Keyword Tags For Metafilter January 18, 2005 4:14 PM   Subscribe

I'm in the process of adding keyword tags to MetaFilter. Right now, you can go back and tag all your old posts. Please, help me make this a useful feature by tagging your stuff with descriptive keywords that help people find other related posts. We could really turn this into something useful if we stick to that. I'm still working it into the new post form and working bugs out of the display end, but the basics are now there. Go forth and help make this useful.
posted by mathowie to Feature Requests at 4:14 PM (178 comments total)

And just to be clear, keywords are coming to Ask Mefi soon (I don't think Metatalk needs them), and I'm still working on making the all tags page more useful.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:16 PM on January 18, 2005


Oh and you can tag your own old entries, but not edit or remove them. I'll try to do my best to tag/edit/update as needed, and I'll ask jessamyn to help out too, so that we can help establish some standards.

And please, try to keep the jokey tags to a minimum if you could, thanks.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:19 PM on January 18, 2005


Well, I managed to mess up the adding of tags to my most recent post and no other posts seem to allow tags. Arghhh.
posted by seanyboy at 4:20 PM on January 18, 2005


[off-topic]

What happened of the redesign contest?

[/ot]
posted by Gyan at 4:20 PM on January 18, 2005


"Right now, you can go back and tag all your old posts."

Okay, how? Where? What am I missing?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:22 PM on January 18, 2005


Only works for non-archived posts?
posted by smackfu at 4:22 PM on January 18, 2005


Same problem as seanyboy's here.
posted by trharlan at 4:22 PM on January 18, 2005


is there a master list of suggested tags? what's to stop people from varying, and thus not being included where they should? (i'm in the middle of something like this at work, with archives, and developed a master list with room for additions first, so that we wouldn't mislabel anything.)
posted by amberglow at 4:24 PM on January 18, 2005


This is great. A few thoughts:
  • I really think we should be able to edit our tags. As tagging conventions develop, we're sure to want to make changes, and just having one moderator, or even a team of moderators, is bound to be a pain.
  • As smackfu said, it appears to only be working for non-archived posts.
  • Are rss feeds for tags in the works? If so, how about rss feeds for users and posts, while we're at it.
  • I notice you're using the rel="tag" attribute. I assume these will show up in the technorati tag search?
Sorry for the barrage, but I'm loving the tags!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:28 PM on January 18, 2005


Thanks a lot matt.

British & American spelling may be a point worth remembering, for us this side of the pond. Also, correct spelling, and other conventions may need to develop: 'GOP' may not return posts on 'Republican', for example.

A recommended tag-list sounds like a good idea, or maybe just a list of popular tags somewhere? Just an idea.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:29 PM on January 18, 2005


is there a master list of suggested tags? what's to stop people from varying, and thus not being included where they should?

The best way to handle this is simply to encourage people to label posts with all possible variants. There's no harm with labelling a post with as many tags as possible - it will just be a good mental excercise for people to think of all the possible categories and keywords that may apply.
posted by Jimbob at 4:29 PM on January 18, 2005


The beauty of tags is that they're quick to add. The fact that they don't come from a master list means that you'll get more categories, but the ease of use means that more people will use them. It's not an ideal technical solution, but it's a great social solution.
posted by seanyboy at 4:30 PM on January 18, 2005


How cool!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:32 PM on January 18, 2005


Cool stuff Matt.

Tags are at their best when there is no defined taxonomy or lexicon. Tags work because there is no cost to coming up with them; just free associate a list of words about the item being tagged. No deep thought involved. Tags are metadata, uninhibited.
posted by tomharpel at 4:32 PM on January 18, 2005


Thank you Matt. This adds loads of functionality.
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:34 PM on January 18, 2005


A recommended tag-list sounds like a good idea

Yeah, and some basic rules like "don't use plurals" or "always use plurals" (assuming that matters) would be good to get a handle on too.
posted by scarabic at 4:35 PM on January 18, 2005


I think conventions will soon develop but let's go free for a few days. Ditto on edits. I'll add editing functionality down the line too.

