Upgrading to WordPress 2.3

Tagamac has been upgraded to WordPress 2.3, a release of the venerable open source blogging platform mostly notable for its inclusion of tagging. No longer shall bloggers be forced to suffer through Ultimate Tag Warrior’s bizarre installation and mountains of options. Tagging your blog posts is now officially supported.

Well, sort of. Unfortunately, WordPress 2.3 is very bare bones when it comes to tags. No auto-completion. No cloud underneath your editing window. You have to either remember all of your tags, or just go for broke with the random method.

Thankfully there are, as always, plugins to make WordPress behave the way you want. Two that I highly recommend are Tag Managing Thing from the creator of the Ultimate Tag Warrior and Recommended Tags.

Tag Managing Thing does pretty much what it says, and not only allows you to manage tags but also categories. Very useful for changing names and slugs, merging, splitting, or otherwise manipulating your metadata.

Recommended Tags brings auto-completion, recommended tags based on some Javascript voodoo, and a list of all tags in the site to easily add tags to posts. You can choose the functionality that you want to show up on your posts page, making it even more useful and friendly.

Also, if you’re updating to 2.3 don’t miss the overlooked tag template tags is_tag() &emdash; a conditional function &emdash; and single_tag_title() &emdash; a function that’s very useful for tag archive pages.

I’m glad that my favorite blogging platform has finally implemented tags, although I wonder how truly useful it will be for people. Particularly in blogging tags often end up being superfluous; I think it’s because a blog’s tags are not collaborative, but often bloggers don’t have any experience tagging outside of collaborative systems and don’t really bother to think about whether they are using tags in a useful fashion.

Which actually makes me curious; do you, my gentle readers, find Tagamac’s tags useful? If you do (or don’t), please tell me about it. I know that when I’m trying to find old articles on Tagamac I often use the tags, which seems hopeful, but I’d be very interested to hear if they’re at all helpful to other people.

Plus if I get enough feedback perhaps I’ll be able to offer some informed opinions to the new-to-tagging WordPress crowd (instead of just opinions). Everyone and their mother seems to be sharing advice on how to implement tags into themes, but no one seems to be thinking about how best to tag a blog.