I’m exceptionally pleased to announce that something we had talked about at last year’s year-end meeting has been rolled out today on the BootsnAll boards – tags. For all you bloggers out there, they’re the same kind of tags you already know and love. And for anyone who thinks I’m talking about those things in your T-shirts that tell you how to wash your clothing, let me back up a minute.
When you’re reading through the lists of posts on the boards, it’s easy to see what some of them are going to be about. If it’s called “What backpack should I take on my RTW trip?” or “I need a hostel in Sydney” those are a piece of cake to figure out. You know before you even click on the link whether the thread will be (a) useful to you or (b) something you can contribute to. When it’s called something like, “Help!” or “I’ve got a question for you”, however, you’ve got no clue what the subject is until you click on it. It’s only then that you find out it’s completely uninteresting or you have nothing useful to say on the subject. Tags give us another way of identifying what the subject matter of a thread is.
Another great thing that tags will allow us to do is create virtual forums without cluttering up the boards. So, instead of going through Europe and creating a forum for every single major city and country, which would make a huge mess of the boards, by just clicking on the link for the threads about Paris you can create a virtual forum that includes only Paris information. You can bookmark that site and every time there’s new Paris information it’ll show up there. It’s a beautiful thing.
How does it work? It’s easy. Anyone who starts a new post can tag their post with up to 10 words or short phrases separated by commas – like paris hotel, paris hostel, top loading backpack. Then, as tags accumulate over time (and as we go back and slowly re-tag old posts), the master page with all the tags that have ever been used will begin to grow, making more and more virtual forums available for anyone who wants to read them.
Anyway, if you want more information about tags on the boards, there’s a thread about their implementation here. And the page with all the tags used thus far is here. I’m downright giddy about this, as it’s been on my wish list since last November, so I hope y’all are as excited as I am.