So far I made a comma-remover (which I forgot to do) and I'll soon make it so you can edit the old archived posts.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:38 PM on January 18, 2005


...and maybe one should tag the sites that don't work anymore with something specific? "Deadsite", maybe.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:39 PM on January 18, 2005


thanks matt
posted by matteo at 4:39 PM on January 18, 2005


How come "art" looks like a bigger font, here?

http://www.metafilter.com/tags.mefi

For a second I thought maybe because it had more posts associated with it? That would be incredibly useful. This list is bound to get very very long, and finding a way to represent the popularity of various terms would be huge.
posted by scarabic at 4:42 PM on January 18, 2005


once added, where do the tags appear?
posted by Quartermass at 4:42 PM on January 18, 2005


big fonts = more popular, just like how flickr and technorati list theirs.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:43 PM on January 18, 2005


Q-Mass, try clicking on the link again and looking next to your byline on the post.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:45 PM on January 18, 2005


What is someone makes a tag like big_daddy_pants
posted by orange clock at 4:45 PM on January 18, 2005


Problem #1 - started tagging, but then my older posts don't have the option to add tags.
posted by Quartermass at 4:47 PM on January 18, 2005


ahhh - subtle.
posted by Quartermass at 4:48 PM on January 18, 2005


The font sizing seems arbitary 'cause so far flash and art are only associated with one thread each yet they are bigger than the rest of the tags.
posted by riffola at 4:54 PM on January 18, 2005


I went back to my most recent posts [todays and older] to tag 'em. Clearly older ones are not taggable, but I found a[n unrelated?] bug:
I clicked on my username in the John Peel memorial thread, and instead of going to my profile, it goes to thread 13659, as opposed to user 13659]. Screenshot [nb: 56kb jpeg].
posted by dash_slot- at 5:02 PM on January 18, 2005


big fonts = more popular

SWEET.

That will be like a window into the MeFi universe. Pardon my ignorance. I'm just not into Flickr or technorati.
posted by scarabic at 5:07 PM on January 18, 2005


Incidentally, how long before people begin clubbing together to create little group blogs, using this functionality? Is that part of what it's for? Or is that time to GYOW?
posted by scarabic at 5:09 PM on January 18, 2005


For what it's worth, there's been some del.icio.us tagging going on for Ask Me.

Looking forward to tagging my 6 when clicking my handle doesn't do as dash_slot mentions.

As a tagging convention, how about tagging based on "This post is about _____"? So "This post is about movie" makes no sense, but "This post is about movies" works fine. Thoughts?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:11 PM on January 18, 2005


dash_slot-: That bug has been mentioned here before. It happens on all archived posts.
posted by stopgap at 5:11 PM on January 18, 2005


Matt, do we have a tag big enough for "Bush"?
posted by matteo at 5:15 PM on January 18, 2005


This is cool and I'm looking forward to seeing all kinds of other neat stuff coming from this.

Thanks, Matt!
posted by fenriq at 5:19 PM on January 18, 2005


Thanks - I guess it needs a stopgap measure...

Matt, is there any way of making the list of tags more readable? Maybe separated by a '/' or '-' ?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:30 PM on January 18, 2005


Looks great, and I can't wait to see what impact it has on the site.

How about a NSFW tag?

On preview: any way of making the list a list, instead of a paragraph of unrelated words? Or would that be too painful to scroll?
posted by cosmonik at 5:32 PM on January 18, 2005


"Right now, you can go back and tag all your old posts" ... that haven't yet been closed via the 30-day archival period.

Or am I missing something?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:33 PM on January 18, 2005


Apparently I'm missing something. Carry on!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:34 PM on January 18, 2005


Will you be keeping the same syntax as say Flickr, where "two words" in quotes, with a space, counts as a single tag?

Matt, this is a WONDERFUL new feature! Thank you very much! I hope it is very successful.
posted by gen at 5:41 PM on January 18, 2005


Good job Matt. "combinephrases" by writing them as one word, ok, but how about proper names? Should they also be joined, like "davidhasselhoff"?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:04 PM on January 18, 2005


It's good to see that art is our biggest category so far. Who knew?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:23 PM on January 18, 2005


Ooh, a whole new editorial milieu to bitch about.

May I be the first? "15" sucks as a tag.

KIDDING. NEVERMIND!
posted by scarabic at 7:12 PM on January 18, 2005


Awesome feature. Yay for art!
posted by cmyk at 7:19 PM on January 18, 2005


Tags are at their best when there is no defined taxonomy or lexicon. Tags work because there is no cost to coming up with them; just free associate a list of words about the item being tagged.

Not if you want other people to find your posts.


Looking forward to tagging my 6 when clicking my handle doesn't do as dash_slot mentions.


This sounds dirtier everytime I re-read it.
posted by trondant at 7:43 PM on January 18, 2005


A couple of my older posts contain bold where once there was a link. Does this mean that metafilter's somehow searching the web to find dead links as part of the user's (to come, presumably) editing process?
posted by interrobang at 7:44 PM on January 18, 2005


Very cool. Thanks for your work on this, Matt.
posted by dhoyt at 7:47 PM on January 18, 2005


lowercase? UPPERCASE? BumpyCase? Title Case? How do we feel about using_underscores?

I realize the whole idea is emergent behaviour, and there are no correct answers per se, but any thoughts on what's best? (my vote is lowercase, no underscores, for what it's worth)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:51 PM on January 18, 2005


PS Thanks again, Matt. This ought to be fun!

