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Making Your Content Findable -- Tagging and Categorizing for Bloggers -- PodCamp Toronto 2013
 

Making Your Content Findable -- Tagging and Categorizing for Bloggers -- PodCamp Toronto 2013

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The focus of this pre­sen­ta­tion is tag­ging and cat­e­go­riza­tion — core capa­bil­i­ties in Word­Press and other blog­ging plat­forms as well as con­tent man­age­ment sys­tems ...

The focus of this pre­sen­ta­tion is tag­ging and cat­e­go­riza­tion — core capa­bil­i­ties in Word­Press and other blog­ging plat­forms as well as con­tent man­age­ment sys­tems (CMS) gen­er­ally. Learn how dif­fer­ent cat­e­go­riza­tions schemes can be used to enable read­ers to find rel­e­vant con­tent in a blog or CMS and how they impact usabil­ity. Under­stand how tags and cat­e­gories increases a blog’s traf­fic by improv­ing the find­abil­ity and nav­i­ga­tion of con­tent once they have arrived onsite. Find out how the effec­tive use of cat­e­go­riza­tion increases the value of a blog to adver­tis­ers as well as readers.

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    Making Your Content Findable -- Tagging and Categorizing for Bloggers -- PodCamp Toronto 2013 Making Your Content Findable -- Tagging and Categorizing for Bloggers -- PodCamp Toronto 2013 Document Transcript

