Infrastructure of a Blog

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The blogsphere can find controversy in many topics including in the value and utility of two terms: tags and categories. As with any new medium, the vocabulary to describe the tools that help to optimize its use are being defined, re-defined and “rules” are being created as to their correct usage.

The primary blogging platform for this class, word press, defines categories as a “helpful way to group related posts together, and to quickly tell readers what a post is about.” This author conceptualized categories as chapters in a book. If one is reading a text book on English Literature and wants to know more about Hawthorne, then the table of contents leads the reader to the correct chapter.

Darren Rowse of @ProBlogger describes categories through the lens of technology when he posted categories that should be “factored into your site’s architecture and navigation, and displayed appropriately.” Just as a television producer constructs a story to optimize the video elements in an effort to capture a viewers interest, a blogger should utilize the categories to assist those searching for information on that specific topic.

Tags have a different role in the blogging process. They are the key words. ProBlogger, Rowse, believes the same key words should be used consistently to increase their value to readers and could be used to replace the usual search engines.

Stephanie Booth in her self- titled online rambling blog, “Climb to the Stars” offered several clear distinctions between categories and tags. These included among others, “categories help me classify what I’m talking about, and tags help me share or spread it”

While conversations around the design and effective use of tags and categories continue, we novices struggle to employ the advice of the experts in an effort to optimize our contributions in the ever changing world of blogging.


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