This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Wherefore blog categories and tags

A Sketch Towards a Taxonomy of Meta-Desserts

A graduate student from McGill contacted me recently to ask about my blogging practice with a focus on how I use categories within my blog.  If you are curious too, this is my answer, edited for the blog format.

As with many blogs, I have both Categories and Tags.  The categories are always listed in the navigation column.  The full list of tags I've used at least a couple times are listed on my tags page (alphabetical list with sizing by frequency).

My strategy behind categories has always to cover the topics I like to think and write about most frequently.  I generally don't delete or remove categories (what would I do with them?), but I do add categories as they are needed.  For instance, when I took a new job, I created a category to capture articles related to that role.  Articles can sit in multiple categories - and that seems to be the case more and more lately.  I have experimented with categories and subcategories, but decided it was too confusing in the context of the blog.  I don't think individual readers would "get" an structured categorization of topics beyond the alphabetical list.

The tags I use to expand on the categories and will contain the name of people or companies referenced, journal names, other topics, etc...  This seems easier, and I wonder if a blogger starting out today wouldn't simply go with tags. 

One thing I have thought about but never done is to review the heavily-used tags and consider whether they need to become categories.  I am thinking of my "change management" tag - but then I use it in conjunction with other articles that usually get a category, so I am not that worried.

[Photo: "A Sketch Towards a Taxonomy of Meta-Desserts" by several bees - yes a taxonomy of desserts!]

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