Give Us Real Tags on!

I love my blog, even though I sometimes have trouble deciding if I should post the geeky stuff here or on Climb to the Stars. The only thing that really bugs me is that if I don’t want to have to type in all my tags by hand, I need to use Flock, and it’s horribly slow on my OSX machine.

Would you kind please give us built-in tagging capability? No, categories (or keywords, for that matter) aren’t bloody tags. Even if you can create new categories on-the-fly, without going to a special “category administration” page.

Just add a field named “tags” on the posting page, like my Bunny Tags plugin does. Hey, steal the code, the idea, or adapt it if you think it doesn’t suck too much. But we need somewhere to just brainstorm tags in instead of checking a pre-defined list of categories.

Bonus question: would you rather have me post geeky stuff over at CTTS? I’m a bit afraid of boring my non-technical readers (hi, Grandma!) with all my still feedback posts.

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25 thoughts on “Give Us Real Tags on!

  1. The whole point is that they don’t function the same. Can I brainstorm-type a list of tags in the WordPress category field, like I do in or Flickr? No.

    Plus, I don’t want my 100+ tags (I tag pretty liberally) to appear as a long list of categories in my blog.

    We need categories (ie: thought-out, global structure, general) and tags (ie: intuitive, fuzzy, general-to-particular).

  2. “Can I brainstorm-type a list of tags in the WordPress category field, like I do in or Flickr?”

    Why not, our tagegory entry field is almost identical to Flickr?

    The second issue is just a theme problem.

  3. Hey,
    First things first. Amazing blog Steph, I really like your posts though I have visited this before.

    And yes, we definitely could use the Technorati tags but then Technorati uses our own categories to tag the posts so it’s better to use categories, I guess.

  4. Matt:

    1. If that can be done, then I’d say you have a UI problem. The box seems to be there to add NEW “tag-categories”, not specify which existing ones to use.

    2. I don’t want a long list of tags on my blog, but I really do want my categories to appear on it. How will WordPress guess which “tag-categories” to show on my blog? It’s not just a theme problem. There needs to be a way of distinguishing “tag-categories” I want to appear on my blog and organise hierarchically from “tag-categories” I just want to slap on my posts, and maybe display as a big cloud somewhere.

    Chrono: I don’t agree with that — the services and software need to adapt to what users need and do… not the opposite (in a perfect world, anyway).

  5. Pingback: Climb to the Stars (Stephanie Booth) » Tags and Categories Are not the Same!

  6. One way to use the build in category feature for tagging – would be pretty much as you are already doing, to create a “tags” category – inside which you include all tags. And then set that category not to expand (show subcategories on the sidebar) – in your theme template. I don’t think that is possible in yet.

    Still, I like using Bunny’s Tags for tagging better. Got it customized to my template and everything, and now it’s even better in WP2.0. That is one of the plugins I would like to see in soon – at least as an option.

    Tags should be kept different to categories for people who want that. For instance, tags reference what a post relates to on the web and world at large, not just your site. Too many tags are fun, too many categories can be redundant. Granted Technorati lists WP categories as tags, but I want my categories to link to my blog’s content, and my tags to link on the Technorati cosmos.

  7. I agree with what you say in your last paragraph — you’re saying it better than I managed on my CTTS post, IMHO πŸ™‚

    The problem with the solution you offer (create a “Tags” category) is the following: who will bother moving all these “tags” into the mother category? Tags are about being easy and reducing cognitive load.

  8. Agreed, there’s much cognitive load there. Especially considering you cannot use the add category feature on the “Write Post” page to add subcategories.. You’d have to go to the “Manage / Categories” panel.. too much fuss. A tags plugin remains the best solution.

  9. #I don’t agree with that β€” the services and software need to adapt to what users need and do… not the opposite (in a perfect world, anyway).#

    Well put, yes but this would mean more changes in WP right, I mean minor changes can be instantly done by the guys but for something bigger, they need to go over the whole matter and so on.

    But you are definitely right. I don’t want a million cats to clutter up my nav bars. Instead If the tags have a rel=”tag”, they should be used as Technorati tags so we don’t need to create too-specific categories plus tags of our likings can be used.

    Plus I had requested something similar here –, saying that the tags could be used as meta keywords as well. 😦

  10. Hi Steph. Fun blog you have. I hope you get better soon, fast, or yesterday, whichever is more conveninet.

    Have you ever tried ecto (blogging software, costs a few francs, nothing much)? ecto can do both categories and tags on WordPress. You can google for ecto or look for it in my delicious, I am too lazy to put in the URL. The tags on ecto you still need to create, but only once, it stores them for you and you can create new ones any time. The categories are a bit more annoying IMHO since it reads the ones that you have created in your WP dashboard, but there is no obvious way, or I have not yet found it, on how to create them on the fly.

    If you can make sense of this, than you must be feeling much better!

  11. Pingback: Chrono Tron - 100% » Blog Archive » Auto-Technorati Tag Adding Greasemonkey Script

  12. Dannie: I’ve just tried ecto for my last post (Kevin Marks told me again to try it — I’d tried it a long time back but given up because it didn’t do what I wanted). Seems to work fine for tags, as far as I’m concerned! I’m familiar with the ecto interface because I use 1001 for flickr. It’s ok for tagging but I’d prefer a silly plain text field I can just type everything in, like does.

    Chrono: I’ve installed the greasemonkey script and will try it with my next post. Thanks!

  13. Pingback: blog design » Blog Archive » Tags in

  14. Interesting discussion…

    I also agree with Steph that tags are not categories and that both things should not be mixed!

    I would like to have no more than 10-15 major categories. Then I may organize my content better with 100, 1000, 10000 tags if I like. But tags are not categories and if WordPress could be made better by introducing tags, and leaving categories alone, would be very nice:)

    I see Matt didn’t yet respond?…

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