Posts Tagged Taxonomy

WordPress: Categories and Tags


If you’ve not read any of my previous posts, this blog has just moved from Windows Live Spaces.

This post focuses on some of the “cleaning up” I’ve now done (which may, or may not be completed – I’ll expand on the testing of  the completeness of the”clean up” below) on the categorisation and tagging of  the posts in this blog.

My Philosophy on Categories and Tags

Categories and Categorisation

Categorization is the process in which ideas and objects are recognized, differentiated and understood. Categorization implies that objects are grouped into categories, usually for some specific purpose. Ideally, a category illuminates a relationship between the subjects and objects of knowledge. Categorization is fundamental in language, prediction, inference, decision making and in all kinds of environmental interaction.

From: Categorization in Wikipedia

All schemes of categorization imply a taxonomy which is being applied.

Taxonomy is the practice and science of classification.

From: Taxonomy in Wikipedia

Tags and Tagging

My philosophy on tagging is one which applies far less structure than categorisation. I view tags as quick links in the text in a blog. I use tags as the “what would I like to find this by” hooks for the blog. The “thought experiment” is “If all my blog posts were in one text document, what would I like to find by to get back to this”.

The tags I use are not necessarily just contained in the text, but they do “describe the how to find the text”. This may seem counterintuitive to some readers, so let me explain further. I would be quite possible to write a blog posts about a visit to the British Museum and never mention London, but I’d put a London tag on the post.

WordPress Categorisation and Tagging

WordPress gives the facility for the categorisation of blog post within a hierarchal category structure. T his allows a “careful” blogger to categorise blog posts within a meaningful structure (a taxonomy of blog post categories). This I must admit is a very big step forward from the Windows Live environment (which was a single level category structure).

I’ve tagged my historical post, mostly with the tags I was trying to use in Windows Live. The question mark is because I’m not 100% sure that I’ve been using the tegs here on WordPress correctly. I seem to have “carved out” a bunch of tags which previously did not exist. This may, or may not, be how WordPress’s tagging system wants to be used.

I must admit that the category and tag cloud widgets are great (particularly, coming from a blogging platform which did not have them – or at leats I did not find them). It would be good if then both used the “blue hyper-link” format (but that’s down to a 1% quibble).


  • I’m not sure that I’ve used tags correctly (as per the Word press way of doing things). I guess I’ll find out, either I’ll get an email from the site administrators, or there will be none.
  • The category structure I have is not perfect. I’m not convinced that it is the most appropriate for my blogging, but it is better than where I started from.
  • The category structure will continue to evolve. As my range of interests develops, there will be new categories, or sub-categories required. 

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