Tagging is another basic tool of blogging, on WordPress as well as on other blogging, microblogging and social media platforms.
On WordPress, tagging is used to collate, categorise and describe posts using hashtags on posts, that are placed at the end of a post as a link, which can be clicked on to see all posts with that same hashtag. Considering a lot of blogs have a lot of posts, often spanning years, this is an easy way to find all the posts relating to the topic you’re searching for or interested in viewing on that one blog. For example, for a cooking blog, a hashtag with #entree could be used to check all entree recipe posts. On this blog, a tag cloud is visible at the bottom of the homepage, where you can view all available tags that have ever been used and can be viewed.
As previously mentioned, tagging is also used in other platforms, like Twitter and Instagram. Similar to WordPress, on Instagram, you can also include hashtags in your post, simply by typing a word following the # symbol in the caption, which automatically creates a link that can be clicked on and searched for. Unlike WordPress, this tag links to all posts throughout Instagram that also have that tag, not just your blog/feed. You can also search for tags throughout all of Instagram and all those with that tag will come up, generally more recent first. This can allow more people to view your posts and give you more accessibility and visibility.
For my first blog post I’ll be looking into what is a blog and how they developed, by looking at readings: Jill Walker Rettberg’s Blogging and Adrian Miles’s “Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning.”
As mentioned by Rettberg, the term “blog” originated from the phrase web log, with log coming from traditional nautical navigation, in the way that the chronological entries were written in a logbook, similarly, a blog is generally defined as a web site that has dated entries appearing in reverse chronological order – with the most recent appearing first. It’s also important to note that blogs can be very broad in subject matter – you can find one on almost any topic you can think of. Rettberg also notes that the blog itself can be seen as a medium, containing more specific genres, such as diary style blogging or political blogs. However, it’s also clear that the specific definition of blogs, and even the idea of whether it is a medium or a genre itself, can be somewhat contentious. The term “blog” itself was first used in 1997, and initial blogs from the 90’s were quite different to those of today. Initially, they contained a lot of links in a list format, users had to manually code their blogs through HTML from scratch, before templates and blogging websites began and became popular, like blogger, for example.
From Miles’s article, he draws a similar definition regarding blogs – a web based publication consisting of entries (posts) published in reverse chronological order. Miles writes about the use of blogging in teaching and learning, emphasising the importance of teaching the use of blogs, as something to learn as a post-print medium, as a contribution to contemporary media. Strategies such as ‘seeding’; instructing tasks for students to blog about to get used to the medium, before it’s used actively and for extracurricular means and developing an online identity.
Rettberg, Jill Walker. Blogging. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008. Print. (p. 4, 17-30)
Miles, Adrian. “Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning.” Screen Education 41 66–69. Print.