Tags with Phrases December 7, 2005 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Tags with "multiple words in quotes" instead of onewordwikistyle (and clear guidelines on the tagging convention) might prevent people from making such messes with their tags. (I know the posting area clearly says multiple words should be strung together, but people just don't read, and it's not intuitive.) Granted, I know this would screw up the hundreds of posts already tagged, so then maybe this is better off as a another call for a trusted "tagging clean-up committee"
posted by Robot Johnny to Feature Requests at 12:26 PM (13 comments total)

While that would be nice, quoted phrases won't solve the problem, because people aren't using quotes now.

Also, they can fix their own tags. We have add and delete buttons now.
posted by smackfu at 12:55 PM on December 7, 2005


Yeah, I know... I guess the real problem is that people don't read instructions, or don't care.
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:59 PM on December 7, 2005


I still don't see the tagging system amounting to much.
posted by mischief at 1:09 PM on December 7, 2005


CapitalizeEachWordJustLikeMe(OrDon't)
posted by Rothko at 1:15 PM on December 7, 2005


Why not just store tags with multiple words using spaces as characters? Treat all multiple-word tags as if they were in quotes.
posted by driveler at 1:38 PM on December 7, 2005


For the record, the tags in my second link have since been fixed. They_Used_To_Be_Like_This.
posted by Robot Johnny at 1:41 PM on December 7, 2005


maybe we should just switch to comma separated lists, rather then space separated lists? Space-separation isn't very intuitive.

Alternatively, the code could scan for commas and use those if they exist, otherwise default to space separation. It's not that complicated.

You could also have the code automaticaly take quoted multi-word bits ans squish 'em together for DB purposes.
posted by delmoi at 1:48 PM on December 7, 2005


I still don't see the tagging system amounting to much.

Agreed.
posted by Miko at 1:50 PM on December 7, 2005


maybe we should just switch to comma separated lists, rather then space separated lists? Space-separation isn't very intuitive.

I agree completely. But there is a problem. Once we start separating words with commas instead of spaces, we no longer get to call them tags and instead have to revert to that old-fashioned term "keywords". Separating things with commas is so Web 1.0.
posted by Jimbob at 2:29 PM on December 7, 2005


Every thread where this gets brought up, I suggest what delmoi has suggested. Please, switch to something intuitive, or at least have one final step before the post goes up:

These are the tags you've entered. Each line should make sense on its own. If this is correct, press Post, otherwise press Back and edit your tags. Remember, spaces are used to separate each tag - even though that's dumb:
New
York
Yankees
World
Series
Game

posted by odinsdream at 3:25 PM on December 7, 2005


maybe we should just switch to comma separated lists, rather then space separated lists? Space-separation isn't very intuitive.

Don't do this. You'll just end up with more junky tags like "mp3 music".

Alternatively, the code could scan for commas and use those if they exist, otherwise default to space separation. It's not that complicated.

Do this.
posted by smackfu at 5:00 PM on December 7, 2005


Alternatively, the code could scan for commas and use those if they exist, otherwise default to space separation. It's not that complicated.

Do this.


If the code (which in addition to scanning for commas, could scan for quotes, too) could also then squish the multiple-word tags into onelongtag then it would work with the existing system. Everybody wins!
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:36 PM on December 7, 2005


This is the same problem that del.icio.us has. It's difficult or at least counter-intuitive to construct hierarchically-loaded or complex tags. If I want to bookmark something for OSX configuration, I have to do something like "OSXConfiguration" or "osx.configuration" or (the convention I started with and still use) "osx-configuration".

See the problem? No consistency. Less interconnectedness, because fewer commonly-formatted tags.

Wiki-style tagging is dumb. The "wiki-word" convention was in itself sufficient cause for me to reject a wiki out of hand as a solution for an organization site I built three years ago. Tagging is supposed to make things self-organize in an organic fashion; wiki-style tagging conventions requires people to change the way they think to accommodate the software. Using the example I just gave, the vast majority of people would simply start with "osx configuration". Immediately you've got a high degree of consistency.

Perfect consistency isn't necessary, and in fact would almost certainly reduce the amound of positive serendipity. But a high degree of consistency is a good thing, because it gives people a framework within which serendipity is possible.

Odinsdream, not a bad idea, but I don't think it solves the problem. The problem is nospace tags.
posted by lodurr at 4:18 AM on December 8, 2005


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