Playing tag

I’m really enjoying my categorizing of all the posts I’ve put up on this blog so far.  During the process of rereading the posts, I have been pleasantly reminded of some of the stories I’ve shared with you.  I think I may devote a future week to my favorite posts, similar to the week where I repeated your favorites.

It’s not easy work, mind you.  It’s quite arduous and time-consuming.  Most of that effort could have been (and now is) avoided if I had a fuller grasp of the nuances of blogging and web searches prior to publishing what is now over 200 posts.

The blog application I use as the basis for my “Ramblings” is provided by WordPress.  You’ve read previously of my struggles as an “admin” of the site in terms of backing up files and structures and correctly upgrading.  Notwithstanding those duties, the blog itself is a wonderfully flexible and friendly application, full of many features of which I have yet to take advantage.

A common and helpful utility in most blogs is a search function and this comes without any preparation or effort on my part.  Another key aid is sorting or categorizing.  This function is also embedded in the blog, but I failed to take advantage of it during my first twelve months of posting (sheesh!).

The application, though, is smarter than me.  Failing to be told a category, it classifies everything as “uncategorized”, which is an oxymoron in a sense since “Uncategorized” shows up in the category list.  I should have been tipped off by that, but I was a web-infant back then (even to the point of several times mentioning I should look for a plug-in to help sort my posts…duh!).

Beneath the obvious category level, though, lies a more fundamental and critical piece to the basic nature of internet browsing.  There is a functionality called “tags” which apply to just about any item you publish on the web.  Photos, videos, editorial, whatever you wish to have public (presuming that is your wish), all will be made more easily searched (and, more importantly, found) by using this extraordinary “trick of the trade”.

It’s not complex.  It’s just like it sounds.  A “tag” on your published item.  For example, this post will likely carry tags on blogging, posting, internet search, tags and perhaps more that comes to mind.  When you are looking for information on things over the internet, you usually type in “key” words.  Search engines will scan for tags (and content) that match those words and pop back with a variety of suggestions.

Of course, it’s not as simple as that in web search.  There are arcane and financial drivers of search engine results, but the “tagging” process makes it easier for search engines to find your item and correspondingly you may end up on page 9 of a search instead of page 459.  If you want page 1, there are certain conditions you will need to satisfy (or be the only rational result of a search, such as typing in “Jeremy Shuttle”).

The tagging process makes my current categorization process slower going, but it will ultimately provide greater value to the website and hopefully draw more readers of the blogs (who may even become readers of the books).  That’s worth the extra time and effort.

I’m making progress placing every post in a category (or categories, if applicable). And in the hopes of drawing in more readers, I’ll keep tagging along.

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