Hooray, real tags are there, but…

September 24, 2007 at 9:04 am | Posted in Blogging | 7 Comments
Tags: , ,

WordPress finally has introduced tags that work like tags, i.e. as an addition the the categories used in the past. What’s the difference between categories and tags?

As best as I can explain it, categories are things you create ahead of time and only have a few of. Imagine them like sections of your site. The signs on aisles of grocery stores. Tags are one-off keywords attached to a post. You may add a tag to a post that you’ll never use ever again. Categories are meant to be permanent, tags are ephemeral. [Source]

Only problem being that I have used categories like tags in the past, as they were the only option. I have in a bout a year used almost 1000 different categories on my blog. I can now switch to tags, but the whole thing remains clumsy none the less, as I have those nearly 1000 labels in my categories’ list, and of course I have since long stopped scrolling, I just entered the categories I needed. But how to maintain a fairly narrow categories list if you don’t see them in front of you?

Too bad they didn’t just convert categories into tags (as many people used their categories like tags in the past) and added categories as a new feature 😦 Alternatively, an import/export function would have been good, to avoid this problem:

I had a lot of categories. Can I delete those and just use tags from now? What will happen to my existing posts?
You can delete them but all your posts will go into the default category. You will have to edit every post and add back the tags.

Posts with a default category are lost posts, by the standards of knowledge management.


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  1. Like yourself, I’ve used the categories with reckless abandon, as though they were tags. I remember, or think I remember a post where you explain your decision to use categories as static? In any event, it was influential. 🙂

  2. “as static” – i.e. just a limited number of categories? I think Lenina wrote about that – I opted for the opposite. Maybe the WP wizards will come up with a workaround.

  3. No, I mean static as interference, like when the television signal becomes blurred. Something like willfully producing an overload of information. I like that.

  4. It pains me that “like” shows up three times in my last.

  5. At least, like, you didn’t, like, use it like some people like to use it 🙂

    Static – noise! I like that too. Does a thing like information art already exist? Would be about time…

  6. It must. Would John Cage’s aleatoric work qualify?

  7. Mmmmmm. Close to it. I’d rather say that’s mathematical art. Information art that is more closely related to the overrated notion of information of the ‘information society’.

    Ha! In the Tanzquartier in Wien, they are currently rehearsing a performance based on manuals of use. It’s called DeInstruction:

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