Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Anatomy of a Blog: Labels

How many of you have Facebook accounts? Have you ever "tagged" someone in a photo on Facebook by adding their name so that they can be identified by others viewing that photo? It is likely that many of you reading this blog post have done so and are therefore familiar with what I am talking about. Not only does the "tag" identify a person in a particular photo on Facebook, but it also allows for all pictures that include a particular person to be gathered together in one batch and viewed. So, you might ask, what does this have to do with the Library blog?

The Library blog has something similar to Facebook "tags" and they are called Labels. Labels are descriptive words or phrases that identify the main focus of a blog article. For instance, this article uses the Labels "Blog features," and "Terri's Tuesdays." You can see the Labels assigned to an article at the end of that article. It will look like this:

Those of us writing the Library blog posts have agreed upon and assigned standard words or phrases for the different types of articles we write; those are our Labels. Of course, we know what those Labels are but how will you know what they are? You can see a list of the Labels we use in the right sidebar of the blog.

Once you know a Label for a particular type of article, you can search for just those articles. Let's say you want to see all of the blog posts labeled "What are you reading." Simply go to the Labels section in the right sidebar, find the "What are you reading" Label, and click. Blogger will then run a search and pull up only those blog posts on our blog that carry the "What are you reading" Label.

For those of you who have used the Library Catalog or the Library Research Databases, this whole "tagging" and "labeling" thing might seem familiar. Tags and Labels are very similar in concept to the Subject Headings assigned by librarians to books and journal articles. Searching by Subject Headings allow you to retrieve a list of all books or articles that have a similar subject focus.

I hope these last three posts labeled "Blog features" have been helpful in identifying the three major ways you can search our blog. Search by Keyword if you want to search across our blog for articles using words you choose; search the Archives if you want to search the blog for articles by date posted; and search by Labels if you want to search using words or phrases that we assign to articles with a particular focus. As you can see, your search method depends on what you want to find and knowing how the site is organized and which tool will retrieve the best set of results.

Happy searching!

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