Have you thought about coding 'em up with the new technorati markup, so they can appear here?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:53 PM on January 18, 2005


yippie yi yo kayay. thanks, Matt!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:56 PM on January 18, 2005


This is going to be so great - and when we can tag our old posts, mefi will become so much more of a time sink than it already is. Reading an interesting post and then following its tags to similar posts is going to be so very very bad for my productivity.....I second the idea of posting as many tag variations as you can think of.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:00 PM on January 18, 2005


tags for ask.meta is the killer app.

$.02: I ended up chopping input to 25 characters at mixter because I assumed folks would abuse and sure enough several have tried to enter really, really huge tags.
posted by victors at 8:06 PM on January 18, 2005


What the crap are y'all talking about, and why would I want to do it?
posted by konolia at 8:07 PM on January 18, 2005


Ooo, ooo, any chance we could have a delicious style ability to winnow by tags - ie, all posts labeled art and also labeled funny?
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:09 PM on January 18, 2005


I think underscore is better than mashing the words together.
posted by dhruva at 8:13 PM on January 18, 2005


What the crap are y'all talking about, and why would I want to do it?

The naming of things, konolia. The naming of things.
posted by interrobang at 8:27 PM on January 18, 2005


I truly don't know what tags are, what I can do with them, or how to use them. Could someone please explain how to use and take advantage of this new feature? Thanks.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:39 PM on January 18, 2005


It's simple, yet brilliant. You make a post, and add tags based on its content. Soon, there are lots of posts tagged, say, "art", and you can click on the tag for a list of every post that deals with art.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:46 PM on January 18, 2005


Why do they need naming?


Thanks, I think I'll pass.
posted by konolia at 8:46 PM on January 18, 2005


Dr. Wu, I don't think it really works yet, but it'll eventually be like this:

You create a post, and file it under a term like "politics" or "conspiracies", or whatever other words you associate with it.

This makes it so that eventually, one can click on the term following the post, and find other metafilter posts that have been filed under the same term.

This post, currently the top of the front page, could be filed under "taxidermy", "art", or "death", or whatever else seems appropriate. The linking that's being talked about--once it gets there--will lead you to other posts linked to those categories.
posted by interrobang at 8:47 PM on January 18, 2005


And so konolia came to pass.
posted by interrobang at 8:48 PM on January 18, 2005


How come no one is answering the questions about *how* to create the tags? I understand how to use the tags once they are created, but on the Post a Link/new Question pages there is no obvious way to add them.
posted by Pigpen at 9:02 PM on January 18, 2005


my vote is lowercase, no underscores, for what it's worth

Seconded, stavros.

I suppose there will be much jocularity with the tagging of things but how and what limits need to be imposed?
posted by fenriq at 9:09 PM on January 18, 2005


Pigpen, I think a lot of this doesn't quite work yet.
posted by interrobang at 9:09 PM on January 18, 2005


Also, in the olden days of cavemen and wooly mammoths, we called tags "keywords".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:13 PM on January 18, 2005


Should posts be tagged for their content, or also for the discussion that arose?

Eg, should there be a "Godwin" tag for discussions that were godwinized?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:13 PM on January 18, 2005


konolia:
Please, help me make this a useful feature by tagging your stuff with descriptive keywords that help people find other related posts. - mathowie

Clearly, matt hopes that this will make Mefi more useful to all members. Even for those of us that don't frequently post, it'll be conventional behaviour to add a tag or two. It isn't difficult: just think of what words describes your post - say, 'advice', 'retro', 'fun' for your last one.

You'll get the hang of it, I'm sure.

pigpen: I added tags to my post earlier today, after I posted it (mathowie announced this after I posted). So I clicked on the actual post I made: there was the box wherein I could post words that became tags. It's all very clever - and yet, so simple!
posted by dash_slot- at 9:14 PM on January 18, 2005


Looks like the color for the keyword field is into the whole page.

Pigpen: It's only there currently for going back over posts you've already made, Matt already mentioned that.
posted by abcde at 9:18 PM on January 18, 2005


Leaking onto the whole page, that is.

Is the fact that it doesn't work on closed threads intentional? 'Cause to go back and tag archived threads seems to be an honorable goal for those who bother.

Also, I take it there'll still be categories on AskMe (tags are probably no replacement).
posted by abcde at 9:22 PM on January 18, 2005


Read the recent AskMe thread asking why de.licio.us (or Flickr to name the two highest-profile poster boys/girls) is cool for an overview of the New Big Thing, 'folksonomies'. I'm quite excited by the idea, and keen to see where Matt takes it, if the community participation is high.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:25 PM on January 18, 2005


"Should posts be tagged for their content, or also for the discussion that arose?"

