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34 Comments

  1. Posted September 21, 2007 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, tags are now in wordpress.com but the themes aren’t ready yet. at least Sandbox.

  2. Posted September 21, 2007 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh yay! I’ve been waiting for them on WP.Com. For my mini blog.

  3. Posted September 21, 2007 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    It would make a lot more sense just to use subcategories to provide “microcategorization” rather than deal with the numerous limitations of this particular implementation of tags.

  4. Posted September 21, 2007 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    I saw a list of plugins that play nice with the newest WordPress. Is that list all inclusive or just the ones that they tested? Because there are a few of my plugins that I use heavily that I don’t want to lose just to get tags (something I’ve been thinking about for a while).

  5. Posted September 22, 2007 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    What about those using categories provided by plugins like UTW… Are the going to be compatible with 2.3?

  6. Posted September 22, 2007 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin does not provide or create categories. It only deals with tags. As said in the article, there is a utility to import tags from that and other popular tagging Plugins into the new native tagging system, converting the tags for each post but losing the features that made UTW so wonderful. As of now.

    As WordPress evolves, it may improve its tagging feature, and there are new Plugins that will help add more features to the tag feature.

  7. Posted September 22, 2007 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    What would be really nice, that I feel is missing from that new interface, is a checkbox that says something like ‘insert category names as tags for this post.’ Meaning let it grab all the category names you’ve assigned for the post, insert them, and then you can edit or add to that list.

  8. Posted September 22, 2007 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    They tend to operate like categories in that they only call up posts with the exact same “tag”. I wish they functioned like the bookmarklet/greasemonkey “search tags”. As bad as the WordPress.com search feature is, it does enable people to find some similar or related posts, whether formally “tagged” or not.

  9. Posted September 22, 2007 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    “The tags will link to your site and generate a category-style page view of posts with that “tag” on your blog.”

    The tags that I’ve created do not keep the user within my site, but work exactly like categories by taking the user to the WP page for that tag. What gives?

  10. Posted September 22, 2007 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    PS– As you say, there would be an advantage, if one had “tags” which duplicated the “categories”. Then readers clicking on the formal tags within the post would find your stuff and not everyone’s.

    But then, Occam would scream and KISS his razor goodbye.

  11. Posted September 22, 2007 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    “While tag links will keep visitors on your blog, post categories in the meta data section will continue to link to ALL WordPress.com content using those same categories, inviting reader to leave your blog, something I’ve long opposed.”
    Me too. I think it would make much more sense if instead the new tags linked to all WP.com content, and category links in the metadata section were restricted to one’s own blog.

  12. Posted September 22, 2007 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Brian: Are you talking about categories or tags? The categories from within the post meta data or byline data (depending upon your Theme’s design) go to the WordPress.com matching category – listing other blogs on WordPress.com which use that word or phrase as a category. The tags “should” be only your blog content. To access your post categories, the visitor must click on the link to your categories in your blog’s sidebar.

    Yes, this sucks.

    The rest of you, make sure WordPress.com knows whether or not you like the method of linking to the rest of WordPress.com blogs through your categories. Insist upon changing or being given a choice, and they will listen…if enough make the request.

    I’m screaming as loud as I can, but a crowd shouting the same thing reaches further than a lone voice…most of the time. :D

  13. Posted September 23, 2007 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I’d much prefer that categories loop back to your own blog content while tags would take you to the WP.com “find similar” and not the other way around. Anyway, as it is right now, everything goes to WP.com content.

  14. Posted September 23, 2007 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Brian: Are you talking about categories or tags? The categories from within the post meta data or byline data (depending upon your Theme’s design) go to the WordPress.com matching category – listing other blogs on WordPress.com which use that word or phrase as a category. The tags “should” be only your blog content. To access your post categories, the visitor must click on the link to your categories in your blog’s sidebar.

    Lorelle: Tags and Categories in the post area point to WP pages and take users away from my blog. Tags and Categories in the sidebar keep them on my site.

    Another weird thing I’ve discovered is with the tag cloud widget. We now have a tag cloud and a category cloud. I have one default category called “Personal” that all of my posts are in. I’ve been going back through all of my older posts and tagging them. My tag cloud shows “Personal” as my most popular tag, even though none of my posts are tagged “Personal”. Also, clicking the “Personal” link in my tag cloud takes the user to inrepair.net/category/personal instead of inrepair.net/tag/personal. One would think that categories should not show up in the tag cloud or vice-versa.

  15. Posted September 23, 2007 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I see on your blog that the tags do point to WordPress.com stuff. The FAQ says that they would not. This sucks. I don’t want them. Do you?

    If your new tags point to WordPress.com content and not to your blog’s content, let your voice be heard!

    They haven’t turned on up this Theme yet. But I am keeping my eye out for them. I’ll use display:none if they link to WordPress.com blogs. Seriously.