    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Making Your Content Findable Tagging and Categorizing for Bloggers Tags and categories presentation PodCamp 2013 Robin Macrae robinm@gmail.com workspacebuilders.com Copyright 2013 Robin Macrae. All Rights Reserved. slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 1 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 2 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Overview and background (A) Is this presentation for you? (1) 1. finding information in your space is difficult 2. its easy to lose track of where you are 3. time onsite is not as high as it could be 4. you take authoring seriously 5. you have valuable content 6. you plan on being around for a while Make the case that tagging and categorization are essential to any serious web-based work. The more complex a hypertext space — a site — the more important the role of these two key information architecture elements. slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 3 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) The plan (2) 1. Overview 1. why are you here 2. background 3. a few caveats (message, length, examples, plugins) 4. my Tags and Categories thesis 2. A basic orientation to tags and categories 1. a tag, a Category and a taxonomy 2. what is a tag, a category? 3. a custom taxonomies diagram 4. the case for Categories, categorization is hard wired 5. categories at work 3. The blogosphere 1. 95% of blogs use tags and categories ineffectively 2. a few good examples 4. Blog stages of growth model 1. the issues 2. a blogs evolution 3. recommendations 4. the long term benefit 5. go forth and categorize! slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 4 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Study that scheme (3) 1. weve just used our first categorization scheme, a classification of the slides by topic 2. compare its informational value to 1. a search box 2. a sidebar widget and its list or cloud of keywords 3. a presentation with slide bullets but no slide titles The authoring of a presentation is a good example of content and classification iterations (PowerPoint outlines). slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 5 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) My background (4) 1. my experience as a practitioner vs theory 2. one massive integrated personal workspace or “site” 3. built many large content heavy sites for every size from individuals and workgroups to enterprises 4. my enterprise consulting practice 1. information architecture — organize and structure information 2. content strategy and development, the CMS pattern 3. complex information products and content applications 4. metadata and taxonomies integral aspect 5. WordPress and SharePoint bias and limitations 6. working with Seth Earley and Earley & Associates slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 6 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Caveats (5) What are you building? The basic strategy — 1. you need structure and organization when you author content worth organizing 2. discover the underlying order and then nurture and cultivate iteratively 3. new content extends, explains or relates in some other way to existing content 4. our primary interest today is navigation and findability 5. this applies to any content management system (CMS) slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 7 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) My Tags and Categories thesis (6) “TaC” is the label I use to refer to the tags and categories in a blog such as WordPress and any other CMS platform. 1. TaC — important but poorly understood and used — confusion is understandable 2. TaC essential to effective blogging for readers and authors 3. usage changes as blog grows and evolves 4. authors must use them in creating content (eating your own dog food) 5. these organizing tools are late to the authoring party 6. authoring driven classification schemes essential to Semantic Web (share and reuse data across applications, enterprises and communities: Wikipedia entry) slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 8 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) A basic orientation to TaC (B) A tag, a Category and a taxonomy (8) 1. WordPress enables and promotes the use of tags and Categories (Add New Post panel) 1. two of the four steps in authoring a post (the other two are a posts title and body content) 2. whats OOTB: three taxonomies, an API, lots of plugins 2. In WordPress, were surrounded by classification schemes 1. for example, edit panels columns — tracking posts by date, author, revision 2. but its “water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink” 3. the primary scheme for posts is Categories and is poorly used as a rule slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 9 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) What is a tag? (9) 1. Is a tag just a cute name for a keywords index? 2. fast, easy and cheap way to organize post content 3. the poor relative of indexing 4. “uncontrolled” vocabulary 5. high risk of proliferation and eventual chaos 6. progress from trivial and helpful to specialized and invaluable 1. some use in early blog stage especially given alternatives (date, etc.) 2. very useful when used for indexing slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 10 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) What are is Categories (10) 1. Categories — the builtin WordPress hierarchical taxonomy for posts 2. Categories is a taxonomy 1. a classification mechanism 2. the basic procedures 3. the Taxonomy API (no UI, hacks and plugins required) 3. a taxonomy is 1. a method of organizing by grouping things which share identified characteristics 2. can be and often is hierarchical 3. a WordPress blind spot (Codex, etc.) 4. topical is most common but infinite number of ways to classify including 1. temporal (date, time period, etc.) 2. author 3. physical (length, size, scope) 4. stage or type of work or process 5. relationships 6. geographical 5. the book pattern 1. book pattern is helpful in thinking about categories and tags 2. chapters are categories and indexes, tags 3. when would I use a books table of contents vs the index? 4. Lorelle credit slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 11 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 12 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Custom taxonomies diagram (11)This diagram is from What are "custom taxonomies"? (Joost de Valk), thedeveloper of the Simple Taxonomies plugin. slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 13 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) The case for Categories (12) 1. information architecture (“IA”) — this is metadata — thats the key 1. organization and structure 2. findability 3. navigability 4. reuse 5. hypertext quality 2. Categories are the key to creating an information space 3. use Categories in order for Categories to be useful (eat your own dog food) 1. invest in and commit to using Categories yourself 2. find Categories useful yourself before readers will find it useful 4. hierarchical depth deepens context and improves usefulness slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 14 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Categorization is hard wired (13) 1. to categorize is an innate human characteristic and capability tagging is not a natural ability 2. classification schemes 1. the builtin ones in WordPress 2. recipes (meals, ingredients, season, cuisine: Epicurious: Thai; browse) 3. library catalog vs coffees 800 facets/attributes 3. paradigm shift from physical to faceted classification (Wikipedia) Everything is Miscellaneous book by David Weinberger slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 15 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) More Categories capabilities (15)Categories may be used for various purposes 1. navigation/finding: browsing a hierarchy 2. Category specific templates 3. list selectively (metadata filtering: Category Tagging) 4. populate navbar in themes (e.g., Tarski) 5. create and use a content type (Asides) 6. control a private set of posts (Category doesnt display if all posts are private) 7. add images (Category Image(s)) 8. suppress certain categories slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 16 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) 95% of blogs use tags and Categories ineffectively (16) 1. using Categories as if they were tags with multiple selections 2. too many tier 1 Categories (analysis paralysis) and no tier 2, etc. 3. single taxonomy view 4. performance issue using Categories as canonical URLs (Category in Permalinks Considered Harmful, Otto on WordPress) 5. dont refactor so Categories dont evolve from rudimentary initially used 6. dont use them themselves and think that theyre just for readers slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 17 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) A few good examples (17) 1. A List Apart 1. a topic scheme for categories 2. excellent way of handling what are referred to as “topics” 3. only seven categories at the top: for example, Topics > Content > Content Strategy 4. each category is annotated with a useful description 5. top level ones display their sub-categories name and link, descriptions and article count but not posts themselves 6. articles are often in more than one category but few are in more than three 7. there are no tags and search isnt emphasized 2. Epicurious: browse : categories | recipes | cuisine | Thai 3. Victor Lombardis Noise Between Stations blog a moderately complex three tier categories scheme by an IA — Category Archives Matt Mullenweg in Victor Lombardi (2004): Look at how the information architects go crazy with sub-categories. I love it! 4. Toronto Public Librarys Advanced Search, a classification scheme — categories — albeit by the way things are organized as opposed to topically 5. RWG, Index; TaC (def), People (Log) 6. dog blog: TorontoDogBlog.com, Ottawa Dog Blog, Modern Scottie Dog, Scottish Terrier and Dog News slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 18 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Blog stages of growth (D) The issues (19) 1. a blog evolves through stages — a strategy or plan is a good idea 2. with plugins, hacks, APIs, category specific templates, etc., customization is rampant in tags and categories but not necessarily to good effect 3. multiple categories and tag proliferation risk 4. custom taxonomies: are they an alternative when hierarchies arent supported in custom taxonomies? 5. The search argument slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 19 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) A blogs evolution (20) 1. a blog evolves — the stages are 50, 250 and 1,000+ posts — illustrate why a plan is important 2. in the early stage, given the number of posts, categories change and tags of little use 3. crucial role of refactoring 4. this is information architecture: navigation, findability, reuse, hypertext quality all of which show the importance of metadataFor both tags and Categories, these core capabilities will only become moreimportant and easier to use and manage as WordPress develops. More, betterand easier. So a strategy is a good idea. slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 20 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Recommendations (21) 1. categories are a crucial; tags not so much 2. categories are the key to creating an information space 3. use caution assigning posts to multiple categories 4. dont use categories as the Permalink structure in the initial stage of a blog because they will change as the blog evolves 5. understand and address the tag proliferation risk 6. in general, date is a poor navigation scheme and way of classifying content — who cares about your process? 7. develop your scheme to reflect the stages of development (50, 250 and 1,000+) 8. use it in order for it to be useful (dog food) 9. depth deepens context and improves usefulness slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 21 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) The long term benefit (22)Ultimately, your use of categories will determine the long term value andviability (survival) of your blog.What is the impact of an effective categories strategy? 1. the evolution of your blogs content theme(s) 2. the quality of your hypertext 3. your personal productivity slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 22 of 23
    • PodCamp 2013 presentation v1a F (Slidy) | Tags and categories series | zWordPressz | 164_p25 | 2013-02-22 (1) Go forth and categorize! (23) slide 2/18 13-02-25 14:30 23 of 23