This week is all about the tags. Every part of the system uses them. I bet most people kind of gloss over them if they notice them at all. Buy why are tags important? The honest truth is that the tags are there to help you group like material together. For example, I tag all of these type of blogs posts with Tech Tuesday. if you click on a tag, it pulls up the search engine and shows you everything that is tagged with that item:
The same thing applies to stories. Say you want to find all the stories tagged with Magic, well, just click on the tag on a story and you'll get your list:
With Stories, you can also go to the "Genre and Tags" page and see the list of all the Genres and All the Tags. Clicking on them will bring you to all the stories tagged accordingly.
Using tags is easy. On every new topic, blog, gallery image, or story, or whatever content you're posting, be sure to place 1-3 of the most important keywords in the tag box. The tags will self-format when you hit the comma. So Tech Tuesday tags look like this:
Please note here the item prefix. In some places, you are allowed to add this prefix and it shows up on the subject line ahead of the subject. This should be used sparingly as it is meant for emphasis. Usage of the prefix option does vary by by member group and which part of the site they are using.
There are some pretty big search updates coming in the Forum 4.3.0 software that is entering beta test now at our forum vendor's site. Using tags not only helps our system now with searching, it'll make it better in the future.
Speaking of future, we will be patching the site soon with some bug fixes and part of that will be that we are going to start tracking readers' stats on a weekly basis. Right now, when you look at a story, you see the total number of views over time. But that could have been 10,000 views four years ago or last week. There's no way to tell. With the new system we are implementing, authors will be able to tell what of their material is trending and when. Publicly, we plan on showing data on what people are reading by genre and by tags. This update will just begin the recording of the raw data. This way, when we get to the real update in a few months, we'll have a lot of data already on hand. For those concerned with privacy, there is no personal data recorded at all. For those wondering, why should I care? This data will be used to understand our market. Stories that get the most reads in a time frame will boost their tags and genres in popularity. Writers who are looking for a challenge, can then write stories that fit what people are looking for... or do that and twist it back to what you're looking for by hooking them good and proper. This ties back to tags. Make sure the tags on your story are useful and actually describe the story. Review your stories and make sure your tags make sense.
We are also open to adding more tags that are currently not in the system if you make your case for them.