WordPress.com Global Tags

Now you can start using categories as tags.

An excerpt from Matt on WordPress blog:

We’re experimenting with a new system for connecting bloggers across WordPress.com with people writing about the same topics. We just turned on our global tags system, which means that when you blog about topic X and tag your post with X, you can see everyone else who has done the same. Think of it like Technorati tags for our little community here.

You can browse a zeitgeist of what’s popular in the last 48 hours here or you can type any tag into the URL to browse those posts.

You can begin exploring on tags like culture, politics, blogging, life, or apple.

Over time these should start to drive more and more traffic to blogs that utilize categories.

IMHO, it would make the categories section more cluttered. I prefer Technorati & Flickr verbose tagging format embedded in the Word Press like the one utilized in Live Journal.

Lorelle have this to say in her entry: Tags Are Not Categories – Got It?:

Tags need to be clearly defined as distinctive from categories. I’m very selective about my category choices. I have only recently added a few more specific categories, which I will discuss soon, because my content topics have now expanded beyond my core four categories.

Adding a category like a tag creates long, cumbersome, and ugly lists in the sidebar. I have hundreds of tags on this blog. Could you imagine what my sidebar would look like if every tag I used was a category? It’d reach through your desk to the floor and beyond.

Until WordPress.com adds something like the Ultimate Tag Warrior, which adds a tag input form onto the Write Post Panel and then permits weighted tag clouds (tag heat maps) or tag lists within the WordPress Theme layout, you can still use the option of manually adding tags to your posts and not giving into the competition of having your category “seen” on the WordPress.com category/tag cloud.

Honestly, why do categories have to be tags. Categories can be tags, sure, but not all categories are tags, and not all tags should be categories. I think of categories as a table of contents and tags as the index page of a book. If I’m searching for a broad topic, unsure of exactly what I need to find or the keywords, then I will hit the table of contents (categories). If I know the exact word I need in order to find the information I want, then I will hit the index page (tags). As repositories of content and information, why should blogs be any different?

Well said. To summarize:

Categories organize, hierarchically. Tags need not. Tags provide meta-information, Categories need not. Tags cross-connect, Categories do not.

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