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Categories - local rather than global?

  1. So, I write an entry and leave it assigned to "Uncategorized" only. I then write a second entry and assign one or more custom-created categories to it. When reading the entries on the blog, the links for the categories behave in a manner I would not expect.

    The links for the "Uncategorized" category point to myblog.wordpress.com/tag/Uncategorized, which is what I would expect. Yet any custom-created categories link to wordpress.com/tag/xxxxx. I've also tried creating my custom categories as children to "Uncategorized", yet arrive at the same results.

    My category links should link to my own posts only. What if I routinely post in a "cooking" category, and a viewer of my blog wants to click that category to look at more of my cooking posts? They are suddenly presented with a screen of posts by everyone else, rather than only my posts. The links in the "Categories" widget point to my posts, I would expect and much prefer that those same links next to each of my posts would have the same effect.

    I'm quite hoping that this is actually a bug and that the subdomain is simply being forgotten. To have this one set of links that takes a viewer away from the blog they're looking at is pretty counter-intuitive. I won't bother tagging my posts if they won't do what they should be doing. :(

  2. This is not a bug: this is what all wordpress.com blogs are supposed to do.

    Tags in your SIDEBAR are local; tags on individual posts link to the global WordPress pages. It is a much-discussed issue; the only upside I can see for the bloggers is the google juice. By having tags on individual posts, you can have a LOT of links from the global tag pages going to your blog; each of those counts as one link to the eyes of Technorati and Google, and so the more there are the more you rank. If they worked the way you (and most people) requested, they won't count as links at all for search engine juice.

  3. I get a few supports about this behaviour.

    In my response I always say that this brings you traffic. It brings you far more than you lose.
    No-one has yet come back to me and said that is wrong.

    If tags were not linked like this then every blog would be an island, there would be no shared interests, no community and a lot less readers.

    And raincoaster is spot-on :)

  4. Aw, thanks. I wondered if I was spilling trade secrets or something.

    At first I, the control freak, was annoyed about this too, but I've learned that the benefits are much more than the downside is.

    Just as an example: when I talk about my LolGoth project and use the local LolGoth tag, I get one hit per reader. When I use the global lolgoth tag, I get one hit per reader per lolgoth post they read. That's 17 hits rather than one hit for each reader. Not too bad.

  5. I can understand where the benefit lies, but the behaviour still seems entirely counter-intuitive. I suppose my question is, what happens once you have 30 categories? Are all 30 categories listed in the category widget? If not, how is a reader who doesn't know how to modify the URL supposed to get a list of only my "cooking" entries if it's not immediately listed in the widget?

    Wouldn't it be better to have each entry's category links show results only for your own entries, but that results page could have a link saying "Find entries for this category in other blogs"? Default behaviour should stay within the author's blog. You said it yourself - you initially expected it to sort only your own entries. That's called user-friendly. ;)

  6. All the categories are always listed in the widget. I have over 100. Since they're alphabetical it's easy to sort through. But the only tags that show on each post are the ones used on that post.

    Like I said, the math swayed me. You're right that it's counterintuitive but I like the hits more than I like useability. Can you tell I'm not an engineer?

  7. Haha, yes I can. I'm also sure you can tell I'm a sometimes-stubborn-maybe-OCD-type person about certain things. :)

  8. hello yexxle,

    My category links should link to my own posts only. What if I routinely post in a "cooking" category, and a viewer of my blog wants to click that category to look at more of my cooking posts? They are suddenly presented with a screen of posts by everyone else, rather than only my posts. The links in the "Categories" widget point to my posts, I would expect and much prefer that those same links next to each of my posts would have the same effect.

    this is a notorious in this forum feature known as "Global Tags" ( also see/search other posts tagged as http://en.forums.wordpress.com/tags.php?tag=global_tags).

    it was unexpectedly introduced to wp.com community around March/Feb. of 2006. the point of this abusive usage of .com users' local categories now linking to a "a screen of posts by everyone else, rather than only my posts." is a mystery; although some beleive its purpose is 'to fool visitors into heading for the global tags pages' in order to maximize traffic to them as they have an advertising (yet personally I didn't see it).

    the only way to opt-out this wonderful "global tag conversation" is to mark your blog as "private", or ask stuff (as you can't do it yourself) to mark it as a "mature" one -- another obscure and little documented feature.

