January 31, 2007

Labels.

Now that I've converted to New Blogger, I can add labels to my posts. I could even go back and add labels to old posts. But what's the point? It adds visual clutter. I don't like that. I guess you can click on them and get old posts with the same label to appear... Are people going to do that? I suppose I could go back and add labels to posts that would get the same label as some label I've put on a new post. Like, wouldn't you love to click on the "American Idol" label and see all the old "American Idol" posts? It might be a shameful display!

ADDED: I just realized I could go to the "Edit Posts" page, do a search for a term (such as "American Idol"), then "select all" in the results, and use the pull-down "Label Actions" menu to apply a label to all those old posts. So how many old "American Idol" posts do I have? You can click on the "American Idol" label below to see them, but I'll tell you: 206! I know, some of you are thinking: Where can I click to see the blog minus the "American Idol" posts?

AND: Here's a question for you. Now that I know how to use labels to collect a particular category of posts by searching for a recurrent term, what labels would you like me to create? Remember, it needs to be a particular word, for example, a name. I wonder which individuals I've written about the most, especially the ones I've obsessed over out of proportion to their significance in the current news.

AND: I'm doing some labels for various political characters: Kerry, Obama... It was interesting to see the first opinion I had about Barack Obama:
Now here is a speaker I can stand to listen to. He's modulating his voice and he seems to have the speech memorized, so he doesn't have that awful teleprompter stare. He places some emphasis on personal responsibility....

Obama does a great job delivering the speech, even though the words of the speech are quite banal. There are many references to hope. The speech is blessedly short.

Many references to hope, but actually quite banal...

25 comments:

Matt Brown said...

You should certainly add labels for the political folks you post on, like Hillary and Obama. I mean, they should have their own individual labels - don't lump them together, unless that's what you really want to do.

Ann Althouse said...

I just did one for Kerry. There were 405 posts. I'll do Hillary and Obama. Doing one for a generality like "politics" isn't worth the trouble.

Irene Done said...

"Looks" or "appearances." And of course "Project Runway."

And I can't imagine anyone wanting to see this blog minus the "American Idol" posts.

Ann Althouse said...

Irene: I'd love to have a "looks" label that caught all the old posts about how people look, but I can't create the category with just a word search. "Project Runway," I'll definitely do.

al said...

Labels are interesting when applied right.

Lack of comment moderation should bring the crazies back too.

Gerry said...

If you think the labels add clutter, you can make them smaller and put them in a less obtrusive place, like underneath "POSTED BY ANN ALTHOUSE AT...", in the same size font. You just need to modify your template.

If you want some help in this, I'd be glad to assist.

bill said...

Everyone will be forced to update:

ACCESSING OLD BLOGGER ACCOUNTS
I'm getting redirected to the new version of Blogger when trying to login to my original Blogger account
If you are getting redirected to the new version of Blogger when trying to log in to your original Blogger account, please try logging in from this page:
http://www.blogger.com/login.g?directLogin=true
Please note that this is only temporary as we will eventually move all users to the new version of Blogger

StephenB said...

I think you should go with your original instincts: labels create visual clutter.

SWBarns said...

"Trollbait"

Simon said...

I suppose that adding categories -- labels, whatever -- has the advantage that if one does a google search for, you know, "xyz site:althouse.blogspot.com," that returns hits both in the posts and in the comments, while categories will presumably allow one to search posts only. That'll be helpful. :)

Simon said...

BTW - I'm faintly amused to discover that where Ann's profile pic is kind of pixelated on Windows machines, this powerbook resizes it smoothly.

Hamsun56 said...

...what labels would you like me to create?
"Borat" and "Sacha Baron Cohen" are recurring topics of interest for me. So is "Dylan", but he doesn't like to be labeled.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I suggest a category called "Althousiana" for that sort of stuff unique to this blog. For instance, "squism."

Also: you might want to do a label for "Silvio" or travels.

How about a photo tag so we can quickly find your images?

I see you've done "divas"...how about "catfight, kerfuffles and dust-ups"?

