Quick Question on Tagging

by Dave on May 16, 2008

in Social Media

Just a quickie, this: when you are assigning tags to a piece of online content, how do you prefer to segregate different items on the list:

  • with spaces – like del.icio.us
  • with commas – like WordPress
  • with spaces but with multi-word tags in speech marks, like Flickr?

Would be interesting to know people’s thoughts.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jon Bounds May 16, 2008 at 9:57 am

I’m not bothered, maybe leaning a little towards the WP version.

A bit of concistancy would be nice though, and would certainly help tagging become easier to understand for some people.

2 Dave May 16, 2008 at 10:00 am

Yeah, consistency is the thing. I like comma-separated too, but I guess it could mean tags becoming unwieldy and too long.

The thing with the space-separated ones, like del.icio.us is that there is then no real convention for multi-word tags – do you just take the spaces out likethisforinstance or do as some people do and use +, – or _ between words. If people aren’t consistent then the whole point of the tags is lost.

3 dp May 16, 2008 at 10:14 am

Commas. Spaces are a quasi-delimiter, not sufficiently distinct. Apostrophes and quote marks are functionally adequate, but commas are easier to use.

4 Paul Thewlis May 16, 2008 at 11:03 am

I prefer commas. I don’t like having to make compound tags (e.g. dataportability, socialmedia) in del.ico.us. Commas involve less typing than the quotes marks + spaces approach.

5 Dave May 16, 2008 at 11:04 am

Thanks dp and Paul. Seems the consensus so far is in favour of commas.

6 Steve Dale May 16, 2008 at 1:20 pm

I think you know my views, given that I’ve spec’d the next phase development of the IDeA CoP platform to use comma delimitted tagging. Interesting to see other comments though.

7 Jeremy Gould May 16, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Like commas best

8 MJ Ray May 19, 2008 at 1:08 am

Chronicle uses commas and it seems to make sense to me. Hang-over from the seldom-used email Keywords header, perhaps?

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