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Topic: Is this misuse of the new tag system?

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Subject: Is this misuse of the new tag system?
Date Posted: 10/3/2007 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I just ran across a book tagged by a member with the tag "_____'s Reminder List".  I clicked on the tag and found out that the member had tagged over 2,000 books with this tag.

My gut reaction was that this member didn't realize that tags are public.  And since there is no way to PM a member who posted a tag, I was going to post in the General Thoughts forum a reminder about tags being public.   Then I realized that the member may know tags are public, and this is her way of letting everyone else know what books are on her Reminder list.  

So what are your thoughts?

Bast -
Date Posted: 10/3/2007 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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Doesn't bother me. Why would I mind? (Just curious to know...)

Date Posted: 10/3/2007 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I find the tags annoying personally.  I haven't made any tags and I don't particularly want to see everyone elses.  The other day I was looking at a book and I found the "you've already read this one" a bit annoying.  I haven't read this book.

Date Posted: 10/3/2007 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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No, it's just that there aren't that many tags yet. As I understand it, only the most frequently used tags will show up on the front page for the books. Eventually, there will be more genre, author, or topic tags than people's personal reminders. It will just take time.

Date Posted: 10/3/2007 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2006
Posts: 1,768
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I agree Mary, they are annoying. They feel like clutter to me...my personal pet peeve.

Date Posted: 10/3/2007 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2005
Posts: 503
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I agree, I don't mind change but i like the streamlined look before.

Date Posted: 10/3/2007 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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Last Edited on: 7/3/10 12:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/4/2007 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2005
Posts: 418
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this is from the newsletter that went out... and will explain a bit -

Tag--you're it!  Now you can apply Book Tags to any book in the database, pretty much anywhere you see the book listing.  What are they used for?  Tags let you put your mark on any item in the database, and create any number of one-click "custom searches"!  Tag books you liked...books you hated...books with an antihero...books about the Russian Revolution...books you think have a good moral message...biographies...books you read in school...books you were supposed to read in school...books you have on your nightstand...books you would want with you on a desert island...pretty much anything goes! You can apply any number of tags to an item. and you can click on any tag to see a list of all the books bearing that tag.  (We will soon have a way to view the available tags without having to see them on a book listing first.)  When you look at a book in the database, you will always see the tags you applied (and you can remove them from there too), even if no one else can.  You will also see the top 15 tags that members have applied to that book.   Read more about Tags in the Help Center document Book Tags.


Dear R&R--What the heck are the Tags good for? I just don't see the point.  --Pugnacious in Poughkeepsie

Dear Pug,

Tags are a way of marking a book any way you like.  You can Tag all the books on your bookshelf ("cozy mystery", "got this from Zelda", "made me laugh out loud", "in the original Greek", whatever you like), and when you have done that, anyone looking at that book anywhere it is listed in the database will be able to see your tag (IF your tag is one of the top 15 applied to that book).  You will always be able to see your own tags, if you have applied any, when you look at a book listing.  This means that someone who is looking for cozy mysteries can click the tag "cozy mystery" wherever he or she sees it on a book, and see ALL books that members have tagged as "cozy mystery".  This also means that you can keep track of your books in a new way--if you are managing an account for your family, you can tag each different family member's posted books with his or her name or initials, tag books on your Wish List with the name of the person who wants that book, etc. 

As for using the tags for subject/genre cataloging, we can't put it much better than one of our members said in the Forums:

"For example...my cookbooks are all tagged as "cookbooks" and "nonfiction" and then tagged more specifically as "baking," "Chinese cooking," etc. When I click on, say, the Chinese cooking tag, all of my Chinese cookbooks show up. ...I'm currently reading Maharanis: The Lives and Times of Three Generations of Indian Princesses by Lucy Moore. I could give it tags such as "India," "royalty," "Indian royalty," "British Raj," "biographies," "biographies of women" etc. Then anyone who is interested in, say, the British Raj could find that book by that tag. Tagging is far more flexible than plain old subject cataloging."

Thanks, jas, for the very nice examples of the awesome power of Tags!

Tags will be most functional when the ability to search/view all Tags goes live.  We are working on that now--but we need some Tags to get going, so...everybody start Tagging!  You can read more about the Tags in the Help Center, of course.


Pug again (if Q gets two questions, so do I!).  So what if I tag a book "for Mary" and everyone else sees that?  What good will that do?  And what's to stop people from tagging their books "Front cover torn off" or "My copy is a paperback" like they sometimes do inappropriately in reviews?

Well, if you tag a book "for Mary" and a member who doesn't know Mary sees the tag, it won't do that member any good.  (It won't do him or her any harm, either.)  But if a lot of people have tagged that book, and "for Mary" is not one of the 15 most commonly-applied tags, no member (besides you) will see the "for Mary" tag anymore.  If having "for Mary" on a book helps you remember that you want to request that book for Mary, then by all means, use that tag!  You can remove it anytime you want. 

