Tagging & Categories Best Practices

Version 2

    From a document created by Corey Mathews last year:


    I couldn't any existing best practices, so this is my first stab at compiling what I could find and writing some up. Let me know if this is useful! If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it because I'll probably post a revised version of this into the Internal Community Managers group at some point.


    1. 3-15-2012 11-32-36 AM.jpg
      Categories are location specific; tags span across community. Focusing on the fundamental purpose of each attribute can help determine how prescriptive you want to be. Categories are created by the community manager, while tags are created by the member (but can be added or edited by the community manager as shown in tip #3). Since categories are specific to their group or space, you can present a logical organization within that location. Since tags are going to span across the community, members will be able to find all content on a particular topic.
    2. Use the categories widget to present categories within the location. Think of categories as a file folder for the content. The categories widget helps reinforce this through its presentation (which looks like file folders for the content as shown to the right). Within sales, for example, what types of folders would people expect to see? Sales tools, price lists, success stories, etc. You can use a Categories widget right on the overview page to illustrate the way that content is categorized. Since this can very by space, you can be very specific in the types of categories within a particular location.
    3. Promote tags through tags clouds and modeled behavior. Tagging is a learned behavior, so members, especially your less social web-savvy members, aren't going to actively tag their content.  Ensuring content is tagged and getting them to tag at all should be your first priorities. This will mean community managers modeling behavior by adding tags to any new content as well as adding tags to content members contribute, especially at the beginning. Once tags are present, they'll be suggested to members in the content entry process. You can also leverage tag clouds on overview pages not just as a way to highlight popular terms, but also to subtly illustrate the usefulness of tagging as an organizing principle.
      3-15-2012 11-35-01 AM.jpg
    4. Don't get hung up on managing user-entered tags. The purpose of our tags is to allow people to organize the content in a way that makes sense to them, and a folksonomy, by definition, is going to self correct. As people see what others are tagging - suggested through the interface and through tag clouds - they'll use those tags, and the more content that's added, the more tags there will be and the more suggested tags as well.  If you see clear errors - like misspellings - you can go in and edit them.
    5. Remember that tags and categories are one way to find content, but not the only way. Search within Jive is a powerful tool. Based on other client experiences, you'll see search usage growing over time as people figure this out. In other words, don't overthink it. Provide what clarity you can around finding content, but remember that people can just go to search and find what they're looking for as well.



    Jive 5.0Jive 6.0Jive 7.0
    What are tags?Using TagsUsing Tags
    What are categories?What are categories?What are Categories?
    Managing CategoriesManaging CategoriesManaging Categories