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How To: Using Categories To Organize Content

When you create your first blog post in WordPress, there is one “category” option (over there on the top right of the administrative screen). We don’t ever want to use that default to categorize a post!

Categories are not to be confused with “tags” (a more modern, Web 2.0 concept). Think of categories as major subject headings. If you are in one of my classes, chances are you will be a discussion leader at some point in time. Thus I have you create a category, “discussion leader.”

Q: How do you create a new category?

A: In the administrative (write a new post) view, there is a blank field just below “categories” — with an “add” button to its right. Simply type the category name in the field and click “add.” The category will appear in the list in alphabetical order, already pre-selected. You can categorize a post in more than one category.

You can “manage” categories via the “Manage” tab in the administrative tool bar.

Q. What’s a tag?

A: In general, tags are “micro” whereas categories are “macro.” Tags are something like public keywords. Before it was possible to tag content, many of us used our categories in this manner. Just look at my WiredPen blog as an example! I need to rework those categories and turn some of them into tags. But that’s four years of posts and a lot of work!

Q. How to tag?

A. That’s easy! Just type the set of tags (keywoards) in the “tags” field just below the blog post field.

If you are using your blog for multiple classes, I recommend that you *tag* each post with the course number (like COM300 or COM546). This will give you a way to look at all posts associated with a course.

Your instructor will probably specify categories for blog posts that make it easy to find assignments.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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