I have given this tagging thing some thought, and while I generally hate tags, I do have some ideas:
Instead of focusing heavily on the whole 'opt out' aspect of things, there should be more emphasis on ways it can be used to 'opt in', and be more useful to both the community as a whole and each individual member.Private Use Tags:
This could be integrated with the bookmarks page
to sort & tag your bookmarks in a kind of Gmail style way. (only you will see these tags)
This could be used to tag your saved Personal Messages
in the same way. (again, only you will see the tags)Internal Use Tags:
This would be the ones that people like mouser could use for tagging posts for the newsletters and other purposes.Special Use Tags:
Here is where your NSFW tag goes.
I really don't want to get into the messy debate about this, but I do have this much to say...
I do not want to become a victim of someone else's need to have a tagging system to police their own mind for them.
NSFW is just that...not safe for WORK
This is generally known as any content that is large enough or loud enough to be experienced by someone else in 'close proximity', that could be offended or their concentration disturbed by what they might accidentally see or hear coming from your PC. This is stuff you could get fired for because it is inappropriate for a work environment.
This is kind of specific to a few things:
- 'offensive' images
- BRIGHT and/or LARGE TEXT that might say something 'offensive'
- sound (technically, this would be NSFW in most places of business)
- things that make your screen flash
This is not for most normal sized text or terms like 'wtf' or a thread that might contain a light sprinkling of 'profanity'. It's NSFW...not
NSFK (not safe for kindergarten) or NSFC (not safe for church)
Nor is it for a thread that contains a post that contains a link to something off this site. Labeling a discussion as not safe for work, that is perfectly safe for work, based on a link that goes to a site that is NSFW is a bit screwed up. The link should be clearly labeled, but not the whole thread.Public Community Use Tags:
It can be integrated with the RSS to allow people to subscribe to individual tags.
As far as who determines what tags apply to a thread, how about just letting any and all users tag whatever posts they want with as many tags of whatever they want? The list can be ranked by the number of times people have tagged it with a particular term and only the top 5 would apply to the post for the purposes of 'display'.
This could also take care of the problem with tagging old posts as anybody could pitch in and tag whatever ones they want in their spare time.
This would also take away the need for the thread starter to have to tag the thread and let any member that reads it and wants to tag it do it instead, and more effectively.
This is a similar method as the one used on last.fm for tagging artists & songs. They only show the top most used tags.
Any particular thread could have a ton of tags assigned to it, ranging from 100's of people tagging something as 'cool gadget' to 1 guy tagging it as 'reminds me of my wife', and all sorts of tags in varying amounts in between.
If the tags are ranked, it's also becomes a voting system as to the relevance of the tag to a post, by the community as a whole.
Of course with the internal, private, and special use tags, they wouldn't be subject to any sort of rank by the community.
How and where to display all of this? I don't know.
Except for the private use tags, I really don't want to see or use any tags anywhere else on the site, nor do I want anything added to my profile
that would reflect the tags of threads I have started. That could be very misleading and give people the wrong impression about me, what I like, etc. (I often post things I think the community will like or find useful and it doesn't always reflect anything about me on a personal level)