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My preference is for prefix tag with author, then just the title .

 

Definitely not Prefix tag with author, then title and author

 

I have edited my recent posts in 21st Century Fiction in line with this but not sure I like the effect. It makes the author name look insignificant - when every post has a leading tag they all start to become invisible. My preference would be Title - Author as in old BGO. But happy to go along with the consensus decision.

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I have edited my recent posts in 21st Century Fiction in line with this but not sure I like the effect. It makes the author name look insignificant - when every post has a leading tag they all start to become invisible. My preference would be Title - Author as in old BGO. But happy to go along with the consensus decision.

I was a little confused about the tagging discussion, but I have gone back and looked at it now. I agree with MrHG, the prefix author tags really do disappear and become insignificant, as the numbers increase. When reading the fiction fora I really like to be able to see the title and author on the title line both given the same emphasis. It seems to me that tagging has a subsidiary function, although important, it shouldn't diminish the primary content which is the book and author in that particular thread.

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That's very interesting.  As more of them accumulate I do see that the effect takes considerable emphasis away from the author, which I hadn't imagined would be the case.  In fact, I think it's possible to change the colours of prefixes with an application - though this one isn't free, costing $17.  You can see what it does here.  So that could be a solution, but only if we felt it was a genuinely useful thing to do.

 

Arthur Unusualname does now appear as a search result for the specific Beegio thread rather than just the 21st century forum, so it looks like prefix authors could work well replacing the author name in the title, but in looking at the features of the application it made me realise prefixes don't display on the mobile version of the site.  Obviously that's not good, so I think we'd have to invest in that application if we went down this route.

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When reading the fiction fora...

Sorry for the thread hijack, but just wanted to mention, I give a little cheer every time I realise I'm not the only one who doesn't use the now almost ubiquitous "forums" to describe more than one forum... :)

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Sorry for the thread hijack, but just wanted to mention, I give a little cheer every time I realise I'm not the only one who doesn't use the now almost ubiquitous "forums" to describe more than one forum...

 

*Sucks air sharply between teeth*

 

I'm afraid 'forums' is actually the correct plural in British English.  Latinate plurals are often used in the mistaken belief they are the correct formation, but in fact there has been an anglicisation of the grammar in many cases.  'Fora' only works in British English as the plural of 'forum' meaning Roman marketplace.

 

OED

 

:geek:

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*Sucks air sharply between teeth*

 

I'm afraid 'forums' is actually the correct plural in British English.  Latinate plurals are often used in the mistaken belief they are the correct formation, but in fact there has been an anglicisation of the grammar in many cases.  'Fora' only works in British English as the plural of 'forum' meaning Roman marketplace.

 

OED

 

:geek:

Damn, I knew I should have applied for that British passport! :dunce:

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I'm afraid 'forums' is actually the correct plural in British English....'Fora' only works in British English as the plural of 'forum' meaning Roman marketplace.

Gah! Well, BGO is nothing if not educational...

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Anyway, getting back to topic: I like them (the prefix tags). The point is, the prefix tag is active, clicking it takes you to a list of all posts with that tag (essentially, with the current usage, a list of discussions on BGO of that author's works). It's the kind of thing that I think grows in power the more posts are tagged (and especially retrospective tagging).

 

Not that bothered about the author name appearing in the title thread or not to be honest - is there anything desperately wrong with "prefix tag (author name)", "title - author name" as previously suggested, where the prefix tag and the thread title serve different functions?

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Anyway, getting back to topic: I like them (the prefix tags). The point is, the prefix tag is active, clicking it takes you to a list of all posts with that tag (essentially, with the current usage, a list of discussions on BGO of that author's works). It's the kind of thing that I think grows in power the more posts are tagged (and especially retrospective tagging).

 

Not that bothered about the author name appearing in the title thread or not to be honest - is there anything desperately wrong with "prefix tag (author name)", "title - author name" as previously suggested, where the prefix tag and the thread title serve different functions?

 

You can actually click on the tags below the title line just as easily to bring up related content. Hence, the prefix tag is only adding value if it makes content more or less prominent as desired. At the moment, I think it works in the wrong direction.

 

I do think author names should appear in title lines purely for helping readers decide whether to look at a thread or not. If a thread comes along about a book I haven't heard of called "Yellow Dog", it doesn't tell me much about the book. If, though, I see that it was written by Cecilia Ahern, I know it is probably not my thing and I won't open the thread. On the other hand, if I see it is by Martin Amis, I might be more intrigued to look at it. But another member might prefer Cecilia Aherne's books and realy not like Martin Amis and act quite differently to me. And I really don't want to have to open each thread to find out what it's about. That's what the title line is supposed to do.

 

Based on seeing the system in operation, my preference would be for Title - Author with useful tags attached below, but not in the prefix position. I don't think the colour of preview tags would change anything - the problem is that the typeface is in capitals and smaller than the other text. The only reason prefixes grab attention is the big colour block behind them, but if all threads were highlighted in this way, the effect is that none of them is highlighted.

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You can actually click on the tags below the title line just as easily to bring up related content. Hence, the prefix tag is only adding value if it makes content more or less prominent as desired. At the moment, I think it works in the wrong direction....Based on seeing the system in operation, my preference would be for Title - Author with useful tags attached below, but not in the prefix position. I don't think the colour of preview tags would change anything - the problem is that the typeface is in capitals and smaller than the other text. The only reason prefixes grab attention is the big colour block behind them, but if all threads were highlighted in this way, the effect is that none of them is highlighted.