No, please; a million times "no". For a million good reasons.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:28 PM on January 18, 2005


dash_slot, abcde, thanks. I saw Matt had said you could tag your old posts but I didn't realise that that was all you could tag.
posted by Pigpen at 9:37 PM on January 18, 2005


I think this is very cool - and I really like the idea of random walks through the MeFi archive. Nice one, Matt!
posted by carter at 9:41 PM on January 18, 2005


"Should posts be tagged for their content, or also for the discussion that arose?"

No, please; a million times "no". For a million good reasons.


Bligh can't tell you what to do. Thats the beauty of it. I suggest "trainwreck" and "nocomments"
posted by vacapinta at 9:42 PM on January 18, 2005


neato.
posted by rxreed at 9:50 PM on January 18, 2005


Thank you, CunningLinguist and interrobang. Makes much more sense now.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:51 PM on January 18, 2005


No, but a million good reasons can provide good guidance for what to do.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:52 PM on January 18, 2005


You should finally be able to tag all your old posts now if you follow your user profile page that lists all your old posts, there should be a link that says add tags to post.

I'll work on the all tags page as it fills out, to attempt to make it more useful.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:21 AM on January 19, 2005


I made a boo-boo: I added a tag for "9/11", but it leads to this, which is broken.

Obviously, that's not good. Please help/fix/change to "9-11"?

Sorry. I promise not to break the toys in the future.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:37 AM on January 19, 2005


Ok, I'll change that to 9-11. I should filter out any / marks and replace with a dash automagically.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:50 AM on January 19, 2005


[this is good]
posted by fatllama at 12:52 AM on January 19, 2005


Much obliged, Matt!

And, uh, while you're at it, how about line added at the top of the individual tag pages (i.e. "There are 7 posts tagged as [tagname]") for those of us bad at math?

FYI, "psychedalia" should probably be "psychedelia". Just sayin'.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:08 AM on January 19, 2005


Just to add this to the stewpot ... I tagged some of my posts where the link is dead or has significantly changed as 'deadlink' ... that way someone who's reading the archives can see my note.
posted by SpecialK at 1:50 AM on January 19, 2005


That's cool...can we get some stats on how many posts were tagged so far, like for instance XYZ out of XXXXX ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:35 AM on January 19, 2005


After checking, I have come to the conclusion that my posts aren't worth tagging. Now that's depressing.
posted by Tarrama at 3:41 AM on January 19, 2005


How about consolidating plurals and singulars? That would be easy to do.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:38 AM on January 19, 2005


Can you edit your tags once you've added them? I can't find a way to be able to do that.
posted by iconomy at 5:04 AM on January 19, 2005


Weird, I tagged this post and after doing so the thread now says, "This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments." I posted that yesterday.
posted by shawnj at 5:26 AM on January 19, 2005


Why do they need naming?

Well, why does your library need a card catalog (or newfangled high-tech filing system)?

Its a way for people to find things on MeFi by subject or interest. Just click on this link and then click on a word that interests you. I think you'll see the value once you do.

A couple questions:

-- Will there be a way to edit tags?

-- There are some posters who have left MeFi (for whatever reason) (some of whom have hundreds of posts) whose posts are wonderful and should be tagged ... have you thought about a way of doing this? Emailing them and saying "I've added this ... would you be interested in tagging your posts?" or assigning someone to do the work later on in the project.

-- When are you going to link to this on the sidebar? Perhaps a link to the tags.mefi and a link to that del.icio.us askme to help folks who haven't yet run across the concept?

Matt, thanks so much for doing this. What's been interesting for me is that in tagging its forced me to go back and review all the posts I've made ... leading to me finding some stuff I'd forgotten about and some stuff I wish I could forget about.

Finally, I think its interesting that I find myself cross checking what I type against the ever-changing list of already-used tags, something I would never do in del.icio.us. I guess it has to do with the idea of tagging things for yourself rather than for other people.
posted by anastasiav at 5:47 AM on January 19, 2005


Whee!! I've tagged my massive collection of posts.]

Soon, there are lots of posts tagged, say, "art", and you can click on the tag for a list of every post that deals with art.

To be precise, you get a list of every post that is tagged with "art." Which is probably a different list than every post that deals with art. Not that this isn't great and wonderful and exciting, but one should be aware of its limitations as well.

Prettiest pony since AskMe. Thanks, Matt.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:07 AM on January 19, 2005


will we be able to search by tags, when making new posts and generally?
posted by amberglow at 6:12 AM on January 19, 2005


For those of you having trouble thinking of tags for your posts, you might check del.icio.us to see what people have tagged the links. Use the bookmarklet posted here to check out the del.icio.us history for a page.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:35 AM on January 19, 2005


Forgive my ignorance on this stuff, but would it be easy or hard to make tag posting somehow be forced into a mandatory spellcheck? That might save a lot of typo problems.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:36 AM on January 19, 2005


Hmm. I've tagged several of mine with "comicbooks" ... but then I see there are existing tags that say "comics" ... perhaps a means of combining like tags?

