Blogs: April 2007 Archives

Tags or Categories?

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Movable Type supports both tags and categories, so which one is best?

The answer is that either works, but that whichever one you pick should be used consistently (e.g. always use "blogs" as a tag/category not "blog" in some cases and "blogs" in another).

I'm a "Categories" person myself and here's why

  1. I'm a lousy typist - I place the category in once and it becomes a menu item. I also only have to correct my typos in one place.
  2. Sidebar links - I like the sidebar listing which is sort of a mental map of my weird little mind.
  3. Subcategories -It allows me to chunk my entries according to the 7 &plumn; 2 rule instructional designers like. If my list becomes too long, it's probably time for another subcategory.
  4. I can create them on the fly - If I find myself writing entries on the same theme, I know it's time for a new category. You're not restricted to a fixed list (I think some tag advocates are struggling with inflexible category menus...which are counterproductive)
  5. I can assign multiple categories - Not all category menu systems allow that, but the good ones do.
  6. I have to ponder information architecture - The effort to create categories is just annoying enough that I have to ask myself if I need it. It prevents overkill IMO.

But there are lots of tags advocates out there, which is why it's nice to have both options...