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It’s all down to tagging

James Evelegh looks at some of the thinking behind InPublishing’s new ‘Key Topics’ feature.

By James Evelegh

It’s all down to tagging

Last week, we unveiled a new feature on our website, called ‘Key Topics’. Its purpose is to make the content we’ve previously published easier to browse and find. Do take a look – all feedback welcome.

As with everything to do with content discoverability, the usability of new features like this comes down to the quality of ‘tagging’.

Specifically, three areas leap out as being particularly important when it comes to tagging:

  1. Design: The tags you choose to categorise your content and the hierarchy you place them in are critically important. If you’re finding coming up with a structure and a suite of tags a bit of a brain ache, then the chances are that you’re probably doing it right. It’s not easy – it takes a lot of time and thought.
  2. Control: Once you have an agreed set of tags which work for your brand, then give someone the responsibility of controlling access to them. Your tag suite should be guarded jealously and any request to create a new tag should set off alarm bells. The default response should be ‘no, unless you can give me a very good reason why’.
  3. Aboutness: In a recent article, News UK’s Tom Jackson wrote eloquently about this. When applying tags to a piece of content, you should ask yourself, ‘What is this article primarily about?’ and then tag it accordingly. Fleeting mentions of other subjects within the piece should not justify applying additional tags, because, if you do, then future content selections based on those tags will deliver up a ragbag of content.

I won’t pretend we’ve got our tagging perfect; as with everything in digital publishing, it’s work in progress…

PS: The mediafuturesPULSE benchmarking survey closes tomorrow. Completing it only takes five minutes.

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.