Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

If you're a blogger, you're probably familiar with using tags (and this post probably isn't for you). If you're not a blogger, you might think of tagging someone in a photo the way you can on MySpace or Facebook (and this post probably will help you).

Tags on a Ning social network are not for tagging people; instead they are for labeling the things you post. Basically allowing you add categories to anything you share on GW.

To provide the quickest example, take a look at the tags I've used for this post: GW-help, GW-tips, help, suggestions, tips, how-to, GW-how-to. If you look at the bottom of the post, you'll notice that all of these appear as individual links; if you click on any of those links it will load a page that contains all the posts that had that tag used in them.

Whether you consider it an advantage or a disadvantage, tags are limited to the area or section they reside in. So when you click a tag within Blogs it will only display blogs that contain that tag. When you click a tag in the Forum it will only display forum discussions that contain that tag. Same thing with Photos and Videos. When you click a tag within a Group you will only get discussions from that group that contain that tag. So advantage or disadvantage depending on how you look at it, but that's how it works.

Rules For Tagging
  • Watch Your Spaces - A space between words will break the individual words into individual tag links. There are two options to keep multiple words as a single tag.
    1. Surround your multiple words with quotes: "Revolutionary War"
    2. Use a dash [-] to replace the space: Revolutionar-War
  • Keep it Simple - One or two words for each tag; don't make a whole sentence into a tag.
  • Be Relevant - What is your post about? Tags should be key words or terms that are relevant to your post.
  • Don't Skip the Tags - Even if you only put in one tag, don't leave a post tagless.
  • Don't Go Overboard - If you have more than 10 tags, you're probably being too broad. Narrow it to the most concise terms and key words.
  • Copy Other People - If someone else did a post in the same vein, use some of the same tags.


I am not a Ning expert. I'm a tech-head who has worked in IT for over 10 years; and I have some experience on another Ning network. This is not an official statement from the GW staff; just some friendly tips for my fellow GW users. Feel free to message me if you have questions, comments, or suggestions for other topics. ~Johnny

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Replies to This Discussion

Brilliant! I was unaware that quote marks gave you that capability; I'll update the post.
You wrote, "Don't go overboard." Unfortunately, maybe we need to. While it involves the group search returns (which I don't think are based on keywords yet), I only made sure it returned with a search for "Brick Wall." I'm now led to believe that to avoid my tale of woe, I would have had to double up my language, using both terms "Brick Wall" and "Brick Walls." --GJ
When using the search box on the Groups page, it will not pickup the tags. It will pickup on group names mainly, but also discussion titles, and might catch some of the post contents within those discussion; but it does not appear to catch or use the tags at all in that search.
Tags are most useful when you are in a post and want to find any similar posts. Tags create that ability to quickly access similar posts. But as noted, they are limited to the area you are currently in. So I'll stand by my comment of "Don't go overboard." You don't want too many tags, that just waters down your similarities; besides someone clicking the tags for similar posts isn't likely to have the patience to go through much more than 10 tags.





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