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Snigel.nu has been tagged

Some of you might have noticed that over the past weeks, tags have been added to the posts on this website. I’ve done this gradually and over quite some time, so even though I’ve used more than one thousand different tags, it really wasn’t that tedious to do (besides, most of the tags are simply paste/cut from the post content). Doing this, I listened to audio books at the same time (No Country for Old Men and Use of Weapons), so even though I think it should be mostly correct, I’d be grateful if you report any inconsistencies you might find. Suggestions for how to improve tagging are also welcome.

I view tags as a freer form of categories, further specifying and categorising the post. Previously, I’ve been forced to use the search function to group things together. For instance, if I wanted to link to my reviews of Stephen R. Donaldson‘s Gap Cycle, I had to make a link to a search query, which would return any results containing the words “Gap Cycle”, thus returning a lot of posts (such as this one) which mentions the Gap Cycle, but contains no information about it whatsoever. Now, I can link to a tag called the Gap Cycle, and, voila, the five reviews are displayed properly. This is of course just an example, there are lots of other advantages, such as making it easier for the visitor to find similar or related posts.

Going through old posts, I also noticed that pingbacks were disabled for a large majorit of the site’s content (I’ve no idea why), so enabling them lead to a huge increase in comments (pingbacks count as comments). This means that the recent comments is cluttered for now, but that should be back to normal as soon as people comment on new articles. The idea is of course that pingbacks should be updated when they appear, not one thousand at a time.

The tags can be used in two ways. First, in the Archive, they are displayed as a cloud containing the 50 most popular tags, and as an alphabetical list containing all tags (1069 at present). Second, in the footer of each post, the dags attached to that post is listed, making it easy to find other posts using the same tag. For instance, in order to view other posts like this one, find and click the tag “Site related” below. Third, I hope that there will some day be a powerful search function in WordPress, which would allos the visitor to combine various categories and tags, this enabling a display of, say, all Reviews, In English of Hugo-award winning novels written by Lois McMaster Bujold. Alas, that is yet in the future, but tags are here now and they are here to stay.

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