Tags: Uncategorized

“Categories organize, hierarchically. Tags need not. Tags provide meta-information, Categories need not. Tags cross-connect, Categories do not.” – Carthik

Frankly, that’s splitting hairs. The notion of ‘tags’ has done 3 things:

  1. Given us an excuse to lauch websites without a pre-defined categorization schema, and allow that schema to grow and change over time.
  2. Made it acceptable for things to live in multiple categories.
  3. Gotten completely out of hand.

For me, there’s not difference between categorization and tagging – especially if something can belong to multiple categories.

“Tags” are good for 2 things:

  1. Making it easy to describe things that computers have a hard time parsing from audio, video, or images; i.e. “my dog”, “yummy cake”, “blue shirt”.
  2. For text – including things that shouldn’t, couldn’t, or weren’t included in the text – i.e. resturants with bad services. Tagging with the same words that are included in the copy is a complete bonehead move.