Post Categories

Yesterday I recategorised all 827 posts I had on here, but while I was doing that, I knew that some posts would end up in the ‘wrong’ place and I was also wondering just why I was doing it.
Categorising posts works for you – and possibly your readers – if you can maintain a level of discipline with your blogging. Note – I’m talking about general bloggers now. But maybe having categories is restrictive ? If you write a post that is single-issue specific, then a category is possibly useful but if you stray into other territory (as I do frequently) then you start to need multiple categories, and surely at that point you have to start to wonder just who you are writing this blog for.

Do people read their own blogs ? I don’t – though funnily enough I googled for a problem here the other day and found a post of mine describing the fix (which shows more that I write a lot – and forget what I wrote) – so why the need for categories ? I mentioned before that some posts are in the ‘wrong’ category. That is the case because I re-catted by reading the excerpt, not the whole post, but it doesn’t really matter does it ? I don’t pigeon-hole my life, I’m just a regular blogger (but one who churns out more than the average I would guess) and can I really see someone wanting to read all my ‘Inane’ posts ? Nope – why would you ? I suppose the answer to that is to find posts in a similar vein, but then again that forces you (me) to display a level of restraint when posting an entry does it not ? Many of my posts ramble and I’ll add extra bits on – couple of sentences about an unrelated subject – so do I then add that post to another category ? And just so you – the reader – can catch them all ? Isn’t that arrogant to assume someone will read them by category ?

Categories also serve to build a profile for us that others will read. For instance, despite being called it, and posting a few bits here and there, I have no ‘geek’ category. Why ? Because I’m not a geek. I know 3 geeks (Steve, Jo and Claire) and they are geeks (in the nicest possible way) and when they post ‘geek’, it is (and although Claire never does, I just know she’s really a geek, she just keeps it hidden :) ). I also know a telephonist who does the same – is that geeky ? Nope. Categories are therefore used by some to create even more of a false online persona. Strange, especially when people you know are reading what you write.

It’s odd because with the advent of child categories, I could pigeon-hole within pigeon-hole – I wonder how many average bloggers craft their entries to fit a category rather than just tapping out what they want to say anyway. Or maybe because of my attitude and what I have to say, this debate is specific to me.
So am I going to re-cat again into one big category ? No – but equally I don’t take more than the time it takes to mouse-click to drop a post into whatever strikes me as the right place at the time of posting. And if where you read you select only by category, then aren’t you missing out on whatever else the author is saying ?
(So that’s ‘wordpress’ and ‘pondering’ for this one then…)

5 thoughts on “Post Categories

  1. Interesting thoughts. I have been asking myself too what is the point of categorizing my items, another argument I’ve come to is that it’s easier for websearch engines (then, readers, not the regular ones but readers anyway) when everything is filed under relevant tags.

  2. It is an odd thing, esp when you may realise, after blogging for a while that you will have a new cat and then re-cat some posts into it.

    Almost begs the question Why ??

    Still, maybe it’s a reflection of the personality behind the blog – if everything is perfectly in place, they probably line all the tins of food in the cupboard, towels in the bathroom ……….. ;)

  3. I must be the laziest blogger on this planet for keeping my nav / cats in an order which sensibly reflects the content and assists the user.
    Likewise my links which have grown seemingly at random and are long overdue for a clearout :) And deli.cio.us thingy is going to be even worse to keep in shape.

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