👓 Just a Thought: How Tags Happened at Technorati | Powazek

Read Just a Thought: How Tags Happened at Technorati by Derek Powazek (powazek.com)
It's been six months since we added Tags to Technorati (where I'm Senior Designer), and as it turns out, it was a pretty big deal. So before we get too far away from it, here's the story of how it came about. From my perspective, anyway.

The page was set up to show any post that contained a link to it – in other words, if you linked to that page, then your post appeared on that page.  

Just a rehash of Refbacks? or an early implementation of Webmention?!
October 04, 2018 at 09:19AM

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Some ideas about tags, categories, and metadata for online commonplace books and search

Earlier this morning I was reading The Difference Between Good and Bad Tags and the discussion of topics versus objects got me thinking about semantics on my website in general.

People often ask why WordPress has both a Category and a Tag functionality, and to some extent it would seem to be just for this thing–differentiating between topics and objects–or at least it’s how I have used it and perceived others doing so as well. (Incidentally from a functionality perspective categories in the WordPress taxonomy also have a hierarchy while tags do not.) I find that I don’t always do a great job at differentiating between them nor do I do so cleanly every time. Typically it’s more apparent when I go searching for something and have a difficult time in finding it as a result. Usually the problem is getting back too many results instead of a smaller desired subset. In some sense I also look at categories as things which might be more interesting for others to subscribe to or follow via RSS from my site, though I also have RSS feeds for tags as well as for post types/kinds as well.

I also find that I have a subtle differentiation using singular versus plural tags which I think I’m generally using to differentiate between the idea of “mine” versus “others”. Thus the (singular) tag for “commonplace book” should be a reference to my particular commonplace book versus the (plural) tag “commonplace books” which I use to reference either the generic idea or the specific commonplace books of others. Sadly I don’t think I apply this “rule” consistently either, but hope to do so in the future.

I’ve also been playing around with some more technical tags like math.NT (standing for number theory), following the lead of arXiv.org. While I would generally have used a tag “number theory”, I’ve been toying around with the idea of using the math.XX format for more technical related research on my site and the more human readable “number theory” for the more generic popular press related material. I still have some more playing around with the idea to see what shakes out. I’ve noticed in passing that Terence Tao uses these same designations on his site, but he does them at the category level rather than the tag level.

Now that I’m several years into such a system, I should probably spend some time going back and broadening out the topic categories (I arbitrarily attempt to keep the list small–in part for public display/vanity reasons, but it’s relatively easy to limit what shows to the public in my category list view.) Then I ought to do a bit of clean up within the tags themselves which have gotten unwieldy and often have spelling mistakes which cause searches to potentially fail. I also find that some of my auto-tagging processes by importing tags from the original sources’ pages could be cleaned up as well, though those are generally stored in a different location on my website, so it’s not as big a deal to me.

Naturally I find myself also thinking about the ontogeny/phylogeny problems of how I do these things versus how others at large do them as well, so feel free to chime in with your ideas, especially if you take tags/categories for your commonplace book/website seriously. I’d like to ultimately circle back around on this with regard to the more generic tagging done from a web-standards perspective within the IndieWeb and Microformats communities. I notice almost immediately that the “tag” and “category” pages on the IndieWeb wiki redirect to the same page yet there are various microformats including u-tag-of and u-category which are related but have slightly different meanings on first blush. (There is in fact an example on the IndieWeb “tag” page which includes both of these classes neither of which seems to be counter-documented at the Microformats site.) I should also dig around to see what Kevin Marks or the crew at Technorati must surely have written a decade or more ago on the topic.

cc: Greg McVerry, Aaron Davis, Ian O’Byrne, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Jeremy Cherfas

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👓 The Difference Between Good and Bad Tags | Zettelkasten Method

Read The Difference Between Good and Bad Tags by Sascha (Zettelkasten Method)

There are two different types of tags:

  1. Tags for topics. You use tags to group notes under a topic.
  2. Tags for objects. You use tags to group notes around an object, real or conceptual.

This is an interesting concept to think more deeply about with respect to my online commonplace book and future search.

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👓 On Using Titles, Tags, and Categories | Greg McVerry

Read On Using Titles, Tags, and Categories by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (jgregorymcverry.com)
There seems to be some confusion uin #edu522 about when to add a title and when to leave a post with a title. This is the #IndieWeb the choice is utimatley yours. If a one word post deserves a title..give it one;…a 3,000 word treatsie doesn’t need it…then skip it. Best Practice Yet here is a q...

I still need to figure out how I want to structure tags for individual modules. Is it really worthile? Who would use them and how would those be used?

While I like the idea of “backstage” posts, I’m not sure that tagging them as such has as much value to me. Since my site is my living commonplace book, such a tag doesn’t have as much meaning somehow. I’ll have to think about it and figure out what I want to do there. I can see some value for syndicating out, or potentially to fellow classmates, but I’d suspect that for the volume of content I’m producing with the edu522 tag, it may not be as valuable. Perhaps in a larger class it might or one in which I was producing a much higher volume of posts? Time will tell, but some of these mechanics could be useful/valueable to think about for teachers vis-a-vis their classrooms and digital pedagogy based on expected class size and post volume as well as how they might structure their “planets”.

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👓 How to Deliver Separate WordPress Category RSS Feeds | GreenGeeks

Read How to Deliver Separate WordPress Category RSS Feeds (GreenGeeks)
Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, is a common method for content marketing. Feeds are used to share your content with RSS readers of all kinds. For example, users can connect a WordPress custom RSS feed directly to their Netvibes accounts for the latest news. But what if you have categories...
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🎧 The Power Of Categories | Invisibilia (NPR)

Listened to The Power Of Categories from Invisibilia | NPR.org
The Power Of Categories examines how categories define us — how, if given a chance, humans will jump into one category or another. People need them, want them. The show looks at what categories provide for us, and you'll hear about a person caught between categories in a way that will surprise you. Plus, a trip to a retirement community designed to help seniors revisit a long-missed category.

The transgender/sexual dysphoria story here is exceedingly interesting because it could potentially have some clues to how those pieces of biology work and what shifts things in one direction or another. How is that spectrum created/defined? A few dozen individuals like that could help provide an answer.

The story about the Indian retirement community in Florida is interesting, but it also raises the (unasked, in the episode at least) question of the detriment it can do to a group of people to be lead by some the oldest members of their community. The Latin words senīlis ‎(“of or pertaining to old age”) and senex ‎(“old”) are the roots of words like senate, senescence, senility, senior, and seniority, and though it’s nice to take care of our elders, the younger generations should take a hard look at the unintended consequences which may stem from this.

In some sense I’m also reminded about Thomas Kuhn’s book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and why progress in science (and yes, society) is held back by the older generations who are still holding onto outdated models. Though simultaneously, they do provide some useful “brakes” on both velocity of change as well as potential ill effects which could be damaging in short timeframes.

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