Difference between tags and categories

The tag and category “clouds” on this blog have been taken down because they were out of control.  There are way too many categories and the tags inconsistent, rendering both clouds pointless and confusing. To make this a “teachable moment” I want to share a maxim I learned recently that would have been helpful a year ago when I went through a tag-happy stage and a spree of new categories every week.

The rule of thumb with these two classifications is: if your blog were a book, the categories would be like your headings in a table of contents and the tags would be the entries in an index.

  • Cool site alert: www.wordle.net is a neat destination for creating word clouds. It would be nice if the service could count entire phrases as a single entry, then I could have generated illustrations for this post of pretty clouds of my big mess of tags and categories…

Note that I still have four tags for this short post and even created a new category!? I just can’t kick the habit. However, I did make this addition a subheading under a parent category, an option I just learned about. One can in fact go back and delete or reorganize their classifications, but this will take some conceptual mapping that will have to wait.


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