Tags, Tags Everywhere

Back when we first launched Wikispaces, we included a feature that let you enter a list of tags each time you edited a page. Tags are a simple, light-weight way to categorize and classify pages, without having to make up an organizational system in advance. If you use sites like flickr, delicious, and technorati, you’ve probably already discovered how useful tags can be.

Earlier this week, we rolled out some new features to make tags in your wikis more powerful and easier to use.

Tag Entry – The way you enter tags is largely unchanged. When editing a page, you’ll see two text boxes at the bottom of the page. The first is the optional description of your edit, the second is a list of tags separated by commas. For example, you might tag a page “planning, group review”. This would tag the page “planning” and “group review”, as spaces are allowed in our tags. One big improvement — tags can now include Unicode characters, matching the strong internationalization support available elsewhere in Wikispaces.

Wikispaces Tag ListTag Lists – We’ve revamped the way tags are listed in your wikis. Click on ‘Manage Space’ and ‘List Tags’ and you’ll find a sortable list of all the tags on your space. By clicking on an individual tag, you’ll see what pages it’s been applied to and when.

Wikispaces Tag CloudClouds – Right next to the tag list, you’ll find our rendition of a tag cloud. The tag cloud shows you the top tags in your wiki with the size of the tag text corresponding to how often it’s been used. So if dozens of pages have been tagged “fall planning” and only a few have been tagged “winter vacation”, you’ll see “fall planning” in large, bold print.

Wikispaces Tag SearchSearch – Last up, you can search for tags within your wiki using the same search box you’ve been using all along. If you type in a search term that matches a tag, you’ll see the result at the top of the page.

That’s all for now. We hope you enjoy the new tag features and find them useful in your own wikis. And as always, we’d love to hear what you think here and at help@wikispaces.com.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted November 5, 2007 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    nice feature
    i am partial to the clouds one myself

  2. Posted November 6, 2007 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    After reading the above, I have to say I am nowhere closer to knowing what “tags” are.
    Do I have to go somewhere else to find out?

  3. Posted November 6, 2007 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi Peter,

    Sorry about that — my explanation in the first paragraph is pretty thin if you haven’t used tags before.

    Tags are like labels you put on your pages, in the form of words or short phrases. You can use these labels to organize or find pages later on. So if you tag ten pages with “2007”, you can come back later and find all the pages with this tag by clicking on “2007” in your list of tags or tag cloud. Pages can have more than one tag too, so you can use multiple words or phrases to describe a page.

    Contrast this with a system of folders (something we don’t have on Wikispaces). Similar in principle, but with two big differences. First, you can make up tags on the fly. To add tags to a page, you just enter them when you’re editing — no need to explicitly define a tag before you use it. Also, most folder systems have the idea that a page can only be in one folder at a time. With tags, a page can be in many places at once: “2007”, “planning”, “for review”, etc.

    I hope this makes sense! Let me know if I can better clarify how tags work here on Wikispaces.

  4. Posted November 9, 2007 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    When I first learned to edit my wiki, I was so pleased to see that we had the option to include tags. Organization is key to a happy online experience, and tags help me stay organized.

    I try to use the same tags in del.icio.us, blinklist.com, and other social bookmarking websites, so I can access information and other media to use in my wiki easily if I add the tags.

    I agree with Matt Fincham, I particularly like tag clouds. The visual impact through the use of color, bolding, and size always give me a quick view of the most used tags. I also believe that it is easier to use the tag cloud when you look for a topic (initiate a search).

    Thanks…wikispaces gets better and better! Keep up the great work!

  5. Sophie
    Posted November 10, 2007 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Is there anyway to actually display a tag list or tag cloud on wiki pages so that users can utilize them to locate information?

  6. Posted November 10, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi Sophie,

    Not yet, but this is something we hope to add in the future!

    You can of course add a link to the tag cloud page on a page or in your space navigation in the interim.

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