This page contains comments regarding del.icio.us-style tags in ZWiki.

subtopics:

Two Disadvantages --TomPurl, Mon, 19 Dec 2005 11:31:57 -0800 reply

Here are two reasons why tagging is so advantageous in blogs but redundant (or even disadvantageous) in ZWiki.

Taxonomy

One great reason to use a ZWiki instead of a blog as the back-end for your personal web site is that you can organize your content in any way that you want. Most blogs only allows you to "stack" your content according to the date on which it was created (the older the posting, the farther it is down the stack). ZWiki, however, allows you to put your content anywhere you want, and you can organize your content hierarchically. This functionality allows you to design your web site's structure in a way that is more intuitive for yourself and the end user.

Tags have two disadvantages when used with anything but the most trivial taxonomy. First, they encourage a lack of taxonomy. Why place a wiki page announcing photos of your summer vacation under the "PhotoAlbums?" topic if you can just slap a "photos" tag to the bottom it? Tags encourage people to put the majority of the wiki content in one place while relying on the tags for category metadata. This is not only less intuitive for the end user, but it is also less intuitive for authors after the content's been published. Since the majority of your content is a descendent of one parent topic, it is difficult to quickly determine how your content is categorized after it has "fallen" off of the main page.

The other disadvantage of using tags with your taxonomy is that it quickly becomes redundant. Why am I attaching a "photos" tag to my latest photo album if the parent topic is already "PhotoAlbums?"? This is just more unnecessary work for the author, which goes against the "quick-and-easy editing" philosophy of most blogs and wikis.

Keyword searches

In the olden days of search engines, "tags" were called "keywords". Keywords were a very nice thing to have for many reasons. First, full-text searching, if it existed, was flaky at best. Keywords allowed you to attach plain-text categories to content that can be indexed/searched quickly and easily.

This really isn't a concern with ZWiki, If you use a ZCatalog, you can very do full-text searches of wiki content very easily and quickly. Even if I only use the word "aardvark" in my topic once, I can very quickly find it using ZWiki's built-in search engine.

Another former keyword advantages was that they allowed you to create easy and intuitive "stored searches". For example, if you wanted to find every DelIcioUs link that was Zope-related, you could just navigate to http://del.icio.us/tag/zope . Users appreciate the ability to search for multiple items on your web site by clicking on a single, intuitive link such as "photos" or "politics".

This functionality already exists in ZWiki to a certain extent. For example, if you placed all of your photo album-related topics under the "PhotoAlbums?" topic, then your users could "search" for them by simply visiting http://yourwiki/PhotoAlbums. There, they would see links to all of your photo albums since they are subtopics of the PhotoAlbums? topic.

just use tags --d2m, Mon, 19 Dec 2005 11:50:18 -0800 reply

its easy accomplished by the ZWiki RemoteWikiURL feature: DelIcioUs:zope or DelIcioUs:zwiki

just use tags --DeanG, Mon, 19 Dec 2005 13:07:28 -0800 reply

I want something integrated and specialized.

Keyword searches are relational, not the product embraced formalized category process a specific Tags implementation would be. Give me a field, and my users will fill it. Give me a norm, and my users may catch on.

Backlinks are loose and conjoined with Topics.

Quick test: WikiBadge, WikiBadges.