    As for the issue of Personal category, I clicked it and found a ton of articles you have marked in the Personal category. Change them to something else and uncheck the personal category. Maybe you have Personal set to be your default, instead of “uncategorized”. If so, if they are not categorized, that is what they would fall into.

    Thanks for pointing out the issue of the tag links. Let’s let our voices be heard loud and clear that the tags do not link to our content and we don’t like it.

  16. Posted September 24, 2007 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Lorelle,

    I would also prefer that the tags & categories pointed to my own blog rather than WP pages, but I doubt they’ll listen.

    The other problem that I was having cleared up sometime during the night. My default category no longer shows up in my tag cloud. Yay! :)

  17. Posted September 24, 2007 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Glad you solved one problem, but don’t doubt WordPress.com won’t listen. They listen, when the voices are united and loud enough.

  18. Posted September 24, 2007 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Tags currently work the same as categories, in that the post links are external but the sidebar widgets are internal.

    Quite apart from the post links throwing people out of my blog without warning, this is a big usability issue: if I have a link to the ‘design’ category on my sidebar and another one on my post, then naturally my readers are going to expect both links to lead to the same place. People have been complaining about this for a long time now (a forum search on ‘global tags’ turns up multiple unhappy campers), and Automattic had a chance to fix it with this upgrade by making categories blog-specific and tags global, but instead they just perpetuated the mess.

  19. Posted September 25, 2007 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the article, Lorelle. I was a bit confused about the benefits of tags last week, and your article(s) cleared it up.

    I agree with you on tags and categories leading people away from the blog, and I’ve registered my opinion with wordpress.com. I do understand their desire to point people to wordpress.com, though.

    Is there a compromise that would satisfy everybody? Maybe the cats/tags lead to my own content, but a special sidebar showing wordpress.com content appears (only!) on the results page in addition to the standard sidebar(s).

    The biggest problem with the current system is that it isn’t consistent. Categories and tags attached to a post lead to a different place than the same (as far as the audience is concerned) categories and tags found in the sidebar.

    It’s terribly counter-intuitive. I’ve had to use my back button more than a couple times, and I almost know what I’m doing!

    (BTW, this post is now showing tags leading to wordpress.com content.)

  20. Posted September 25, 2007 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    The best option is to allow the user to choose where they want their tags and/or categories to go. Forcing our readers to leave our blogs without a choice, for them or for us, is inappropriate and restrictive. Also, not intuitive.

    Tags? On this post? You can see tags? I haven’t found them yet. Only the categories in the post meta data section, which leads to WordPress.com stuff – sometimes crappy stuff. The “site search tags” are mine, created manually, and they link to my site’s content.

  21. Posted September 26, 2007 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    If you are using a non-hosted version of WordPress, there is the auto-tagging/linking widget at jiglu.com that automatically links all of your content together. Naturally, we’de love to see that arrive on WordPress.com as well

  22. Posted September 26, 2007 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Tags? On this post? You can see tags? I haven’t found them yet. Only the categories in the post meta data section, which leads to WordPress.com stuff – sometimes crappy stuff.

    I’m afraid so. Link to a screencap. The one with the arrow leads to ‘wordpress dot com/ tag/ post-categories/’ Maybe I’m misunderstanding. (It’d hardly be the first time.)

    Also, while hope springs eternal, here’s the response I got from Mark at wordpress. I guess we’ll have to keep up the pressure.

    The behaviour you see is intended.
    While it may seem odd, it brings you more traffic than you lose.
    It is not something we intend changing right now, sorry.

  23. Posted September 26, 2007 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Those are the categories that have always been there. That area is the post meta data section.

    As for Mark’s assumption, while there may be a basis in truth, it confuses the reader and does lose you traffic as there are some very sharp web users out there who do not want to see other blogs when they hit a tag link. They want information on your blog because you have teased them enough to know that they might find the information they want here.

    I was hoping to give up my tagging bookmarklet, but now I won’t. So sad.

    Still, I hope people will push through to make this an option, not a forced choice.

  24. Posted September 28, 2007 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I got the same answer when I first noticed that the categories under each post did not lead to my categorized posts.

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned that some readers of a scientific blog looking for posts under “sex” may not want to find non-scientific blogs with “sex”.

    Without some way to standardize tags and spellings, it’s not very social, either.

    Can anyone provide the data to show the traffic increase to one’s own site, instead of WordPress.com?

  25. Posted September 28, 2007 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Data? You mean tips? I’ve got a whole book of them. :D

    Honestly, the best way to increase traffic to your blog is to write keyword-rich content that includes search terms that help your blog be found when people go searching. Before that, make sure you have a body of work that makes people know they’ve found the right place, and the answers to their questions, and give them a reason to hang around.

    The better quality, linkable content you write, the more traffic you will attract naturally from search engines, and the more likely someone is to write about what you’ve posted and link to you, a guaranteed traffic driver.

