The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

More about tagging

– July 30th, 2005 –

Following some interesting discussion about tags I’ve decided to experiment a little on this site.

Like most designers, I like to keep a list of bookmarks of useful sites and resources. Over the past six months instead of saving these bookmarks in the browser, I’ve been posting them on this site in my ‘Of Interest’ section. One thing did bother me though.

Adding content to a bottomless pit, without any meta-tagging, and more importantly any UI to access that meta data, caused problems in terms of trying to find stuff.

Previously this list was just another blog in Expression Engine with a set of custom fields. Now, I could of course used categories to tag these links, which would have worked fine. However, I happened upon the Links List module for Expression Engine which is designed for exactly this. Yoshi has done a sterling job in creating a very flexible EE module with stacks of functionality.

So, what have I done?

Well, I’ve created a bunch of Links Lists (one for each month) and then migrated the content across from the old blog-list. At first I thought multiple lists might be a bit of a nightmare, but Yoshi’s module provides a simple interface to move links from one list to another. Then, each link is given a bunch of keywords which can also be viewed as a list. Oh, and there is a ‘tag-cloud’, but I don’t think I like it.

Why go to all this bother then?

As I said I wanted to organise the ‘bookmarks’ into more of a navigable structure but I also want to provide access to them from related journal posts. So, if a journal post is given keywords then these can be cross-referenced to the ‘Of Interest’ links and provide a list of contextual related links for the user (and also for me!).Well, that’s the aim anyway.

So, it’s a bit of an experiment and I may change it back at some point. Oh, and the RSS ‘Of Interest’ feeds are bust - I’m currently working to fix them.

Another point is I’m continually amazed by the power of Expression Engine and when combined with well written modules, such as LinksList, it really does blow me away. Right, better get on with some real work now (I was only supposed to spend an hour on this!).

Filed in: expression-engine, markboulton-co-uk.

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