Ever since my recent blog makeover, I’ve been wanting to revamp my categories and tags too, but I wasn’t quite sure how.
Now thanks to some good advice from fellow MennoNerd Ryan Robinson, I’ve made a good start. I’ve trimmed the number of categories to seven (which some say is the perfect number) and have gotten rid of any subcategories. I’ve also trimmed the number of tags to the ones you can see in the new tag cloud in my sidebar. In this WordPress theme, the “cloud” looks more like a list, but as with other tag clouds, the larger the font, the more times that tag has been used, so the more times that topic appears in my blog.
When I started blogging, I dutifully added the tags suggested by WordPress, but as time went on I became more selective, and now I’ve become more selective still. I understand now that the purpose of tags is not to have a laundry list of key words for that particular post, but to group together posts that are similar–they’re like my old subcategories, but more functional since the cloud format shows the relative frequency of the different topics.
Now my categories and tags work together, so a quick glance gives a good overview of the contents of my blog.
The categories give my main themes, and the tag cloud is like a topical index. In the last year since I started blogging, Book Reviews, Prayer, and Scripture have been the most prominent; Jesus and Community a little less so; Missional, Spiritual Direction, and Walking the least.
I’m not quite done yet. The smallest tags have just one post each, so I should really add more posts with those tags, or simply omit them. And do I really need a “Contemplative Prayer” tag and a “Prayer” tag? Is “Peace” so small because I haven’t given it much attention, or have I missed out on tagging some of my posts? I can think of at least a couple of “Peace and Justice” posts that could be grouped together, so I may go back to add “Peace” or maybe change the tag wherever it appears to “Peace and Justice.”
I’m also thinking about what’s missing. I blog a lot about God, faith, and discipleship, but I decided against using them as categories or tags because I don’t think of them as separate topics. They’re part of the big picture of everything I write.
That’s why I’m not entirely comfortable with “Jesus” as a tag either.
The Lord of life and everything can’t be reduced to a blog tag.
As God-with-us, God-with-me always, Jesus is part of the big picture of everything I write too. And yet there are posts like Three Views of the Atonement and Why They Matter and Lectio Divina and Looking for Jesus, which have a special focus on Jesus and that go together. What’s more, the name of Jesus marks my blog and spiritual practice as deliberately Christian which is an important part of who I am.
My categories and tags are still in process, but I’m glad for the progress so far. I hope they’re more helpful to you now. If not, you can always use the search button to plug in a keyword and find whatever you’re looking for that way.
This week I start my summer schedule, blogging just twice a week on Mondays and for Writer Wednesday. I’d love for you to follow along by email, rss feed, or other social media, so you can read at your leisure without missing a post. Enjoy!