Why are people abusing "tags"...?

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Forum topic by KnickKnack posted 02-06-2012 02:35 PM 1873 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3806 days

02-06-2012 02:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tagging

... and please can they stop.

Searching has never been great on LJ, but there’s a pretty good “tag” feature which allows you to tag your projects with appropriate keywords.
Alas, you can also tag with inappropriate keywords.
I was searching for the tag “tray”, since I was interested in looking at the various trays that have been posted, but the results were terrible…

For example…
This project, “New Shop Move (Part 1)”, is tagged with all these tags …
“woodshop box frame pen toy bench cabinet chest furniture plane tray bowl carving clock jig table workbench pine carving tool lathe scroll saw chisel drill press milling shaping turning finishing refurbishing scrollworking veneering joining sanding sharpening woodburning arts and crafts rustic victorian greene and greene shaker modern traditional”
Almost none of those are actually applicable.

Is this project a tray?

Are cutting boards trays? A goodly number of them are tagged “tray”. Perhaps that’s arguable.

This isn’t a tray, or a jig.

Does this project, which is tagged with “bed”, and “clock” and “jig” and “chest” and “chair”, look like any of those things to you?

Only 3 of the 15 projects on page 1 actually are trays.

This project lists 18 species of wood used – yet not a single species of wood is listed in the text.

I’m not trying to single out those particular projects – they are but examples – the problem is rife.

Call me a kill-joy if you will, but just blindly tagging projects with every tag under the sun does nothing except seriously downgrade the usefulness of the tag feature.

The more carefully we tag our projects, the more useful the site will be to us.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

32 replies so far

View CampD's profile


1742 posts in 3726 days

#1 posted 02-06-2012 02:51 PM

here’s another,
how about the ones re-titling the posting to get more hits

-- Doug...

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3008 days

#2 posted 02-06-2012 03:29 PM

I agree. When your looking for ideas, or trying to find a project that you remember seeing, it can be very frustrating when people randomly tag their projects as things that they aren’t.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View PKFF's profile


48 posts in 2593 days

#3 posted 02-06-2012 03:42 PM

Perhaps, it is because they want people to seach that, whether on LJ’s or Google search, and view it in order to get on the Top 3?? I agree it is rather annoying to see all those tags.

-- "If you put your best effort forward today, you won't have to re-do it tomorrow"

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3191 days

#4 posted 02-06-2012 04:01 PM

Agreed, very annoying! Those examples are ridiculous, either people simply don’t understand what a tag is or they are being disingenuous. Another problem is the absence of tags too, I’m sure.

CampD, that re-titling forum posts is also annoying to me. If you have a different topic, make a new forum topic for it.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View ClayandNancy's profile


520 posts in 3255 days

#5 posted 02-06-2012 04:01 PM

I’m with CampD tired of seeing the same thing just renamed.

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

326 posts in 2875 days

#6 posted 02-06-2012 04:55 PM

I can’t agree with you more! All someone has to do is a search and then they will get the idea.Just like we measure twice before cutting, think twice before tagging.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3163 days

#7 posted 02-06-2012 05:29 PM

I think the problem is when the database searchs it just keys in on the word(i.e.tray) in any post, not necessarily one particular item. I agree with you Knick but I’m not sure there is much can be done about it.

-- Life is good.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3154 days

#8 posted 02-06-2012 05:46 PM

This could be reduced tremendously if there were 12-15 permanent categories (bench, table, jig, workbench, art, chair, furniture, ETC,) and you could only post in ONE of the categories. Once in a category, all the normal ‘tags’ could be used.

This is not offered as a “cure”, but just a way to organize how we look at projects on a more permanent basis and to minimize the clutter. My 2-cents…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2605 days

#9 posted 02-06-2012 05:53 PM

I guess I have never though about tagging my projects but I can see by the above post that doing so could be helpful if used carefully to assist in searches. I will try to rem and tag then from now on. Can you go back at tag a project already submitted?

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3154 days

#10 posted 02-06-2012 06:00 PM

YES, just click on ‘edit’ and you can change your entire project post and change your ‘tags’.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Manitario's profile


2705 posts in 3123 days

#11 posted 02-06-2012 06:18 PM

Personally, I was disappointed with the project tagged “bed clock jig chest chair”; I thought it would be some sort of crazy new type of furniture… I’m all in favour of commenting on the LJ’s project walls when they mis-tag something. It is very frustrating trying to do any sort of search on this site.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3806 days

#12 posted 02-06-2012 06:23 PM

@Howie …
This isn’t a search where you just type in a searchword – that would return anything that included the words you’ve typed. This is a search that searches only on what the poster has chosen to put into the “tags” field when they posted the project

@HorizontalMike …
Something along those lines sounds like a decent idea.
What do people search for when they’re tag searching? The answer to that would tell us (the “royal” us) what tags to offer, and tell also whether it’ll work. I guess you might create a carved toy bed in the shape of a box with a clock in the headboard, but…
Also thanks for the heads up on retro-editing the tags – I didn’t know you could do that.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Viktor's profile


466 posts in 3658 days

#13 posted 02-06-2012 07:00 PM

This will be solved by limiting the number of tags one could use. For example, scientific papers usually allow no more than 4-5 keywords. Adding more defeats the purpose and handicaps the search. In addition a library of standard keywords is sometimes used. The latter has its benefits, but also drawbacks. You may have something unique that you want to emphasize not found in the library. On the other hand one could still tag tray as bed, chair, jig etc.
If you are limited to 4-5 tags chances are you will try hard to describe the project accurately.
So, this is something for Martin to consider:
1) Limit number of tags to 5.
2) Make tag library but make it mandatory to be used for 3 out of 5 tags (i.e. you pick at least 3 tags from the list but could add up to 2 unique words).

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3806 days

#14 posted 02-06-2012 07:19 PM

@Viktor …
I like that idea. “Freedom but within chains”, to abuse a famous quote. Could even use checkboxes to make it easier.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3531 days

#15 posted 02-07-2012 05:02 AM

I agree with all this, also. I can think of one LJ who tags his projects with dozens of every conceivable variation on his, and his business’ names.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

showing 1 through 15 of 32 replies

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