Let's not forget "doodles."

I really see this as a historical challenge. It's my job, you know.

Ann Althouse said...

Hamsun: I already did the Dylan labelling.

Ruth Anne: Good ideas, but harder to do, because there is no one word, especially for the kerfuffles thing.

peter hoh said...

How about "political fashions" or some other tag for all the posts about what the bigwigs are wearing as covered by whatshername in the WaPo.

But my favorite tag would be "Looks like someone peed in Ann's cornflakes again."

Ruth Anne Adams said...

If we can access all the appropriate posts by knowing the one word, then we can do a blog search ourselves. The labels are for you to create categories that defy simple searches. I've never seen you shy away from something because it's difficult. That's usually when you dig in.

Simon said...

One for "media appearences," perhaps - op/eds, NPR appearances, the CNN bit, and so forth.

Since posts announcing bloggingheads appearances and podcasts sometimes generate further exposition in the comments, maybe a category each for those posts.

Perhaps a category called "vigilance" - that would be neatly self-referential and cover past present and future libertarian dust-ups. ;)

RogerA said...

Would not shoes (dare I see feet?) be an appropriate label?

Al Maviva said...

How about "blogfights" and "articulate Obama."

Slighly off topic - On the Obama thing - it's the "articulate" that rings like "a real credit to his race." How about we use the Cuomo adjectives to describe him - impassioned, rousing, stirring, charismatic? Yep, he's "articulate" too, but that is a freighted term, and worse, it doesn't get to why he is a great speaker. Mr. Ed was articulate, after all...

Maxine Weiss said...

Capricorn anti-clutter

- vs-

The German need for organization

...decisions, decisions---

Bruce Hayden said...

Now that I see the labels with your blog, my vote would be to turn them off. Realistically, they are of use for someone who might want to see everything that you talk about on a certain subject. But for me, and probably other frequent readers, it is the here and now that is important, and not the past.

As to comment moderation, I noted this the other day and opined that it is less work this way for Ann, but more for us. I suspect that she will just turn comment moderation back on, when she starts getting a lot of crazies again.

Personally, I hate word verification. But comment moderation has its downside for posters too - Ann has to sleep, teach classes, etc., and when she does so, the submitted posts don't get posted until she gets back to it. And so, her blog loses just a tiny bit of spontaneity. Of course, compared with the venom being spewed by those who caused her to turn it on, the loss of spontaneity is much preferable.

Addendum - one big reason why I hate word verification is that I will sometimes key in the letters exactly, and Blogger will still reject my post, like it just did. Oh, and then there are the times that you can't distinguish some of the letters... A long way of saying that Blogger rejected my last attempt to post.

Simon said...

I don't really agree, Bruce - I mean, granted it's not often, but there are times when I've wanted to go back and see what was said on a certain topic. Case in point - there was some issue in the comments recently where I felt Hamdi was a good example for my point, and that it cut against Ann's point, so I tried to go back and find out what she'd said about Hamdi in the past. Maybe that's not a good example, but there's some things where it's useful to be able to look at something analagous to a core sample. I value consistency.

I didn't mind comment moderation, personally - whatever's less work. There wasn't really any drop (or rise) in the quality or number of comments, and I don't think it really stopped the back-and-forth in the comments that I think worried some people. Plus, it seems to me that Ann really cut back on commenting in-thread during the moderated period, and I wonder if maybe it fosters a bit of burnout when you log in and you've got a hundred comments waiting for you to consider.

JenAsh said...

The value of labels is in the one-upmanship potential - you can easily prove you've been consistent in a position or on a person all along...or someone else can prove you haven't. That's what makes them fun. I use them on my own blog for my own reference, but don't let them show up on the page.

Dr. Melissa said...

Since I went through this a couple months ago, one suggestion: don't make a million labels. When I first started, I labeled too much, too detailed. Now, I have lots of categories with one post.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann:
Don't forget labels / categories for "really dumb ideas" and "really dumb ideas from Caleeefornya".