On Tags: a Metadiscussion

I recently found out that WordPress didn’t publicize most of my old blog’s posts because I had in excess of fifteen tags on many of them. Their reasons were good: they were trying to keep people from abusing the tag-system to get more hits.  When I signed up I likely saw that rule and ignored it.  I doubt very many people have searches set for ‘Disparate Liquids Bottled Together,’ or ‘This Entry is a Rejected Magazine Article,’ and that isn’t why I used them.  I used them for internal searches and a way to tease out the queer little themes, and serendipitous coincidences, that keep popping up.

I am less of an SEO-hit-type of guy than I probably should be; moreover, I like the idea of lots tags as a guide linking totally heterogeneous materials. Although this is a blog about my writing, it has (or it will have) all kinds of other things in it as well.  I liked the idea of someone clicking on the ‘In My Snot-Nosed Youth’ and coming up with a bunch of things with nothing in common, except an odd reference to the time between 1978 and 1990.

So I have decided that from now on I will only put a handful of tags on the official list and add the other tags to the bottom of the page, to be added later, if I get around to it.

Indexing is a strange art, and categories have always made me uncomfortable, and this is one of the few ways I have to impose chaos on the world.

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The Proof Is in the Proofs

My book, Priceless Treasures and Ghastly,  is almost ready to print.  On three occasions I have assured my editor that I was ready to go to press, and then rewritten something.  It probably isn’t something that I should do — the more changes that I make the more likely it is that I will introduce typos that will  be uncaught, or delete things by accident.  But I owe you, my public, the best that I can manage and I will deliver it.

As a child I remember being appalled that Tolkien made so many changes to The Hobbit while it was being printed that the printers had to break the plates and do it all over again.  This, by the way, was the first edition of 1937, not the revised 1951 version that we read.

I do think that what I have now is as good as it can be, but I think that I put off pressing ‘send’ a few more hours and look it over one last time.