  9. Huh, gotcha. At least now it makes sense. Considering how much I love my blog setup, it's sad that I lose user-friendly functionality simply so readers are redirected to pages that sometimes contain advertisements. It seems every company ends up at least partially corrupt to suit their monetary needs or desires.

    Like I said, I love my blog setup; one of the main reasons I'm here is because there are no banner ads. I would be willing to insert an AdSense widget or pay a small fee to subscribe to a "no-ads" feature. Anything to let me keep my blog internalized, as it should be. Whether or not I "get more readers" because of the global tags, it really should be the author's decision as to whether they wish to participate in "community aspects" of the blogging, as it were.

  10. No-one has yet come back to me and said that is wrong.

    That's because they all came here into the forums and said it here when that was introduced.

    And we had quite a few of them.

    I gotta admit and I'm sorry for bringing up my WPMu install but I like my solution better and provide both links. Internal and sitewide.

    Example: http://sulz.daria.be/archives/103

    And I even fixed it so the sitewide links don't show within teh admin side since it's teh same function call doing both.

  11. I'll weigh in on the issue. When I came here a year ago I found global tags to be counter intuitive. Since then, like raincoaster, I have noted how much Google juice they bring me. I have also noted that my readers do not click the global tags on my posts. If they did I would see that in my click through stats. Therefore, I no longer consider this to be an issue at all.

    Also yexxle may need an update on advertising.

    Like I said, I love my blog setup; one of the main reasons I'm here is because there are no banner ads. I would be willing to insert an AdSense widget or pay a small fee to subscribe to a "no-ads" feature.

    Be aware that you may see some advertising on the domain when you are not signed in.
    1. VIP blogs are able to run ads http://wordpress.com/vip-hosting/
    2. WordPress also runs some ads http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/09/06/on-ads/

  12. My readers do not click the global tags on my posts. If they did I would see that in my click through stats.

    It may be set up not to show in there. Granted that's sneaky and I doubt it's occuring but it may be so.

    Of course we could pick on staff and point out that *I* had a better solution than they did. I bet that would go over real well. ;)

  13. @drmike
    Feel free to fire off a feedback and pick away. ;)
    Like I said above, it's not an issue for me.

    @yexxle
    If you want total control over a blog, you can move to hiring a web host and have him or her download wordpress.org software that you can "shape" to suit.

  14. We're used to it by now but I for one remember that it did not go over well when it was first introduced. I remember many threads where folsk were against this and the subject comes up once a week or so still.

    I do see teh traffic and can understand how it increases your presense on the net. I also see how it can be confusing for a first time blogger or visitor. Heck, even I get tricked by it on occasion.

  15. I remember those complaints too. I do believe I was one of the complainers and that you were a complainer too. Really, why don't you let staff know how you treated this at your wp-MU site and see what comes from that?

  16. Actually I need to write a Mu FAQ on how to do the links. It's been asked for quite a few times.

    Still eating those freshman's parents doughnuts though. Mmm.....:)

  17. What donuts? What freshmen? I'm drinking green tea and eating a chocolate brownie. Looking out my window I see a doe and two tiny new fawns bouncing down our swale drainage ditch.

    P.S. I like the way you treated the global tags because they clearly say "site wide".

  18. link

    i actually don't like "sitewide" but couldn't come up with anything else.

  19. Oops! Now I see what you mean about "site wide". It could be interpreted as meaning the category tags only found on the particular "blog site".

    Would "domain wide" be a better phrase to use?

  20. If you dont want all your categories showing just change it so its a drop down menu. Thats how ive done it in the past. Note however some themes dont support the drop down menu for some reason.

  21. @tiamatsdisciple
    lol ... both drmike and I know that.
    But, it isn't what we are talking about in our last posts to each other. :)

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