Fair enough - I was concerned that the author tag could disappear depending on the start letter since the tags are displayed alphabetically, *but* checking existing threads with prefix title tags, it appears that the prefix tag appears first in the tag list anyway, irrespective of alphabet. So could we maybe remove the display of the prefix tag but still by convention use the prefix tag field when creating a post, so that the author name will be the first of the tags listed under the thread title?

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Actually, it looks like the tags are displayed in the order in which they're entered (either that or just randomly?) except for the prefix tag appearing first. So I suppose a convention to enter the author tag first on the tag line might achieve the same.

 

Having said that, keeping the use of the prefix tag field for author name (even if not displayed) keeps that particular piece of meta-data linked to the thread and makes a replacement for the author lists possible?

Edited by waawo
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My objection to Prefix - Title - Author  was made on the basis that on ClassicBGO all the words in the thread index for the book forums were given the same emphasis in size and depth of colour, and it looked odd to have the author displayed both fore and aft.

 

As the prefix here is slightly less prominent, perhaps it doesn't look quite so odd and maybe we can go for Prefix - Title - Author?

 

The use of the prefix would facilitate author searches, in lieu of the author index (which was not without fault), and also entering the author name after the book title will make it more noticeable  in the lists of thread titles

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Another factor to keep in mind is the eventual solution for the retrospective attachment of authors to their threads.  This will certainly be achieved through tagging, but there may be the possibility to have the title altered as well to include the author.  If there isn't, though, all those threads will simply have the author as a tag and the thread title will just be the name of the book.  In that case, it might be wise to go with the prefix.

 

Not sure I agree about the lack of emphasis not being affected by colour, Mr HG.  The larger point size of the title would be countered by a stronger background colour for the tag - someone could actually focus quite effectively on scanning either for authors or titles.  Currently the tag design is clearly to make them less prominent because they're not meant to the be the leading focus - white on very light grey certainly won't stand out.  I'll see if I can find some examples later on.

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Yet another possibility - or perhaps in addition to anything else - is a small change to the css to make the prefix tag sit inside a fixed width container; this would have the effect of making the author name tag, and the title of the thread, sit in a more columnar style, with the thread titles all starting at the same position on the screen. That would help with focusing on one or the other perhaps?

Edited by waawo
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Yet another possibility - or perhaps in addition to anything else - is a small change to the css to make the prefix tag sit inside a fixed width container; this would have the effect of making the author name tag, and the title of the thread, sit in a more columnar style, with the thread titles all starting at the same position on the screen.

 

Hmmm, yes that's an interesting idea.  My only concern is the issue of limited space.  We'd have to make the space large enough to accommodate, say, Robert Louis Stevenson, which could throw aesthetics a bit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Unfortunately work has been delayed quite a bit but I'm pleased to say our developer has now fixed the problem with pre-transfer threads which stopped us adding tags to them.  This was apparently a glitch in the software which carries out the transfer to IP Board.

 

He's now working on getting the old author index information to create the relevant author tags.

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...And just a few hours later I'm happy to report the transfer of author index information into the tagging system is now complete!  All threads now have their author restored as a prefix tag.  In fact, this has worked even more successfully than I could have anticipated since the author information has even been restored for CYA, where the author indexes broke after we split the original forum up into sub-forums.

 

I must say, now I see it all in place I quite like the prefix tag approach, but let me know your thoughts.  If we decide not to go with prefixes obviously that will mean a lot of work manually entering author names in titles.  I think it may well be worth the small investment in the advanced tagging application which will let us do things like change the colour of the tag from the unprepossessing grey.  This will also make prefixes visible on mobiles.

 

You'll notice there is now a tag box at the side - I'll have a look at whether that can be made a little more attractive.

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I'm really chuffed to see all the threads in the book forums prefixed with their authors names - and to find links to all the threads on books by each author when you click on the name. It's actually quicker & easier to use than the old author lists. (I'm too embarrassed to tell how long it took me to suss out that the authors were listed there in alphabetical order across the page.  I used to get so irritated, trying to find a particular author by looking down the lists of names :dunce: )

I think getting the advanced tagging application would be a good idea, if we can afford it, the white on grey isn't that easy to read.

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I think getting the advanced tagging application would be a good idea, if we can afford it, the white on grey isn't that easy to read.

 

It's only $17, so really not expensive at all, and since Amazon takings have risen for a third month in a row we can afford it - even without the interesting new funding opportunity which we'll be announcing soon...

 

Still, I was looking at it again earlier on and I'm not 100% sure it will do quite what I thought it would in terms of colour, so we won't rush in just yet.

 

I'm glad you like it, meg.  I edited a few threads so we had a solid first page of prefixes on the 20th and 21st century forums, giving us a good idea of the overall effect.

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Tagging will be most useful if people have some common conventions for setting the tags. I wonder whether we should agree some conventions.

 

I would suggest:

 

tag with country not nationality - i.e. Ireland rather than Irish

tag with initials with full stops - i.e. J. K. Rowling rather than JK Rowling or J K Rowling

prizes - need to decide whether to tag as Booker, Booker 2013, Booker longlist, Booker shortlist, Booker winner, etc.

 

It is easier to set these conventions now rather than when we have many threads tagged. What do people think?

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