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Tackling Tagging

? Blog corrections: A new literary style? |


| Out-of-the-way blogs, part II ?

August 08, 2005

Tackling Tagging

Heather Green

So, we're pulling together a list of "design elements" we want to change/improve on our blog, and we're interested in adding tagging for or Technorati.

Which is why the recent exchange between Fred Wilson and Michael Parekh on some of the headaches of adopting tagging will come in handy. And Parekh and Om Malik's thoughts on spam and tagging are also something we need to think hard about.

Reading through all this makes it clear that tagging is early-stage technology that needs some serious degeeking before it goes mainstream.....You can't really argue Parekh's point about what a mistep Flickr makes by not putting a search box on the front page.

Even Jeff Jarvis got a ringer, his tech whizz of a son, to turn on the tags at BuzzMachine...

11:42 AM

blog technology

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One of the issues like Om points out is that the majority of the people starting with Tags are following Technorati's instructions and creating thousands of links to the Technorati Tag pages. Do a Google search for many keywords and you'll see the Technorati Tag page come up quite high.

I wrote up the changes I have made to MovableType to easily use tags, but it's not a quick-n-easy solution to implement.

I have seen a fair amount of traffic to my blog as a result of tags, all of it from Technorati though.

Posted by: Josh Hallett at August 8, 2005 12:16 PM

Hey Josh,

Thanks for the pointer. We'll check it out.

Posted by: Heather Green at August 8, 2005 12:43 PM

It's important to remember that different tags have different uses. Technorati tags are for YOU to use in your post, and tags are for others to tag the page after you've posted it. So... implementing both is a more productive approach.

And a correction - Michael Parekh was complaining about, not Flickr. Big difference there, in interface as well as company and tool.

Posted by: Greg Burton at August 8, 2005 01:21 PM


That's what I have been thinking too, when thinking about the two different tagging schemes. Glad to hear your input. And, ahhh, yes, thanks much for pointing out the mistake on Flickr. I changed it, pronto.

Posted by: Heather Green at August 8, 2005 01:33 PM

First thanks for pointing to Jeff Jarvis adventures with tagging...I'd missed's helpful to understand this stuff better.

Second, I thought you'd struck out Flickr but left it in because a little while ago, Flickr didn't have a search box on the front page.

Even now, once you sign in as a member, the search box disappears on your home page. You have to click on the "Tags" tab to get to another page with the search box, which is not at all convenient.

Third, you may want to check out this helpful post from "Poductivity" on a "step-by-step how-to" add a delicious linkroll on the side of the blog like Fred Wilson's site.

Finally, thanks for continuing this discussion.

Posted by: Michael Parekh at August 8, 2005 02:06 PM

Heya Michael,

Wonderful and thanks for the suggetion to check out poductivity. Here's the real news--like Jarvis, we have a ringer, our crackerjack (do people use that word, you ask) tech guy, whom I will pass this along to.

Ja, to be honest, I didn't blink when I thought you were knocking Flickr, because they aren't the easiet site to navigate if you have don't know what tags are or have never used them before....

Posted by: Heather Green at August 8, 2005 02:23 PM

Yes, I strongly believe that the whole "citizen tagger" process is doomed to fail under its own weight, actually, as any library science person can tell you. If you don't constrain a keyword space, you have an infinite number of keywords, which therefore defeats the purpose of keywording in the first place.

I've written about this - months ago - on my weblog too:

I see no reason to change my perspective six months later...

Posted by: Dave Taylor at August 8, 2005 03:03 PM

Before you get into Tagging, could you add some other basics first...Other sites have these and they really aren't that difficult...

1) Get rid of the moderation, completely destroys the conversation, the quick back and forth.

2) Add something like email notification when someone adds a comment to the same post one has. Or RSS feeds on the comments. Very hard to establish/follow a "conversation" when you don't know it's progressing (and, no, revisiting on a regular basis is not the answer).

Then, add some of the newer stuff :-)

Posted by: PXLated at August 8, 2005 03:21 PM


We do have a list of basic things we want to do besides tagging (add a blogroll, make our emails more obvious). Thanks for the suggestions of other things we should tackle. Let us know if you think of others.

But I know that the comments moderation is something that we won't be able to change. We have had discussions with our bosses about this and that's the decision because they don't want to take the risk that anything racist, hateful, pornographic, or libelous show up here.

Here's the explainer:


Posted by: Heather Green at August 8, 2005 04:03 PM

Worry less about "design elements" and more about basic Web standards and accessibility. Teenage hobbyist blogs have better code than yours.

Posted by: Joe Clark at August 9, 2005 01:00 AM

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