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When you're looking at one of your lists, or at a particular book, you can press the 'tag' button to tag the book. Tagging is like tagging on other sites (especially 'flickr') - they're 'groups' to put the books in, that are public. For instance, if you tag a book 'historical fiction,' it's associated with all the other books in the system that are tagged 'historical fiction.' If you go to Community|Club Tag Cloud, you can see all the most popular tags. If you click on one of them, you can see all the books with that tag.
I always tag books I've read at least with the setting (city or country) and anything else I can think of.
You can also use 'personal tags' for your own groups (like gmpretch favorites 2009). The site doesn't know the difference - they're still public, but as long as nobody else is tagging books gmpretch favorites 2009 it works as well as a private one. However, don't tag a book with something that only applies to your copy - the site won't know. If you tag a book 'signed by author' then that tag has all copies of the book labeled 'signed by author.'
Notes are just that - things you want to write down about a book that nobody else can see. I don't use them, but it's easy to imagine why you might want to. I use goodreads.com for stuff like that, though.
The note feature is private to you only, and you can use it any way you want to make notes about any given book. I use it for books I've wishlisted that aren't released yet and put the release date in the note--that way I don't need to click on the book details every time I want to see when it's coming out. You can make notes about anything, and only you will see it.
The tag feature has many uses. They are public, seen by anyone. Some folks use them generically to indicate a book's genre (for example, historical fiction, fantasy) and some will use it to indicate the series order of a book (example: Agatha Raisin series book 10.) Others tag books with personal tags that only apply to them--to indicate things like books they might want later, books that are on their reminder list, where in line they are on their wishlist, etc. I am not well versed in tags and find them annoying so I have them turned off totally and don't see any of them. (There is an option for that.) Someone else will be along to explain better, I'm sure. :)
I use the note feature to mark my books as unpostable, ordered from bookmooch, requested in a deal etc..., Only you can see the notes you make and there is no way to search them or bring up a list of the books you've put notes on. It just shows up when you are looking at that ISBN of the book.
I use Tags to mark the series order a book is in if it's not in the listing. Or if I see a posted version of a WL book I will tag the WL book with "x # posted under ISBN xxx"-but only if the bindings are similar. I wouldn't tag a WL hardback with the ISBN of a paperback that has 100 copies posted for example. But a couple of times I have had a paperback that I had the only copy of that was WL in another paperback version. That's when I tagged.
I will tag a book with a more specific genre if the genre PBS has doesn't seem right-like "historical mystery" if PBS just has mystery as the genre.
I also tag my reminder list books. The benefit of this is that 1: they are eventually doign away with the RL and combining it with the WL. I don't want all those books on one list. 2: You can put a link in your signature if you want people to make you deal offers on your RL books. Tags are searchable this is why I don't use the Note feature for this. With tags I can go to the Tag Cloud under community then go to My Tag Cloud and bring up my list. Or just click on the tag on a book I've put it on with the same tag and have it bring up all the books I've used that tag on. You can't do that with notes.
You should not use Tags to mark books as "unpostable" or "missing dust jacket" or "brand new condition" or anything like that. People think these apply to the copy they are ordering. Also some people have tagged books as "water damaged" or something and then sent it out using the tag as an excuse to send an unpostable book. THat is not allowed.
So when making a personal tag make sure it's obvious that the tag applies to someone specific. My tag is Ozzie RL. Ozzie is my dog and anyone else looking will know that tag doesn't apply to them.
I have a short 'code' word that I use as a Tag for books that I'm editing and books that I've put notes on - that way they make a list for me under My Tags that I can go to quickly and easily when I have time to do edits and to check back on edits I've done. When the edit is done, I remove the tag & note. I use the Note to remind myself exactly what edit changes I've made (or need to search for), and for info about the book that might come in handy for me - such as 'no dj' on a hardback - then if a requestor's conditions state Hardbacks with dustjackets only - I don't have to leave the computer and go to the room where my books are stored, etc.. I just roll the cursor over the Note pinned to the image and there is my info! Just remember, Tags show in the listing for everyone to see, Notes appear only to you, like a Post-it pinned to the image (or image space).
Mary, I meant to add that you don't have to go through the Tag Cloud to reach your tags. Just roll your cursor over My Account on the grey bar below PBS banner for the dropdown menu, roll down to My Lists and THAT dropdown will give you My Tags, then just click on it! Fast & easy.
Last Edited on: 7/4/09 11:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1