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Tagging popular blog subjects

About what do people going online want to read? I want to find out the latest “buzz.” What has happened overnight about which the blogosphere is now talking? Can I write something topical, yet with a unique “take” on the issue?

Tags added to a blog post identify the subject matter addressed by the blogger. It is a useful tool for inviting readers to read previous posts on subjects of interest to them.

Technorati is a very popular tool we use for this purpose. Right now their site states that they are currently tracking 10.4 million tags. The “hot tags this hour” include, among others, ones that you will often see me use at the end of South by Southwest: bush, iraq. And from the “Top 100 Tags” I often blog about: blogging, books, current affairs, events, media, news, news and politics, technology, weblog. Clicking on one of these tag links (linked here “weblog“) will give you search results listing other blogs that have the same tag or tags, at this current minute, 7,749,698 posts. The list is “newest first.” Probably more than you want to know, huh? Well, here is some more “more than you might want to know” about tagging. I include it for my newbie or non-techie friends:

How to include Technorati tags – Here’s how I do it. It may not be the easiest but it works for me:

  1. Using the “Edit HTML” form of my Blogger composer, I copy and past the following piece of code from my MS Word “boilerplate” document* – [tagname]
  2. Into the two [tagname] areas I insert the tag word in place of [tagname]. Thus the final “Tags:” HTML code might look like this: ” Tags:
  3. Thus, in “Compose” mode, your Tag lines will have hotlinks that look like this:

Some claim that using Technorati has not increased their blog traffic. They note that they get only a few Technorati referred site visits. But, even at that, I also believe that Google, Yahoo!, Dogpile, and other search engines include Technorati tag info as part of their web crawl algorythm database stuff. But I could be wrong.

I do know that people often come to my site as a result of a websearch for “south by southwest”, mostly via Google. I have no clue how this happens, but it does. Nor do I understand why these S/SW posts have remained so popular with surfers, but I will speculate:

  • Giving positive recognition – Regarding my heroes, their heroism to me was not for fighting in a war, but for speaking out. Did I deceive my readers with the title? I am not sure: Hats off to veterans – 8/31/06 is about a few famous men to whom we might look up.
  • Whom to trust – Another oft-visited post looked in depth at trustworthiness, in particular how we might judge current nonfiction authors of topical political books. Look to the company you keep – 7/31/06. I posted about authors James Bamford, Thomas Ricks and Mark Danner.
  • All about Iraq – Irag is the biggest item in the news for Americans and many around the world. It is our preoccupation and it is driving the elections, as far as we can tell. This this most “topical” of titles was bound to interest August readers: Dateline Iraq – 8/23/06 it was about current news on the progress of the war, what was happening to troop levels, Iraqi and U.S. public opinion, and ended with background material.
  • Behind politics – For whatever reason, citizens want to understand those who represent them. My professional training was in the world of emotions, psychotherapy. Thus I feel comfortable exploring and indulging in speculation about the emotional dynamics behind politicians’ actions and attitudes. Politics: Do emotions precipitate actions? – 9/2/06 is one of a series of similar posts.
  • Art vs. science – Post graduate social work relies on clinical research using the scientific method, as well as “the art of therapy/practice wisdom.” I remain ambivalent about which I favor. The Scientific method meets the arts – 11/30/05 looked at the intellectual risks associated with the way the Religious Right, in my opinion, has tried to co-opt science in the pursuit of thin arguments. This post is often of interest to educational websites.
  • Handy-dandy blogging shared stuff – Collecting: new stuff – 9/8/06 was a post that focused on my favorite blogging sites, tools, new discoveries, etc. Many of these came to me as a result of another blogger’s thoughtfulness.
  • True confessions – Confessions of a Collector – 2/17/06. In it I explored the motivations behind the collecting bug, as well as the “why” (for me) of some of my own favorite collected headlines.

*Boilerplate is my Word document where I have saved little bits and pieces (boilerplate for later) of HTML code that I use regularly. Example: ” My “creative post” today at Southwest Blogger is about .” Because I never has a class in HTML, I do not try to remember it all.

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