You're right, there's nothing to stop members from using Tags in the ways you mention--although following proper book-posting procedure should prevent them from ever posting a book whose front cover has been torn off, or using a listing with the incorrect binding type--but remember, such tags will also be "drowned out" if enough other members who use tags appropriately Tag the book with something else.  Every feature has the potential to be misused, but the Tag feature, if used by enough members, will "correct" itself.  We think it is a really great and easy tool which has a lot of uses, including as a way for members to sort their booklists, to see what other members have to "say" about a book, and to find books in the database that they are interested in reading.



I hope that helps out a bit. That member is just using to keep books straight for themselves. As more and more people add tags, you won't actually see those. Unless, everyone tags books as  "THE BEST BOOK IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!" hehe.

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 1:57 AM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2005
Posts: 418
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that being said, I'd be interested in people's tags -- I'd like to know what people consider chick lit, cozy mysteries, even worst books they've ever read!

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 6:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,607
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Yeah, as far as I'm aware "tags" are for personal use to make notations as well as to designate genre. I have listed a few of mine here with the genre, but not many. However, on Library Thing, I do use the tags to indicate "TBR," "read & traded" and "keepers." No one there should give a hoot about those tags, they're to help ME keep track of my books and what I've read. However, the tags are shown somewhat differently at LT; I can see the way they are displayed with book details here that eventually, if, for example, 100 people tag a book with their own personal tags, it's going to really add a lot of clutter to the detail page. Perhaps an option to turn them off or on might be in order sometime in the future?

I don't plan on using them extensively here, but sometimes it can be kind of interesting to see how folks are tagging books. Amazon has the same thing, so do most other book sites out there.


Last Edited on: 10/4/07 6:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/4/2007 6:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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The tags dont seem to be misusable (its a word I just made it up) From what I gather they are there to make searching YOUR books easier. For example you thought Full Moon Rising was a good book so you mark it accordingly. In the future when you see that tag you know you have read it. I also think its to make simmilar books more accesible. If you like Civil War Fiction some books may be tagged as that and you can check it out.

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 729
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I've used the tags pretty much only for personal use right now.  I've tagged my TBR pile with what will be posted, what won't  be posted, what's unpostable, and what belongs to different people.  I also used it on my Books I've read pile because there it tells me what books are wishlisted and what aren't.  Since my account is on hold right now, I want to be able to see what will be ordered right away when I take my shelf off hold, so I tagged all the wishlisted books as 'posted' or 'not posted', and then I can look at my bookshelf and the ones listed as 'posted' show up as tagged - that way I know that X number of books are wishlisted and will be requested quickly when the hold comes off.

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2005
Posts: 159
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I do wish we had the choice of making our tags non-public because I want to tag my used library books and my Bookcrossing books, but I don't think everyone else wants to see that, so I haven't done it yet. I know it won't show once there are 15 tags, but that could take awhile.

Last Edited on: 10/4/07 11:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/4/2007 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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I have a tag, "From Cyndy's list" to remind me to get books for my friend Cyndy. When I order one of the books for her, I remove the tag. I don't have 2,000 books on that list, maybe 30, but not surely not 2,000!!

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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Last Edited on: 7/3/10 12:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/4/2007 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I understand the use of the tags, but for me, it's like FABIL.  It doesn't add to my experience here.  It's certainly easy to ignore but if we could turn it off, I would. 

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Ive tagged about 30 books with things like vampires, adventure, religious artifacts. I like books like The Davinci Code and Eyes of the Virgin (much better book) so since those are the sort of thing I look for when looking for similar books I thought others would be looking for the same thing. So if you like The DaVinci Code the books I have tagged so far (and will in the future) may appeal to you.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 3:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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Ok, can someone show me an example of a tag?

A link? I'm not seeing any. I see the "tag" icon but when I hover over it, nothing.



Date Posted: 10/5/2007 4:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,381
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Check out this book, Char.



And to add a tag, go to any book anywhere and click on the "tag" button.  You can then remove your tag by clicking the little red "x" (which appears only on your own tags.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 4:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 4,370
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I love the tags, and think as they are used more, they will be a wonderful addition.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 7:29 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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Lots of sites use tagging these days - that said, they make me crazy.  It's like getting a book that is highlighted, underlined and has notes in the margin. =/

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2005
Posts: 390
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I don't like seeing all the tags. They should be for personal use and not seen by others. I'd like to be able to turn them off. Just my opinion.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2005
Posts: 646
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I use the tags usually for a series.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2006
Posts: 2,218
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Oh, I didn't think about the series thing Jessica...good idea!

Otherwise, I could live without them.  Meh... LOL

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Click on the tags. It will show you every other book with that tag. Its nifty.