As I strive to improve my blog organization to make it easier for you to find information and be more productive, I turn to you, dear readers of AriWriter, to help me answer some questions.
Do you know about labels, tags, and categories? Do you use them? Do you care?
For every blog article I post, I tick off a series of custom categories and tags that I feel the article effectively represents.
(If you have a Blogger blog, what I call a tag is what you call a label. Categories are slightly different.)
Wayne Smallman illustrates the concept of online categorization:
Remember the last time you walked into a music store and you immediately looked not for the album names, but for the A-to-Z headings?
In some stores, to be ultra helpful, they go one step further by breaking the music down by genre, too. This allows you to refine your search even more.
I organize my blog like that music store. Can I help you find anything?
Google Analytics, a free program I use to run statistics on how you access information here, tells me 12 people (out of 13,000) in the past month visited my LinkedIn tag page. Runner-up is my Twitter tag page with nine hits.
I wonder why.
Is it because your life is so busy that you only have time to read, or scan through, headlines and bold words?
Many people reading this sentence are confined within a RSS feed reader or email subscription, or on a social bookmarking or syndication site; but the analytics indicate a large percentage of click-through rates from there to here.
Once you arrive here, do you not notice the tags underneath every post and/or echoed in the sidebar? Have you looked? Do you care?
Every blog I read uses a similar strategy. Are you clicking their labels, tags, and categories?
Lorelle VanFossen has an evergreen story about how she views blog tags and categories:
In the simplest of terms, I think of categories as the table of contents for your blog, a kind of general outline that directs visitors to general topics that you blog about. Tags are more like the index page of a book, a list of key words people will use to search for specific terms.
Thanks to Josh Fialkoff for suggesting I write this blog post many moons ago.