Free the tags

Stowe Boyd has a long riff on opening up tags. Yup and amen.

Note, too, what Nick Denton is doing on his blogs: He’s using an MT plug-in (I don’t know which one) to make categories free-form, which turns them into tags, complete with pages where you can see, for example, everywhere that Jalopnik wrote about Porsches.

  • Jeff,

    I like the new template for the blog. Keep up the good work, dude….

  • Hi there, folks. The following section from Technorati’s Help page explains that tags are ALREADY open. WIDE open. Yup. It’s true. Please read.

    You do not have to link to Technorati. You can link to any URL that ends in something conforming to the tag standard. For example, these tag links would also be included on our Tag pages:


    So. As you can see, you just need a valid URL that conforms to the tag standard. No need for any Technorati in your URL.. it’s *your* tag, Technorati just picks it up.

  • Damn it, Jeff, I should have read this before I switched to IceRocket tags. Ah well, when Blogebrity moves to MT, we’ll work something out.

  • Jeff,

    Tags is way more practical than categories, and you can have tags in wordpress via two plugins.
    Cat2Tag Plugin
    Allows you to add new tags on the fly, while creating your new post.

    Popular Tags Plugin
    Turns the traditional view of categories into a super cool Tag Cloud.

    You can check my blog to see them implemented.

  • Stowe’ right- tags should be open….

    and they are. His entire premise off, because Technorati will recognize tags, even if they don’t point at*.

    All you have to do is use rel=”tag” and ping technorati and the tags will be picked up by Technorati. Everything he suggests already works and was built in from the beginning.

    Technorati is not trying to become a closed-wall tagspace monopoly.

    I hate to say it, but RTFM.

  • Ryan – That’s only half of the open tag model. Note many people have been creating closed tags on their posts because they then point to the Technorati tagspace. If you create your own tagspace you have to actually manage it. I am about to collapse my categories and tags together for Get Real, for example, so I will rely on MovableType to make my tagspace in the form of category archives. But the other half of the open tag model, that you don’t mention, is that Technorati and other tag services should use trackback to point to my blog posts, instead of me creating them. So if I have posted a piece and tagged it “thai”, Technorati would track back to that entry, instead of me creating a URL pointing to the technorati location “”. The current model is only partially open, which for all intents and purposes I consider closed.

  • The Tags on Gawker’s blogs are powered by the MT Tags plugin we published, and those tags are automatically picked up by Technorati when you ping them.

  • Hi Jeff, I go into more detail over at many2many on how to do a decentralised, tagged restaurant review model

    Stowe, while you may like search engines sending you trackbacks, I think many bloggers would not. You're free to link to us or not from your tags, and you should have that control, not any passing spider.

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