February 4, 2017

The new "selected tags" widget.

Check it out in the sidebar.

I was asked the other day by Another Unknown:
I’d like to see a post about your post tags. And then, that post would naturally require you to use all of your tags. That would be fun and interesting. Separately, is there a way to see all the Althouse tags? I know we can click on a tag used in a particular post and see all of the other related postings, but is there a way to see the full list of tags?
There are 6,444 tags on this blog. Back in 2013, here, I did a post listing all the tags when the total was under 4,000. I'm not going to list all the 6,444 tags now, and I'm surely not going to put them in the sidebar. It would make the page absurdly long and presumably slow loading. But I was able to see how to do a sidebar widget with selected tags. It was a big job eyeballing all 6,444 tags while thinking about how to choose what to make visible in the sidebar.

Writing that last sentence made the tag "seen and unseen" appropriate for this post, and that's an example — perhaps the prime example — of the kind of tag I selected for display in the sidebar. I picked mostly abstractions, especially ones that pull together miscellaneous things. I excluded the biggest category of tags: Names of people. I also excluded tags for animals — bats, bears, bees, etc. — objects — furniture, sandwiches — and places — Lake Mendota, Yellowstone. I excluded many big categories — books, movies, TV, religion, law — because they were big but specific in ways that made them not seem to be doors that anyone would be intrigued to open.

I wanted a list of tags that I'd enjoy poking into. The tags are in order by frequency, with the last thing on the list — the least-used of the selected — being "unwritten books." Perhaps — with all my new time — I am writing a book or many books using what I've collected over the past 13 years under those tags.

What got me onto this tag-widget project — in addition to the nudging by Another Unknown — is something I wrote at the end of the first post of today:
The only way it's "hyperbolic" to call it stealing is if you expect us to modify language to coddle and insulate politicians. It's not hyperbole to defeat that expectation. It's clear speech — my #1 cause on this blog.
"Clear speech" is the tag that underlies my most important unwritten book.


traditionalguy said...

Going Clear is a mighty expensive endeavor according to Scientologists in Clearwater. Better stick to Wisconsin English.

Lem said...

Hello Surely

Mike Sylwester said...

Our blog should have an "Intersectionality" tag.

campy said...

No Obama tags made the sidebar?

Ann Althouse said...


Did you read what I said about how I selected what I did?

campy said...

Yes. And Obama is certainly an abstraction that pulls together miscellaneous things.

Birches said...

Thanks, I've also longed for a tags bar.

Another Unknown said...

Wow, this is great. Just the kind of thing I was looking for. >6000? I had no idea. Amazing.
Also, thanks for responding to my other musings, too. I was hoping you would, but didn't really expect it.
I've been working my way through your posts related to the Corporations are People tag. Really interesting. But I see it doesn't (yet) have the volume to make the sidebar... And, I'm surprised that "insect politics" didn't have the volume.
It will be interesting, eight years from now, to compare the Obama tags (number and type) with the Trump tags. I expect that they will be quite different and that Trump will have more. We'll see!

Ann Althouse said...

"Yes. And Obama is certainly an abstraction that pulls together miscellaneous things."

My main device for cutting through the 6,444 and getting to less than 100 was to exclude everything that named an individual person.

The only exception is emotional Althouse (and, arguably, Records From My Father and The Gatsby Project).

Ann Althouse said...

@Another Unknown

Thanks for your excellent and thoughtful questions.

Note that the tags in the sidebar are listed in order of how many times each has been used, but my selection process was not to pick the most frequently used tags. I have many much more frequently used tags, like law and Donald Trump.

I picked abstract things that interested me and provided good doors to miscellany. Then, out of what was chosen, I set it to put those things in order of frequency.

zd87 said...

How did "insect politics" not make the list? Or did I miss something?

Jon Ericson said...

Scratch this line of interest.