging. When I tag my blog posts, I do it first for myself. Tagging the most obvious subject of a post is easy. It's the secondary and successively smaller topics that I mention that I'm never quite sure of. Working in a museum doesn't make this any easier. In fact, it makes it harder because when you look at an artifact or document, you automatically start cross-referencing it with the other subjects people might be looking for. An example: You have a photo of a train next to a depot. Do you file it under train, or depot? What about all those people in the picture? How about that water tower or bridge in the background? See? It gets complicated. Filing copies of the same photo under all of those topics gets to be excessive. We only have so much space. We really can't be taking it all up with 50 copies of the same photo. Same as with tagging. Once I tag the obvious topic, I tag the other sorts of things that I'm interested in following - husband, children, writing, creativity, blah, blah, blah. The one thing I won't do is tag for a topic that is not included in the post. Believe it or not, some bloggers do this in order to get attention for their sites.

As an aside: Did you know that tagging developed from metatags? (I think I learned this on Pi's website.) Metatags are built into the hidden part of website code and they allow search engines to find your website by topic. Good metatags are critical for raising your ranking on search engines, which is why there are people and companies that'll play fast and loose with both metatags and tags.

Another aside: Neil Gaiman is known for his unusual tags. Check out his tag cloud. (Tag clouds are just the coolest thing ever!)

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