Taggers may learn highly instructive things

Thursday August 07, 2008 @ 11:45 AM (UTC)

I love tags. They’re intuitive, individual, flexible and informative. They appeal to the part of my mind that color-codes obsessively and also to the slapdash right-now portion (or portions). So one of the chief advantages to upgrading to a newer blog engine was the tags, the glorious tags.

I haven’t finished tagging the archives yet, but after Ryan wrote the Top Tags plugin, I was surprised to see certain trends emerging. For one, I hadn’t thought I blogged about ‘real life’ all that much. For another, I was disturbed to see ‘grouse’, my chosen tag for negativity and ranting, in the top 5. Am I really that negative? I wondered, and considered how many fewer items could be tagged with ‘huzzah’, grouse’s opposite number.

So I’ve been trying to be more positive. Oh yes, if something is a grouse (like yesterday’s Zyrtec-D rant) I dutifully and truthfully tag it that way. But I’m trying not to write as many, to think of more blog items that celebrate or interest rather than excoriate. Tagging is self-revelatory. C’mon, be honest, you’ve looked at your tag cloud on some site or other. It’s interesting to see in aggregate the choices and distinctions we make in individual places, and to compare them to the aggregate choices of other users and the site as a whole. And the thing about any sort of self-revelation is that sometimes it shows you things you didn’t really want to see. It gives you a chance to change.

So I’ve already managed to push grouse down to number five on the Top Five Tags list…let’s see if I can’t push it off altogether!


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