    And if you don’t like the built-in WordPress tag feature leading your readers away from your blog to unknown and unpredictable content, then use the Technorati Tag Bookmarklet for WordPress and WordPress.com Users like I do. It ain’t perfect, but it helps for those who like using tags to find related content on your blog – or elsewhere.

    Trust me, tags are not the answer to traffic trouble. They do not get you “more” traffic. They get you some, but I can’t remember seeing technorati tags listed in my referral stats, though I rarely look at my stats any more. But when I do, they aren’t there. Yet, everything I publish, just like you, gets listed in Technorati within hours of publishing. All WordPress.com blog posts do.

  26. Posted September 28, 2007 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Mark at WordPress type of data–

    While it may seem odd, it brings you more traffic than you lose.

    I used to use the Technorati greasemonkey script but a smart redhead WordPresser convinced me otherwise so I only use the site search one.

  27. Posted September 28, 2007 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Ah, Pam, just goes to show that I should look at the blog URL a little more closer. I would have recognized a very smart and brilliant friend instead of just “another” commenter.

    I know brilliant when I see it, I just have to look. I know you know what you is blogging about, and you do great work. It just takes time.

    Remember, I’ve been doing this since 1994. I didn’t arrive two years ago on WordPress.com without some kind of built-in audience that followed me. It takes time, and you are on the right track, “kid”. :D

  28. Posted September 28, 2007 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    But there is the larger issue which you have mentioned before (why blog) which seems to hit head-on with some WordPress.com extras, the “tags” being but one.

    If one’s objective is to bring in viewers, then tags leading out to another website may work.

    If one’s objective is to make it easier for readers to find what they want to (and incidentally maybe find new readers) then the tags and the poor search function (and the preview in a new tab to make sure I haven’t confused readers) are not good ideas.

    My choice in priorities for WordPress.com to develop would be for accessibility and not traffic (mine’s bigger than yours?) ;)

  29. Posted September 29, 2007 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Pam, you’ve inspired me. I’ll have a post on this very subject next week. Thank you!

  30. timethief
    Posted October 8, 2007 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    @Lorelle,
    The way the introduction of the tagging system has impacted the former categories system at wordpress.com has not sat well with many bloggers. I can attest to this because as usual when bloggers have something negative to say they do not take their complaints tot the top. Instead they direct their unhappiness at unwitting forum volunteers, who has no more information than the other bloggers do about the implementation and effects the tagging system would have on the way categories are treated.

    Below are just 2 examples of the kind of responses received. (Note that I chose ones where the bloggers were not rude or acting like drama queens.)

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=16171

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=15206

  31. Posted October 8, 2007 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    @timethief:

    I’ve been following these discussions. I do hope developers and WordPress.com are following them, too. This is why I wrote this post.

    I do believe the administrators of WordPress.com will listen – if we talk to them and not at them. The Support Forums are a great place to let your voice be heard, but you are right. Direct it towards the administrators. The volunteers are not responsible. Nor should they take on the responsibility, which I have also seen. Volunteers should forward pertinent comments to the admin and then wait and see. The rest of us need to let our voices be heard on how we want tags on WordPress.com.

  32. Posted October 10, 2007 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Great new resource. WP tags will give a more targeted direction to search content.

  33. Posted January 7, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, thanks to your explanation on the difference between categories and tags , I think I now actually understand the difference. I would like to copy your explanation into an Edublogs manual I’ve put together for teacher trainings. If I have your permission, how should I credit you in the manual?

    Gail Desler

  34. ahndunk
    Posted March 1, 2008 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    That’s right, I can see my tag in wordpress, but I didn’t get much benefit using the tag…


25 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] usual Lorelle on WordPress has covered the news well in Tags Arrive on WordPress.com Blogs so toddle over there for an in depth piece on the changes [...]

  2. [...] giving out the option of adding tags to your blogs. To help you understand the newest tag method, check out Lorelle’s article that explains how it’s done and how the new tag option will work for you and your wordpress [...]

  3. [...] also writes about Tags Arrive on WordPress.com Blogs. If you scroll down she mentions tagging in the full [...]

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  8. [...] also had a post on Friday all about the new tagging features, with the positives and negatives involved which I took some notes on to post about, but [...]

  9. [...] Dougal Campbell has a good explanation of the differences between categories and tags. Also see Lorelle Van Fossen’s explanation. [...]

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  16. [...] on WordPress hatte sich übrigens auch mit WordPress-2.3-Tagging beschäftigt und verweist auf ein paar weitere Tagging-Plugins für WP [...]

  17. [...] the concept of tags right, think of tags as index words, and categories more like chapter headings. Lorelle explains, Tags are like your blog’s index. They are keywords that represent the [...]

  18. [...] Pam of Grassroots Science (Alaska) reminded me recently about the flaws in tags, the lack of consistency and control, I’m asking you again. Are tags working for you and your [...]

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