Saturday, January 06, 2007

Blogger Labels...oh my!

One of the most desired features I had for my blog was a wish for labels. Those are the little subject words related to your post. They can be a wonderful tool for assisting your readers with finding related posts on a subject and help with organizing your blog, especially as your post number increases!

Under beta Blogger, one could apply labels, but it required some hacks and a third-party service like Labelr.

Now...that's not a problem as post labels are supported natively.

I'm still trying to carefully consider the best way to approach the label concept.

If I have too many label categories, I will have a list a mile-wide, and defeat the purpose. So any label must be specific enough to be useful, but able to logically include a sufficient number of related items.

I'm trying to model them after other blogs that use them successfully like Dwight Silverman's use of categories over at the TechBlog, but I can't outright copy them as my subject matters differs to some degree.

Also, I'm not sold on it yet, but I like the visual appeal of changing the label list into a label cloud. It takes some work, but here is a fantastic post on how to accomplish just that: Beta Blogger Label Cloud Setup and Instructions

Even though bulk updating of old posts with labels is possible under the new Blogger, I'm going to take the time to review each older post. I hope that will give me a better end-result.

Windows Live Writer does support the adding of "Tags" to your posts, but if you are a Blogger user, labels are not yet supported. That would save me a bunch of time if it were!

FYI--did you know that Windows Live Writer has "Plugins" or "Writer Extensions" you can download to enhance your blogging experience? I didn't find any helpful ones to me, but you might...

Additional Blogger Label Resources

How do I label my posts? -- Blogger Help

Adding Labels to Old Blogger Posts is Like Using GMail -- Not looking to update all 300+ of your classic Blogger posts with new labels, one-by-one? Have no fear! Do it in bulk!

Under The Hood: Blogger's New Labels -- Explores the code underneath the Blogger label system.

Blogger Hacks Wiki -- Amazing site that attempts to collect and sort all the best Blogger hacks by platform (New Blogger, Blogger FTP, Blogger Classic, etc.) There is lots of good stuff here and any serious Blogger user would do well to bookmark this site!

Blogger Hack: Adding Categories to Your Sidebar Without Losing Your Old Template -- A tutorial on how to keep your classic Blogger template in the new Blogger system, but now use categories (labels) with it. Very clever!

Known Issues for the New Blogger -- Not really label related, but good to know what issues others are still having with Blogger.

Happy Labeling!



Brauer said...

Nice round-up Claus. For FTP users of Blogger Beta see this guide to installing Blogger Labels

Claus said...

Thank you, Brauer!

I just use WindowsLiveWriter and the Blogger Web interface to manage my blogging needs, so I forget about all the FTP blog post up-loaders out there! Thanks for the reminder.

I stopped by your site. I really like the layout and colors you are using. It looks great. Your archive list shows you've been at this blogging stuff much longer than I have!

When I get some time, I'll probably add your post as as update to the orginal point FTP folks to your solution.

Thanks for sharing!