Blog Labels and Tags

tag

One of the first concepts most genealogy bloggers learn is how to organize blog posts using labels or tags.  Here is some helpful information for both the newcomer as well as seasoned bloggers who may want different ways to use and display labels and tags.

Labels or Tags?

One of the first questions seems to be: are labels different than tags?  Not really since it is just a matter of syntax and the blogging platform used for your blog.  Blogger uses the term labels while WordPress uses the term tags. [Note: with WordPress there is also the concept of categories which are different than tags.]

What Labels or Tags Should I Use?

First there is no definitive set of labels or tags to be used with genealogy blogs.  Yes, there are some which you will find on most blogs which help organize the blog posts:

  • Surnames – it makes sense to apply a label or tag to a blog post listing a surname when that name is mentioned in the post.  It will make it easier for visitors to drill-down right away to those specific posts for a surname that is of interest to them.
  • Locations – most genealogy bloggers create labels for the names of towns, cities, counties and states mentioned in a blog post.  Avoid creating “combo”tags such as “Syracuse, NY” when it would make more sense to have a separate Syracuse tag and a separate New York tag.
  • Concepts and Terminology – common terms such as genealogy, research, family history, photos, letters, charts, as well as names of genealogical societies, genealogy websites and genealogy software often serve as labels for genealogy blogs.
  • Events – if your posts mention baptisms, weddings, deaths, etc. then make sure there are tags set up for them.

Blog Type Factors for Labels and Tags

Beyond the basics, the labels and tags used on your blog really depend on what type of genealogy blog you have created.  The overriding motivation for creating and applying tags and labels is to make it easier for your readers to read groups of blog posts by topic.

Here are some suggestions for specific blog types:

  • Diaries: think of using each year as a label such as 1945, 1946, etc.
  • Photos: create labels based on types of photos such as Color, B&W, Instant, Tintypes, etc. as well as themes or subject matters.
  • Genealogical Societies: you want labels that highlight features of your society and are inviting to blog readers.  Suggestions include New Members, Upcoming Events, Meetings, New Acquisitions, Classes, etc.
  • Genealogy Conferences: create tags based on the type of information potential attendees will want to find such as Accommodations, Registration, Speakers, Classes, Field Trips, Deadlines, etc.

Blogger Label Resources

Visit these links for assistance with labels in Blogger.

WordPress Tag Resources

Visit these links for assistance with tags in WordPress.

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

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