Or ... if I can't have a pony, maybe a "tag-checker" that compares my tag to existing tags and suggests a more commonly used tag?
posted by grabbingsand at 6:42 AM on January 19, 2005


amberglow:

http://www.metafilter.com/tags/art

returns all posts tagged with art

http://www.metafilter.com/tags/funny

and there's funny.
posted by 31d1 at 6:44 AM on January 19, 2005


I did about 20 of my posts and then collapsed. 225 to go.
posted by crunchland at 7:10 AM on January 19, 2005


Wow, there must be furious tagging going on.....the tags page is changing every minute. And I love how the font size reveals our interests and obsessions.

(Thank god I've generally been reticent to post.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:14 AM on January 19, 2005


humor or humour? Are tags in other languages useful?
posted by DBAPaul at 7:17 AM on January 19, 2005


Hmm. I've tagged several of mine with "comicbooks" ... but then I see there are existing tags that say "comics" ... perhaps a means of combining like tags?

Perhaps, if it's done so carefully. comicbooks vs. comics wouldn't be a good case for consolidation, though; comics may cover comic strips and stand-up comics as well as comic books.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:20 AM on January 19, 2005


Well, for some people, this could take a while. (I was done in about 10 minutes.)

I'd like to edit a couple of mine, and I'm sure there's stuff I'd not thought of when I was doing it. Would the ability to edit them (maybe after the rush of everyone tagging ebbs a little) be addable?
posted by chicobangs at 7:22 AM on January 19, 2005


On my "Bug Dicks" post, I clicked Post, remembered another tag I might want to add and reflexively clicked Back, typed it in, and posted again. Now there's a bunch of duplicate tags -- though it still shows up just once in tag view. Just a small, er, bug, heh heh.
posted by brownpau at 7:22 AM on January 19, 2005


Matt, do you plan to change:
http://www.metafilter.com/tags.mefi
to
http://www.metafilter.com/tags/
at some point?
Seems like that would make alot of sense.

And I'm sure I'm the only one thats just totally fascinated that you went with the flickr style /tags/ and not the delicious /tag/.

This rocks!
posted by 31d1 at 7:30 AM on January 19, 2005


I'd like to edit a couple of mine

Me too. The first ones I did weren't very comprehensive. Seeing other people's tags made me realize I forgot some.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:37 AM on January 19, 2005


For some reason (in Mozilla, I can't speak for other browsers,) 7 tags are too many for this thread. I swear, it wasn't broken before I added the tags.
posted by headspace at 7:39 AM on January 19, 2005


It is so much fun to just follow the tags around. It's like the web is supposed to be.

Also, art has escaped it's own line height, and is attacking anti-semitism (at the moment).
posted by smackfu at 7:41 AM on January 19, 2005


This is the bestest pony ever. Thanks.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:45 AM on January 19, 2005


holy crap, what a time for me to be out of town at a library conference! This is great news, nice work Matt.
posted by jessamyn at 7:55 AM on January 19, 2005


Lurve this.
posted by enrevanche at 8:11 AM on January 19, 2005


Yeah, this is definitely the coolest
posted by soplerfo at 8:25 AM on January 19, 2005


I was praying this day would come to pass. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Matt: I second the request for the ability to search multiple tags in a single query. del.icio.us does it this way:

metafilter.com/tags/musicvideos+funny
posted by gwint at 8:28 AM on January 19, 2005


Pretty please make tags mandatory on new posts.
posted by smackfu at 8:29 AM on January 19, 2005


All posts tagged with wtf (View a list of all available tags)

Sorry, there are no tags with that name. Please check out the list of all available tags.


This must be a mistake.
posted by adampsyche at 8:43 AM on January 19, 2005


Minor pony:

Can we get a list-by-popularity view of /tags/ in addition to the strict alphabetical?

It'd be neat to see a sort of tagging-zeitgeist that way, and it'd also make it easier to see what tags are singletons.
posted by cortex at 8:50 AM on January 19, 2005


Oh, oh, how about a list of tags used by each member on their own member page! That would be sweet.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:53 AM on January 19, 2005


Weird, I tagged this post and after doing so the thread now says, "This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments." I posted that yesterday.
posted by shawnj at 5:26 AM PST on January 19


Currently, taging active threads closes them, I've inadvertanly closed this one too.
posted by DBAPaul at 8:59 AM on January 19, 2005


I tagged the Survivor thread and it's still open.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:04 AM on January 19, 2005


isnt the (one of) the point(s) of tags to be able to see what subject a post is about -before- you click on it?
posted by GleepGlop at 9:07 AM on January 19, 2005


Half the links don't work in the tags page due to the formatting. I suggest better spacing, or replace variable size with variable colour. Internet Explorer 6.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:10 AM on January 19, 2005


I love this.

