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Comments on Global Tags Are Mess


just to keep up this «» going on and because of some of my RSS feed (not sure my addressee have managed to read this post complete via RSS) I’ve removed a pagination tag.

dear Donncha,please just don’t get me wrong.as though this post title is a bit yelling, I am not going to say that Global Tags (GT) don’t have their users. instead, together with RSS feed for each tag it may well be an exciting feature for many of them.

moreover I am purposely writing this as a separate post because there are more chances it is going to reach you, since I am not sure that you’ve subscribed to that post’s comments feed and AFAIK WordPress does not yet support comment e-email notification or other comments tracking systems (http://co.mments.com is cool).


what I am actually concern with is the fact that GT in its current implementation breaks WP.com’s blogs navigation (and therefore usability) even more than it was. the whole buzz around GT is actually just on the modest line located in the post meta section which says: “Filed under: <Category>, …”


in this moment this meta data contains links to the GT only and have a wrong ’title’ attribute which says: “View all posts in <Category>” instead of “View other WordPress.com users posts tagged with <Global_Tag>”, which only double confuses and misleads a WP.com blogs visitors.

the simple Proof of Concept

  • you have landed to this post from WordPress.com RSS feed tag (search engine, any external link etc).
  • suppose you would really like to “View all posts in WordPress.com” category in this blog.

how would you (me or anyone else) going to accomplish that? note, there’s no such link (“WordPress.com”) on the Sidebar’s categories section, because “Category Widget” does not render it (I know this should probably be addressed to Andy, but anyway). ok, but now we can see such link right above/below this post. that’s fine, but instead of showing us a list of titles filed in “WordPress.com” category this link just returns us back to the WP.com GT page.

now what, duh..?!


this problem could be sorted very easily: just fix a theme post meta section so that it displays both as Categories as GT, like this for instance:

Filed under: WordPress.com [W]

or even this:

Filed under: WordPress.com (WordPress.com Icon)

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10 responses to “Comments on Global Tags Are Mess

  1. sunburntkamel August 13, 2007 at 22:59

    the wordpress logo would be a fantastic signifier for the global tag page.

    i had been planning on deleting my drafted post, until i happened on this post, and wanted to know what else counted as “blogs in our monkeysphere”. unfortunately, as said blog has been marked mature, none of the posts, not even the one i was on, show up.

    that is hands down, the most broken usability there is.

    i’m not sure there’s any point in pestering matt, donncha, or anyone about this. i really doubt that they care about anything other than what they think is cool, or will bring more traffic to wp.com. (lloyd excepted, but he doesn’t seem to have the power to change the broke-ass features around here).

  2. options August 14, 2007 at 01:29

    that’s basically a variation of the same proposed idea I’ve started this campaign with when I finally got pissed by that feature.

    heck, I always thought mature blogs have normal links in the post-meta, even lurked about making this very blog a mature one exactly on purpose of having sane cat links…

    thanks for the warning, sbk! frankly, despite I’ve been reading it for several times in your post footnote, it’s only now, after this very comment of yours above, I’ve actually realized it.

    now this is really a complete borkage I couldn’t even imagine!

    as for pestering (hehe) poets — well, you see, there was a day (or may be two) when they made those things back to normal, and one (or two of us) could believe it was just an unsuccessful experiment.

    when I was writing this particular post almost a year and half ago, it’s supposed to be a reply to Donncha’s comment (see previous to this post written in desperation) and I then thought some dialog still could be possible…

    further when wank assumed GT are ad-laden, it was at least a reasonable explanation of neglecting usability/accessibility guidances and a slighting treatment of users feedback, but now, I just can not understand it, and that’s why my last post on this issue.

    and btw, thanks for the link to an interesting post.

  3. Andy August 14, 2007 at 07:31

    I agree that GT isn’t great. The point was to help blogs to get found by more readers and it does that, though obviously it isn’t perfect yet.

    I also arrived at the linked-logo idea (others probably did even earlier, it’s so similar to Flickr’s GT system) but I guess it stagnated due to a low priority among us devs. Be assured it’s on the list.

  4. options September 3, 2007 at 17:17

    hello Andy,

    thanks for commenting and noticing the problem along with its obvious compromise solution.

