Tagging and Organizing My Blog

Back when I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress, I had to confront a cold, hard truth:

I had done an awful job of categorizing my blog posts. I mean really. Horrendous. And for a trained librarian to have done that? Absolutely shameful.

How was it horrendous, you ask? Well for one thing, I had something like 100 or 200 categories that only had a single entry in them. Stupidly specific categories like “The Two Towers” or “Dominion.” Why in the world create a category for something that’s only going to have one post in it, anyway? Now, if I’d been planning on having a series of ten blog posts analyzing the nuances of game mechanics in Dominion, or a series focused on picking apart The Two Towers, scene by scene, then maybe it would make sense. But as it was, it was just silly.

To make matters worse, I had over 850 posts with no categories assigned to them whatsoever. They were the digital equivalent of a great big pile of letters dumped in the middle of the floor. Over half of my overall posts.

So why do you want tags or labels for blog posts? Because you might want to easily find one later on, and there are plenty of times when a keyword search just won’t do. Imagine if you were looking for a song by a group whose name escaped you, and you couldn’t quite recall the name of the song. How do you find that on your iPod? If you’ve taken the time to categorize things properly, it’s easy. You go to the genre, first off. Eyeball the different musicians or song titles. It makes it all so much easier than if you have no organization whatsoever.

So I decided that needed to change. And I’ve been making big inroads. I’m down to 107 categories now. And 450 “miscellaneous” posts. It’s a real pain in the rear, but I just can’t not do it. It’s a badge of honor. Am I just some disorganized blogger?

No, sir.

I’m a librarian. And organization is a must.

(Bonus points to you if you get the connection between the pic and the post this week.)

4 Comments

  • By stacer, September 30, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

    I consider categories to be different from tags—I get very specific with tags, because it can help with searches, but if I want to go to a category, it should be fairly broad. Like “Travel” as opposed to “Korea,” or “Tu Books” instead of the author’s name whose book I’m posting about. But Korea, the author’s name, the book title, etc., all go into the tags.

  • By Bryce Moore, September 30, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    It’s a very valid point. And in my defense, I had originally been using tags-as-tags. But when I made the switcheroo, I decided categories fit what I ultimately used most of the tags for, so I transitioned over to categories. I suppose if I were really dedicated, I’d start tagging all the posts, too–but when you have over 1500 posts, that becomes a very troublesome endeavor. Maybe for the new posts I write . . .

  • By Katya, September 30, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    Single-use tags can be useful if they’re displayed in a cloud or some other sort of index, but yeah, if you’re only using them to link to other posts, there’s not much point to them (except for searches, as Stacy pointed out).

    Of course, every tag is a single-use tag the first time you use it, so at that point you’re either hoping or assuming you’re going to use the tag again, some day, or you’re tagging retrospectively, so you already know that you’re going to need the tag again. (But I try to avoid retrospective reclasses in general, because that way lies madness. :) )

  • By Bryce Moore, September 30, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    Sometimes retrospective reclasses are the only solution. Lucky for me, I passed the madness mark years ago. :-)

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