A problem I noticed, however, is that on the master tags page, it's impossible to click on a tag that appears on a line directly above one of the hugified popular tags like "art" or "music"...
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:15 AM on January 19, 2005


Er... what Pretty_Generic said I guess....
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:16 AM on January 19, 2005


Some simple instructions somewhere would be nice for those who don't have a clue what a "tag" is or what to choose for one.
posted by rushmc at 9:19 AM on January 19, 2005


rush, go to the tag page that's linked up top. Boom. That's what tags are. Click on one and you'll see how it works. Go to your posts page to see the "add tag" link. Add tags.

For anyone else who hasn't started yet, be sure for now to think of all the tags you can on your first visit to the post. I'm sure this will be fixed in the future, but it seems that once you save your first tag(s), you can't go back and add more. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Oh, and thanks for getting to this, Matt. It's great. I wasn't surprised to see how many of mine could be tagged "meat," but I was surprised at the number that called for "alcohol."

Oh! And... if konolia refuses to tag her own posts, can I do 'em instead?...
posted by soyjoy at 9:28 AM on January 19, 2005


Holy crap, the tags page is already so large, at full screen I can only see up to the "B"s without scrolling. Matt, you might want to put some sort of pull down menu for cutting off when a tag is displayed (I would guess that the page would shrink by 75% if tags with only one thread associated with it were left off)
posted by gwint at 9:43 AM on January 19, 2005


Looks like the tag page formatting has already been improved.

I'd recommend leaving out punctuation, i.e., zombie! s/b zombie.

Matt, this is just so good. Thanks.
posted by theora55 at 9:46 AM on January 19, 2005


humor humour has the potential to be a useful distinction.
posted by theora55 at 9:50 AM on January 19, 2005


Some simple instructions somewhere would be nice for those who don't have a clue what a "tag" is or what to choose for one.

Choose tags that:

1) You'd want someone later searching/browsing that tag to be able to find your post. That is, that this post would be appropriate for that word. (Use many tags if needed)

2) Also, use tags that define what general category or subcategory your post is in (Use many tags if needed)

3) Throw in some variations of the above if you like.

My guess is that later Matt will expand this to add Flickr-like functionality including:

1) Bringing up one tag will bring up other related tags (by adding many tags to posts above you are also "relating" them)
2) Combined tag searches (e.g. "art" and "flash")
posted by vacapinta at 10:17 AM on January 19, 2005


Thanks, Matt. metafilter++
posted by callmejay at 10:26 AM on January 19, 2005


Matt, I just did an ok job tagging my posts and I want to thank you for the very best pony evah! (PonyFilter)
posted by Lynsey at 10:35 AM on January 19, 2005


A few things I will mention again since everyone keeps asking:

- yes, you will be able to edit/delete/add tags eventually

- I will work on the all tags page so that it's easier to read, probably truncating it to just the 200 or so most popular tags

- I will add a tag search so you can find other tags not listed

- I will fix the bug that closes new threads

- I will add the tags to the front page of mefi eventually

- I'll add the same tagging system to ask mefi later this week, once all the bugs are worked out here

- I will write up an explanation page of what tags mean, how you use them, and how to add them to your posts. I'll link this on the all tags page

- I will add a counter to the tag output page.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:40 AM on January 19, 2005


Well, that's certainly not enough stuff to do.

So here's one more: Would it be possible to TAG the TAGS?

In other words, let users indicate, for a given tag, what other tags chosen by other users this tag overlaps with, or may overlap with? Then if a certain number of people (as low as two, maybe, or as much as much as 23) agree on a correspondence between tags, the system will automatically suggest them as related tags to search when you pull up a given tag's page?

I know I presented this as yet another pony to add to the pile, but in the long run it would, I think, save Matt a lot of time and effort trying to consolidate similar tags.
posted by soyjoy at 10:46 AM on January 19, 2005


Will we eventually be able to filter tags together (a la del.icio.us)... example "bush+video" if we want to see all posts that have "bush" AND "video" as tags?
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:51 AM on January 19, 2005


there is something so aesthetically cool about looking at the tags page with the differently sized words giving a quick rundown of what MeFi is... a quick scan says:

advertising art amusing blogs books bush comics
design election flash funny history humor law
music photography politics religion
science
technology video war weird.

how true.
posted by mdn at 10:52 AM on January 19, 2005


Thanks again, Matt. Your hard work is appreciated.