    I also arrived at the linked-logo idea (others probably did even earlier, it’s so similar to Flicker’s GT system)

    you’re telling me a good news, but, heck, do you guys ever read comments on your own blog? ;-)

    michpics February 21st, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    I think this is a great idea. However, I agree with Hugh Griffiths’ comment that it wreaks havok upon pre-existing navigation conventions.

    An excellent compromise would be to borrow from Flicker’s and have a link on the individual blog’s category/tag page that routes to the WordPress.com tag page.

    Thus: Blog Post > Tag > Blog Tag Page > WordPress tag page

    For a blog with a lot of categories like mine, having that link to related content within my blog associated with the post is very, very helpful.

    Global Tags « WordPress.com

    the solution proposed in this post above is even more straightforward but still is a compromise one.

    … but I guess it stagnated due to a low priority among us devs. Be assured it’s on the list.

    Andy, not having a .com source code, I suppose it takes just a couple of lines to add_filter(‘the_category’, …) to the get_the_category_list() or something like that. anyway, guess it’s a no-brainer at all, taking about 5 minutes to implement. am I wrong?

    it’s not that I don’t believe you, but this Matt’s comment makes me feel that hijacked category links in the post-meta is a purposeful gaming to have visitors landed from SE fool into clicking through other unrelated (cause I didn’t give them a link) .com blogs, thus increasing total page-views of .com, so it’s not a low priority issue, is it?

    and, by the way, what about so called ‘Mature’ blogs? — their GT pages are empty at all!

  5. drmiketemp September 11, 2007 at 23:43

    Actually blogs marked as mature should have their category links pointed back into their blog. At least that’s what happens with blogs marked as being hidden from search engines.

    We worked this out with my own WPMu install and the group of them I host. The category link is for the blog itself followed by a link to a sitewide blog. Took five miuntes to work out and most of that was spent copying and pasting the functions involved because the same function that lists categories at the bottom of a post is the same function that lists them on the Manage Posts page on your backend. (Folks didn’t want to see the sitewide links on their admin. Made thingsa confusing.)

    There’s actually a thread on doing this over on the wpmu forums.

  6. options September 13, 2007 at 02:51

    hello Mike,

    yep, they should have, but the issue is, currently they do not actually, simply pointing to a blank GT page with the following text:

    “Sorry, we don’t have any posts here with that tag. You may want to try one of the sites below.”

    and below, of course, there is only a list of the partner sites of Automattic Inc. (strange but I can’t see a ‘sphere.com’ out there). see, people are still sending their referrers — that’s probably how a referral partnership program with those sites is supposedly working ;-)

    see also: “is it possible to force search engines to index a ‘Private’ blog?” forum thread.

    my wild guess this behavior of Mature blogs links in the post-meta is a sort of purposeful gaming as well — it’d be a too low price and an easy way to walk out the collective GT link farm.

    also, I happened to see one of your wpmu installs and liked the way you handled with GT.

    although, not sure which particular thread on wpmu.org forums mentioned above you were actually meaning (as I haven’t been lucky enough to find it out of hand and a plenty of time for a deep research), I believe a proper way to have sane links to the site-wide GT could be get by with just using some filter/actions hooks like manage_posts_columns in a plugin instead of redundant and pointless copy-pasting works in the core. such random core patches not commited into the SVN trunk will inevitably broke things in your installs on future upgrades, by the way.

  7. drmiketemp September 26, 2007 at 15:59

    Well the category links within a mature blog used to work that way. I believe the marked as private blogs did as well.

    The global tags fix (Putting a sitewide link alongside the internal category link) was a copy and paste (and rename) of a function and three quick edits. There is no reason why wp.com couldn’t do this.

    Hardest thing about it was what to call the sitewide link. I used ‘sitewide’ but gotta admit that I never liked that term. No one ever came up with anything better though.

  8. sunburntkamel September 26, 2007 at 17:21

    i always assumed that mature blogs’ categories worked that way, i don’t know if it changed, or if it was always this way. Mature blogs link to global tags, which don’t contain the post that sent you there.

  9. options May 15, 2008 at 20:02

    it appears, that’s how it’s been from the very inception.

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