Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tagging This Blog

Blogs and Blogging...

Filing stuff awayI've gone through another month of posts this evening and given them tags. Only a hopeless nerd would happily spend a Saturday night doing this, but I have enjoyed the retrospect as well as the process of categorization.

In, a group of tags can be placed under a heading ("bundled") to create a simple outline of main points and subpoints. In a blog, it's a way to impose order upon the creation.

Librarians have been doing this sort of thing for years, and fortunately they have the Dewey Decimal System to provide standardized categories from library to library.

At last I recognize the absolute brilliance of that method. The entire world is organized under just ten main categories:

  • 000 – Computer science, information, and general works
  • 100 – Philosophy and psychology
  • 200 – Religion
  • Bookshelves300 – Social sciences
  • 400 – Language
  • 500 – Science
  • 600 – Technology
  • 700 – Arts and recreation
  • 800 – Literature
  • 900 – History and geography

I've never understood why computer science is under 000 instead of 600 or even 400, but that's beside the point.

Each of the broad categories of Dewey is then broken down into groups of ten, and each of those groups is broken down farther and farther, until at last a book is assigned a number with places behind the decimal point as commonly seen on library books.

Dewey Decimal Classification is copyrighted by the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), but early editions of it (pre-1923) are in the public domain. I had never imagined that any entity owns the Dewey system.

"Do We" Really Know Dewey? No, obviously I don't!

Library of Congress Classification is another system of library organization, but it is not as widely used as the Dewey. The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) gives every book a distinctive number so barcodes will work wherever the book is sold.

Librarians assign just one category per book, but users can give as many tags as they wish to a webpage. That's an example of the flexibility of the digital compared to the physical. With so much flexibility, one must guard against redundancy.

I figure I'll just muddle along until I've gone through all the posts. Then I might go back and organize some tags a little better.

On the other hand, don't I really have something better to be doing with my time?!

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Related site: Dewey Decimal System by Tens (quite useful for sorting things out.)

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Wrkinprogress said...

I am a huge fan of the DDS!!! I love browsing sections in the library according to the DDS classification. It seems like you always discover something new, something different, something interesting when you just browse by category.

I'm going to try to follow your example and classify some of my blogstuff. No doubt that will become a real work in progress. ;)

Christopher Newton said...

Genevieve, do you know how I could create a little Table of Contents to my blog that would make older posts readily available? I'd like to have some of the series I've done readily available to new readers, particularly "Chronicles of the Baby Beatniks" which is not complete but in hiatus while I am traveling. Of all our little blogging circle you are the most adept at organization, so I thought you might have some ideas.

Genevieve said...

I guess the question is, do you want the reader to click to go to a page of links to the posts, or do you want the reader to click to go directly to the post?

If you want the reader to go directly to the posts, you can just write a little table of contents into your sidebar, much like a blogroll, but with a different heading and links to your own posts. As you add to the series, you can update the sidebar.

If you want the reader to go to a page of links to the posts, then tags will work nicely and they are easy to use. Just tag the posts "Baby-Beatnik", and then put a link in the sidebar to your Baby-Beatnik tag in your account.

Or you can create a blog entry that contained links to every Baby Beatnik post. Date the blog entry in the distant past so it doesn't pop up in your recently-posted list. Then in your sidebar, put a link that says "Chronicles of the Baby Beatniks" and have it go to your blog entry with all the links to Baby Beatnik posts.

Michael Leddy has a couple different types of organization on his blog.

I notice that several of the "big bloggers" like Guy Kawasaki use "Top Ten" and "Most Popular" lists of posts.

Christopher Newton said...

Thanks, Genevieve. I'm looking forward to trying out your suggestions.

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