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Posted on Sunday 21 January 2007 at 10:03 pm

Tags dilemma

I have a dilemma. I've got some code that would allow me to make my tags into a hierarchical list. So my tags page could look something like this:

  • Harry Potter (linking to everything I've tagged for the HP series)
    • Remus Lupin (linking to everything I've tagged for that character)
    • N. Tonks (ditto)
    • Harry Potter (ditto)
    • Books (linking to anything I've tagged as general book discussion)
      • OotP (linking to anything I've tagged for that book)
      • HBP (ditto)
      • DH (ditto)
  • FanFic (linking to everything I've tagged for FanFic in general)
    • My Stories (isn't it obvious where this would link)
    • General Discussion (ditto)
    • Links and Recs (ditto)

That's the basic idea. I really like this concept. The organization and hierarchy appeal to the very large anal retentive side of my personality. I've got one big issue with this. The tags on individual entries would get rather long as the tags have to include their hierarchical element within them. So the tags for a story featuring Remus Lupin, N. Tonks, Harry Potter, and Sirius Black (just for an example) would be: Harry Potter, Harry Potter:Harry Potter, Harry Potter:Remus Lupin, Harry Potter:N. Tonks, Harry Potter:Sirius Black, Fanfic:My Stories. And something tagged for DH would read Harry Potter:Books:DH. That would look rather messy and take up more room than necessary at the top of each entry. I can foresee other issues if I move to this system, but I think I can solve all of them but this one.

Currently, I have my tags page as a tag cloud. I like this because it makes it easy to quickly find the most used tags but it looks rather messy. So my options are:
Tag Cloud
Messy tag page, easy to find most used tags but no organization beyond that, clean entry header text
Hierarchy of Tags
Very organized tag page making it easy to find just about anything but long and messy tags in the individual entry headers
What do you guys think?

EDIT: I could make it a bit shorter if I were to use HP, SW, Fic, and other abbreviations for the main categories rather than Harry Potter, Star Wars, FanFic (which I realize is already an abbreviation), etc. That might make it a bit more manageable, and if people can't figure out the shorthand, they probably have no business reading my LJ anyway. Hmmm...

EDIT2: After yacking at gijane7702 and making her look at different versions of the same page about 20 times (thanks so much, Chris, for putting up with me), I think I'm going with the multi-tiered list. I'm just too anal to pass up this much hierarchy and organization. It'll take time to get everything definitively switched. In the mean time, check out the tag page and let me know if you think the hierarchy is a good switch or not. I really like the hierarchy but I'm still slightly worried about over cluttering the entry header like on this entry.

EDIT3: I just realized I didn't cut this before. Sorry for hogging all the room on your friends' pages!
Feeling: contemplative
Exploring: Bed with laptop
Listening: Shades Of Gray - The Monkees


Raving Lunatic
molly_coddles at 2:43 pm on 22 January 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Looks good! You're so very creative! :)
bratty_jedi at 4:26 pm on 22 January 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I really really really like how organized it all is. I'm still just a little concerned about the room it takes up on the entry headers but I think I can live with it.

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