[give the kids a pony, and they'll want a whole frickin' polo team!]
posted by Asparagirl at 10:54 AM on January 19, 2005


What's to stop someone from intentionally mistagging?
posted by rushmc at 11:03 AM on January 19, 2005


There's going to have to be some majpr tag cleanup, I hate to say.

We have humor, humor! and humour. Also, 911, 9/11 and 9-11. 2000election and election2000. Etc.

How can we fix this?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:20 AM on January 19, 2005


What's to stop someone from intentionally mistagging?

I see many MeTa callouts over this very misuse. Hopefully posters will be civil and not give Matt even more work.

Thanks Matt this pony is great
posted by DBAPaul at 11:24 AM on January 19, 2005


CelebrityIllnessFilter EarthFilter eBayFilter EvilWeightPostFilter InsatiableMediaInfobeastFilter ObitFilter OnlyInCaliforniaFilter ReformDrugLawsFilter ReligiousNutJobFilter SomepluginIsNecessaryFilter TaxFilter

Why would you tag a post with "eBayFilter" or "TaxFilter" instead of "eBay" or "Taxes"? It seems like using the "filter" postfix is a bad idea...

Thanks for the tags, Matt!
posted by rajbot at 11:30 AM on January 19, 2005


Should we add "flamefest" to the threads that went ugly?
posted by rushmc at 11:30 AM on January 19, 2005


What's to stop someone from intentionally mistagging?

Nothing. This whole tag thing is a "good-enough" approach which means lots of stuff wont get tagged properly. There is a motivation to provide tags which will get your post seen in relevant searches but there is nothing forcing you to do so.
posted by vacapinta at 11:32 AM on January 19, 2005


Should we add "flamefest" to the threads that went ugly?

Please?

(Not that I enjoy reading flamewars or anything... *whistles innocently*)
posted by shawnj at 11:33 AM on January 19, 2005


The largest tags cover up some of the smaller ones, making them inaccessible...
posted by rushmc at 11:33 AM on January 19, 2005


rushmc: nothing, but the benefits from most people tagging correctly far outweigh the downsides of misuse.
posted by stopgap at 11:34 AM on January 19, 2005


I think 'flamefest' is a useful tag. When someone's looking for thoughtful discussion, they can avoid those posts, and if someone wants to see MeFI at its worst, they're free to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Tagging is as useful or banal as we make it. It'll be interesting to see what evolves.
posted by raedyn at 11:38 AM on January 19, 2005


Hmm, some thinking ahead might be in order: I used "trainwreck" as a tag for the Ann Rice Loses Her Shit post I made. It did not occur to me until later that people might make posts about actual locomotive accidents.
posted by headspace at 11:50 AM on January 19, 2005


It's spooky that the blue is being used as a test bed for AskMe, don't you think?
posted by mcwetboy at 12:09 PM on January 19, 2005


Look at how small the sex tag is. This has to be one of the only popular websites so little obsessed with sex.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:27 PM on January 19, 2005


- I will work on the all tags page so that it's easier to read, probably truncating it to just the 200 or so most popular tags - mathowie.

Noooo! Please, no.

One of the joys of browsing the tags page at the moment is clicking on the unique, wacky categories that people put their posts into. Surely, there's got to be a better way?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:35 PM on January 19, 2005


Sure, dash. View source, Save As, then drag it back into your browser window whenever you feel like a chuckle.

In other words, the downside of losing the occasional entertainment of the full version would be outweighed by the upside of increased daily functionality.

We have humor, humor! and humour. Also, 911, 9/11 and 9-11. 2000election and election2000. Etc.

How can we fix this?


Hmmmmm... gee... how indeed?
posted by soyjoy at 1:13 PM on January 19, 2005


But soyjoy, who will tag the tagged tags?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:15 PM on January 19, 2005


A popular list seems like a useful default -- so long as Matt makes other modes available, I don't see what the problem is.
posted by cortex at 1:22 PM on January 19, 2005


Wow...that list got BIG overnight. 'Art' seems to have developed into a behemoth, destroying the four lines above it.
posted by rooftop secrets at 1:35 PM on January 19, 2005


I have done all of mine.
posted by sciurus at 1:35 PM on January 19, 2005


We have humor, humor! and humour. Also, 911, 9/11 and 9-11. 2000election and election2000. Etc.

How can we fix this?


Keep watching the popular tags page. One will win out. As it does, you might want to either replace your (losing) tag or add the winning tag so, again, that your post is seen and not misclassified. Thats kind of how it works.

Which one wins out just gets decided by the vote of the masses.
posted by vacapinta at 1:38 PM on January 19, 2005


I would never have guessed that Utah would be such a popular tag..
posted by rajbot at 2:05 PM on January 19, 2005


monju_bosatsu: Tag.

