Category Clouds and Tags, what to do

The past few weeks I have been thinking about going through all of my blog posts and trying to make sense out of how I originally decided to label them with categories and tags. Today, I decided to take some time and do a bit of reading on what the original thought was behind each of these.

In Blogger, they have labels.  That is your only option. Makes it easy to label it. In the help section on blogger, they say labels are “handy if you blog about a lot of different topics,” it gives readers a chance to read posts about certain subjects, by clicking on that specific tag. 

In WordPress, you can label each post with a category or a tag. To be more specific, categories should be thought of as a filing system. You can have a “parent” category with “child” categories within it. For example, one could have “Websites” as a parent category and then have numerous “child” categories with in, such as ancestry.com, footnote.com. 

After you finish putting in you categories, you can then add your tag. The tag is meant to give more detail. So, if we have categorized in as Websites – Ancestry.com, we could set the tag as message boards. This then indicates that our information in this specific post is about the message boards on ancestry.com. 

Now, here is where my confusion comes in, if I have a few different categories,  how will the tags make any sense. For example, my categories are Websites – ancestry.com and United States – West Virginia-Raleigh County. I then have the tags Besoco, message boards and mining. For someone with knowledge of all the general things I am talking about it would make sense. To others, maybe not. 

I am thinking too much into this just because I need to make some changes to my blog? Probably!  Does anyone else have thoughts on this before I start to make changes to my posts.

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4 responses

  1. I started with blogger, but had not used it too long when I moved to self-hosted WordPress. I try to use categories as the big picture, and tags as the little picture. Example: On Granny’s Genealogy I have categories Granny’s Ancestors and Papa’s Ancestors. That tells our family which posts are about who’s side of the family. But I use tags for the specific surname. So someone who is searching for just Jones can find the few posts with that tag, but someone interested in my entire family can see that larger number. To me, tags are more like an index, several tags may apply to a post. Example: a surname, like “Fenton” ; the topic of the post, like “land records”; the geographic location that the information is related to, like “Wexford Co MI”; appear in tags of a single post in the category “Papa’s ancestors”. I did not know this when I started, but that is how the system evolved, and how I use it today. Category = one of few general topics; and Tag = several of many overlapping areas of information in a post. It is just how I think. Hope this helps, some.

  2. Pam, Thanks for sharing your view on the categories and tags. It can be a confusing system for sure and I want to clean mine up before I do much more with the blog.

    Do you like self hosting your blog? I have been thinking about that as well. Not sure if I will do it in any time soon, but it is something I think about.

  3. Most of my posts get several labels. There is a label for each surname, labels for years, labels for each different carnival, etc. I limited the number of labels that appear in my label cloud but I can still access them all from my dashboard. Even still, I often have trouble finding a specific, older post.

  4. Apple,

    Thanks for your input here as well. I am glad it is not just me that has problems finding things within the blog.

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