Tim Longhurst's Blog

Updating the blog from the back-end

October 9th, 2007 · No Comments

So I’ve spent a few hours a day for the last two days cataloging and tagging my 200 past posts. What a task… It’s been interesting to reminisce, but I’m glad it’s over. The fruits of my labour  are the  Categories section of this site and the Tag Cloud (the jumble of topics covered by the blog).

For those of you unfamiliar with tag clouds, each keyword is sized according to how many times I have tagged a post with that word. At a glance, you can see the recurring themes of my posts. Pretty clever, huh?

So Blogtober isn’t dead, but the blogging of the past few days has been maintenance and improvement, but the serious work of posting is now my top priority… Thanks to Christie for encouraging me to come back to the front end of the blog and post!

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Category: Building a better blog

Categories and Tags – how to organise your blog

October 3rd, 2007 · 1 Comment

As part of Blogtober, one of the things I’m hoping to do is tidy up this blog.

A quick look at my userstats shows that about half of my readers discover this site through Google search results. Some of them stick around and read a few articles, but most just read the page Google sent them to and then leave again.

As the site is today, it’s difficult for visitors to work out what other posts might be of interest to them.

Categories and tags are a great way of organising blog posts and right now I’m not effectively using either.

So I went on a search engine mission to work out what ‘category and tag best practice’ might look like. There is no right or wrong way to organise information on your blog, but here’s what I’ve found: categories seem to work best when an article is filed under only one category, whereas tags allow you to add a number of keywords related to the aricle. So, in a line:

A blog post should be filed under a single category but may be assigned several tags.

Simple, huh?

The category vs. tags thinking is explained really well over at problogger, and then Jimmy Z had a look at two blogs that use categories well in this excellent post. (Note – the message is that having catchy, multi-word category names is a great idea).

It’s also worth mentioning that the latest version of Wordpress (the software I use for this blog) has been released and is the first version to natively support tags. That means that thousands of bloggers have been handed an easy way to tag posts for the first time, so I think tagging is set to become even more widespread than it already is.

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Category: Building a better blog