You're it.
posted by soyjoy at 2:07 PM on January 19, 2005


It seems like using the "filter" postfix is a bad idea...

Downright stupid idea, in fact.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:12 PM on January 19, 2005


:::waits to see who first tags all their posts with their username so they will look uber kewl:::
posted by rushmc at 2:13 PM on January 19, 2005


Fun thing to do is load the huge tag list, and then set your font to be really really small (CTRL-minus in FF). It just looks really neat.
posted by smackfu at 2:16 PM on January 19, 2005


I wish I had a time-lapse movie of the /tags.mefi page growing and growing and growing...
posted by gwint at 2:22 PM on January 19, 2005


Look at how small the sex tag is.

::points and giggles::
posted by kamylyon at 2:25 PM on January 19, 2005


The Technorati tag page doesn't even have sex on it at all!

That and I like that sewer comes right before sex!

Thanks alot, Matt, this is super cool and I, among the many others, am really appreciative of your efforts.
posted by fenriq at 4:14 PM on January 19, 2005


Whew! *wipes brow* That's mine done. I'm mesmerized by the tags page. And strangely excited.
posted by taz at 4:20 PM on January 19, 2005


I can't wait for this to be implemented in ask.mefi just to see the largest word on the page: "cats"
posted by gwint at 4:53 PM on January 19, 2005


Sweet, Matt. I'll try to knock mine out in the next 24-36 hours.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:43 PM on January 19, 2005


Mine done too. I was also smugly pleased at seeing all my old threads, and the odd one or two that I'd totally forgotten - nearly three years of my online life, all in one place!
Yeah, I'm blotting out my flamefests, but they usually happen in other people's thread, for some reason...(",)
posted by dash_slot- at 6:00 PM on January 19, 2005


Please don't reduce the amount of entries in the tag page Matt, it's perfect!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:03 PM on January 19, 2005


Anyone else experiencing long load times on the tags page?
posted by anathema at 7:24 PM on January 19, 2005


This is seriously so fucking cool. Wait 'til it's on AksMe.

Thankyou Numero Uno.
posted by bdave at 7:28 PM on January 19, 2005


I have this burning desire to tag more posts. I can't tag just mine -- it took five seconds. What about posts by apparently long-dead accounts? What about posts by famously departed users? Eh? Eh?

I need a fix!
posted by cortex at 8:11 PM on January 19, 2005


Wow. I just looked at the tags page. It's an amazing thing of beauty, it really is.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:18 PM on January 19, 2005


shouldn't places like New York and Las Vegas be done as one word?

cortex, you can do my oldest ones if you want.
posted by amberglow at 9:04 PM on January 19, 2005


I fail to see the use. Is it supposed to make things easier to find ? Or is it all frosting and no cake ?And I am reluctant to go back and add tags to my posts just in order to hype them. Color me perplexed. I am so far unenthused about this feature.
posted by y2karl at 9:46 PM on January 19, 2005


shouldn't places like New York and Las Vegas be done as one word?

I'm hoping after it settles down that mathowie can go in and fix the cases where people spaced or capitalized inappropriately...
posted by rushmc at 10:30 PM on January 19, 2005


smackfu had a great idea and a good way to step back from the monstro and ever growing tag list. Reducing the font size until only the big stuff is readable, quick and easy MetaMeta.

Also, there's something a little wonky with "hot 10DowningStreet 12" at the very beginning of the list.
posted by fenriq at 10:52 PM on January 19, 2005


I fail to see the use. Is it supposed to make things easier to find?

I've already found a bunch of great links I missed the first time around just by clicking on topics that interest me. It just introduces a little categorization to the archives and makes them more useful. As it is, once a link scrolls off the main page that's really the end of it. Tags make the archives entertaining.
posted by painquale at 12:42 AM on January 20, 2005


I am so far unenthused about this feature.

I just want to say that it's great to see y2karl and konolia in complete agreement about something. Huuuuuugs!
posted by soyjoy at 7:55 AM on January 20, 2005


Also, there's something a little wonky with "hot 10DowningStreet 12" at the very beginning of the list.

Wait till it gets to be like the phone book, with people competing to see who can put the most aaaaaaaas in front of their tag in order to be listed first!
posted by rushmc at 4:44 PM on January 20, 2005


I really like this, but I also really wish I could edit my tags (caps and plurals and such).

For names, do we prefer just the last name or first and last together?
posted by homunculus at 12:02 PM on January 23, 2005


I enjoy browsing by tag as well-- makes the archives MUCH more useful (and fun). Though it seems that no one bothers to tag their posts (the seemingly inevitable conservatism of larger communities at work, perhaps)...
posted by fncll at 10:03 AM on February 6, 2005


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