Tuesday Thingers – Tagging

Today’s question is about tags- do you tag? How do you tag? How do you feel about tagging- do you think it would be better to have standardized tags, like libraries have standardized subject headings, or do you like the individualized nature of tagging? What are your top 5 tags and what do they say about your collection or your reading habits?

My tagging methods have changed somewhat over my year at LT.  When I first joined, I used my tags as a basis for organizing my physical library.  Basically I was using hierarchical tags, but I was not calling them that.  A set of tags for a book might be historical fiction, Europe, England, 16th century.  Books were organized alphabetically by each successive tag.  Historical fiction was after just fiction, but before history.  Historical fiction from England came right before historical fiction based in France.  It was a somewhat cumbersome process and was sort of annoying to have to think through every time I added a new book to my library.
After having to pack and unpack all of my books, I decided to abandon my tagging organization – mostly because I didn’t want to have to meticulously order all of my books again.  Besides that, I think tagging is more interesting when there is some content tagging, as opposed to mere genre/subject tagging, like I was doing before.  This helps me see the cross-genre connections between my books.  All my books dealing with immigration, for instance, books that wouldn’t necessarily be shelved together.

This subject-based tagging is definitely a work in progress, but it is made so much easier by LibraryThing’s new tag page, which easily lets me tweak my tagging so that I don’t have two similar tags.

6 comments to Tuesday Thingers – Tagging

  • Dawn

    Yes, I’ve found some near-duplicate tags on my LT Tag Page and have been able to standardize them (no need for both “immigrants” and “immigration”). The listing is a nice feature.

  • i’ve done a little content-tagging- i have a tag for post-Soviet literature and one for dystopian fiction, and maybe a couple of others. yes, i find it helps me make connections i might not have between works, and to see how far i can stretch definitions. but i haven’t gone as far with it as i probably could. yet. :-)

  • The more posts I read about tagging, the more ideas pop into my head for using them. Using your immigration example, you could easily find books you’ve read on that topic that you liked to suggest to others without having to remember that all in your head. That’s a powerful tool. I’ve got to get more organized with that.

  • kegsoccer

    I do love the tag page!!! It really has helped me, especially since I have so many.

  • Your method of tagging kind of makes my head spin! It’s much more specific than I use, though, so I imagine in a bigger library than mine it would be incredibly useful.

  • Laura – That’s pretty much why I had to give it up. It was okay to just sit down and do the whole thing last summer, but thinking about continuing to add things throughout the year didn’t work that well.