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comment by mk
mk  ·  2888 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why is there no way to have multiple tags for a post?

Tags (and the single tag) are one of the biggest points of debate here. I refer to it as the third rail of Hubski.

rk might have first posted this question some time ago.

It's a conversation that has returned many times since.

It's proabably fair to say that I've been unreasonably stubborn when it comes to expanding tags, primarily because I think they are an awful mechanism for categorization. There are a lot of reasons why, and as a result, I've put it on the user to follow those tags that he/she thinks might be relevant to catch what they think might be interesting.

That said, my thinking on it has evolved some, and I am starting to seriously wonder if an option for up to two tags would be an improvement.

aeontech  ·  2887 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So, perhaps, if this point keeps coming up again and again and again, it is an indicator that it is a real pain point for the users?

I suppose I just don't understand from any of the discussion I've read so far what the theoretical drawbacks are going to be. So, the tag space expands, so what? It's just adding dimensionality to the content space, adding far more aspects to view the feeds through.

As you say, I want to follow the tags that are relevant to me to catch what I think is interesting - but if everyone tags every music post with #music, even if I follow #triphop, it is useless because nobody uses it. It's a chicken and egg problem in that case. Alternatively, if I am interested in #elections but not #politics, I am going to miss out on any posts that are relevant to both because the original poster decided to use the more broad category. Or what if there is a great #NASA #comedy music video?

In short, with the current system I see only limitations, but no advantages. As an engineer, building this type of system I feel that I would either remove the tag system altogether and try to work out some other approach, or remove the crippling limitations :)

thenewgreen  ·  2887 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The one advantage that I really enjoy about our current tagging system is the ability to "ignore" a tag. For example, I follow briandmyers because I tend to really enjoy the content he posts to Hubski and I've enjoyed the conversations we have had quite a bit. That said, he uses the #kiwimusic tag quite a bit and I'm not a big fan of most of that music (sorry Brian). But, I don't want to not follow him because I really enjoy his other posts. So, I just "ignored" #kiwimusic and all is well.

I also like creating my own tags like #tng or recently #rockumentary for the sake of archiving. I enjoy following tags like #writebetterdammit and #wheresthebeef too. There's a creativity to tagging and there's the ability to archive that I would miss if it were to be removed.

It's also a great way for new users to be introduced to hubskiers. Even in the "real world" we meet people through topics and then come to befriend them through the breadth of their interests. Maybe you could only follow tags for so long? Then it's about following users only??

mk  ·  2887 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    So, perhaps, if this point keeps coming up again and again and again, it is an indicator that it is a real pain point for the users?

This is probably true.

I do think that some sort of change is in order. However, I want to think on it for a short time. rk just posted this very good article, which provided some insight.

I am somewhat interested in a dual tagging mechanism where both the users and the poster have some input. But, at the same time, I don't want tags to become the default following mechanism. If this is the case, tags become communities, and then you start to fall into all the problems that arise in shared forums.

Here's a post I wrote some time ago that spoke to that. The tagging issue arose there as well.

aeontech  ·  2887 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Awesome, I'm glad I was able to provoke some thought :) Looking forward to hearing what you think up!

And thanks for the link to that discussion, that provides some good context for me.

rk  ·  2887 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Amen. Tags are fun, especially when we try to be creative in selecting them. Unfortunately, it makes it rather hard to find content. Forcing people to select only one tag for a post would usually result in a) people not tagging a post at all or b) people selecting a very general tag as to be worthless or c) people using a 'creative' tag resulting in a tag "ghetto" ( forgot who first used that word)

Goosey  ·  2887 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm new here so I'm curious if tagging has always existed or if it was added at some point? If it was added I'm curious as to why. Was it a requested feature or addressing some pain point? If it always existed I wonder if it would be interesting to eliminate them altogether leaving only the follow person dynamic.

Ontological organizational means such as tagging is a common feature in social sharing sites these days, but it's not always been that way. The precursor may be blogrolls which is a person-to-person only dynamic. There also currently exists high quality social sharing sites without any organizational means (news.ycombinator.com for example).

I think a complete lack of tagging may encourage being exposed to new things one wasn't even aware they would find interesting. In a way it makes things feel more personal.

I've found tags most useful as a label to prepare me for what sort of submission something is prior to clicking on it. Perhaps non-follow 'labels' is ideal?

mk  ·  2887 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's pretty much been the concensus with tags here: do more, or do less.

I know that I don't want to do something as basic as just adding more, and I do prefer that the most compelling means of content discovery be user-focused. I agree that it adds a more personal atmosphere to the site.

zebra2  ·  2888 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've wondered, and I think it might offer some pro's as the site expands, if it would make sense to have user-submitted tags. Say I come a cross this post tagged #music, but I find that #yacht-rock is also a good tag. I can tag the post with my own tag. These tags would be a separate category from the original tag, maybe even hidden by default, but it would share the submission with the legions of #yacht-rock followers who could be missing out. It could be tweaked that it only overlaps with my followers perhaps? I'm not sure.

The next best thing would be to "network" tags somehow. When I follow #music, I default to following all the genre tags. However I can expand the music tag "network" and add/remove the tags as I see fit. However this would require continual development on your part. The previous suggestion is basically the same except the users do the work and it's more dynamic.

mk  ·  2887 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I've wondered, and I think it might offer some pro's as the site expands, if it would make sense to have user-submitted tags. Say I come a cross this post tagged #music, but I find that #yacht-rock is also a good tag.

We've actually discussed user-submitted or user-edited tags, as sounds_sound mentions here. However, the option of a poster tag, as well as a user tag is interesting. However, rather than have an additional tag for each user that adds one, the most popular tag might be the only one that shows.

ecib  ·  2888 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    but I find that #yacht-rock is also a good tag.

Do you Use the Songza app to listen to music on your phone? I'm on iOS but I'm not sure what other platforms it on, but it gives you hand crafted playlists based on the time of day and day of the week, as well as moods. They have a playlist called yacht-rock that I was just listening to the other day. My gf is definitely one of the yacht rock legion.

zebra2  ·  2888 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hah, I was just using it as an example. It's kind of a mocking title given to soft rock bands not generally associated with good taste, although there are some pretty respectable bands that get thrown in with the name and use it self-mockingly.

ecib  ·  2888 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not even going to defend them as respectable. I'll just note that it exists, and I was listening to it :)