Categories and Tags: an Explanation

last updated: 20 November 2018 (approximate reading time: 3 minutes; 462 words)

Categories and tags are applied to Write Once, Then Link posts to classify the content.

Here’s an explanation of how categories and tags have been implemented for this blog and how they can help you find what you’re looking for.


Each document in Write Once, Then Link is tagged in two (or three) ways—it’s given a category and one or more tags.

At the foot of each document, you’ll see a section headed “filed under” where the category, people, and tags applied to that document are listed. You’ll also see on the pages with lists of articles, that under each article’s summary its category, people, and tags (as appropriate) are listed.

When it comes to talking about tagging, people tends to complicate matters and use a range of terms such as taxonomies, tagging, and keywords as if the concepts are meaningfully different. Fundamentally, they’re not—what we’re talking about here are words. Nothing more, just words.

The categories and tags that are applied to each document are just words—words to give an indication of the content of each document. However, those words are applied in different ways to bring some structure and help you find what you’re looking for.


Categories are broad in scope and limited in number, so you’ll find more articles listed under each category.

Every article is in one category and only one category. The category—broadly—suggests the subject area within which the article falls.

Categories are fixed, but will mutate and evolve over time as I add more articles.


People are, in effect, a subset of tags. A person tag has been added when a person—whether that is a real person or a fictitious character—has been mentioned in an article.


Tags are specific in scope and are many in number, so you’ll find fewer articles listed under each tag than are listed under each category.

Each article can have many tags added; tags are added based on the content of an article. If an object, concept, principle, work of art, or whatever is mentioned, then a tag is added.

Context: the Interaction Between Category and Tags

While tags are very specific in nature, the intersection of categories and tags gives context for tags.

Taken with the article’s title and it’s summary, the contextualized tags should then give you a fair idea about the scope of an article and whether you’re going to find what you’re looking for.

Further Reading…

While not their primary purpose, adding keywords offers other suggestions for further reading on a topic. And again—with the intersection of categories and tags, you can find material that is relevant to you.


And if you want to know more about why there’s no search engine on this site, read this article.

Filed under

Category: writing
Tags: tagging   housekeeping