It's Time We Talked About Tags

Originally published at: It’s Time We Talked About Tags | Blog

Consider the typical sections of a daily newspaper: Arts, Sports, Business, Travel, Local, and World. Any given article belongs to just one of those sections, and the content in each section is quite different, such that some people, for example, may only ever read the Sports or Business sections. These are what we call categories.…


Great work! I love tags, and I’d just like to repeat some of my suggestions:

  • Ability to require a tag per section (as stated in the blog this is coming!)
  • Ability to add info per tag, such as a short description and a link (this would show on mouse over, as well as on the tag view page)

These would be nice to have:

  • A redesigned tags homepage (currently very unappealing, would like to see it more useful/informative like the categories homepage)
  • Ability to give tags different colours (not as important but could be nice for some communities)

With this in place I can see tags becoming a huge part of how people use Discourse :smiley:


I want to add this feature request to the tag wishlist.

1 Like

Great to see that tags now gain more attention. Please also consider adding support for tag aliases.


3 posts were split to a new topic: Some questions about tags

+1 this - the company I work for is a stockbroker and we collect requests from users for stocks that they want us to offer. There’s groups of stocks that we can’t add at the moment, for a particular reason. Tagging would enable us to highlight the fact that a stock is part of that group & explain in a short message / link to a topic explaining why we can’t add the stocks yet.


Do I understand this to mean that the functionality of tagging as described in the @HAWK post is not available to users accessing via mobile. In particular, how would this resolve in the scenario where we were requiring all posters to assign a tag to the post for the purposes of “categorisation”?

1 Like

Tagging is fully supported on mobile today. It wasn’t at the time of Steve’s post.


@awesomerobot reminded me of this absolute classic Clay Shirky post on the topic of tagging versus categories

If you haven’t read this, and have any interest in the topic whatsoever … please read it now. :bowing_man:


@codinghorror do you have a recommendation for categories vs. tags vs. groups specific to location-based content?

For my use case, I have a community of ham radio operators ( Location is very important for many reasons, but a few main ones are that 1) they can actually make a ham radio contact with users that are close and 2) scheduling local meetups 3) discussing local repeaters, emergency communication drills etc.

I would like to automatically subscribe users to updates for their state/region, use the API to put updates for their state/region in their wordpress dashboard, and also allow them to post events and discussion topics for their region.

Is there a recommended approach for using location in this way?

Currently I am thinking to have Category: Regional Radio, Subcategory: State, then use tags for things like events, meetups, operations, etc.


Connecting people via location is tricky, I know @pfaffman has worked on this with some of his clients in the past. There is of course established, native support for the location field in the user profile but the location field is totally free-form text.

Discourse is more aligned around the concept of connecting people through shared interests and topics, not so much location, but location can be highly relevant to some communities.


Certainly interests and topics are important to my users aswell. A lot of the more traditional community platforms offer built-in functionality with users near me and events, etc, but I am going to use discourse for this with some plugins and customization.

I really like the location plugin from pavilion (I think now maintained by discourse?), i’m going to be installing that and seeing how it works! I really think discourse could actually be the best platform for location-based posts or even integrate with amateur radio in some interesting ways. I’ll be sure to share if I figure out some cool stuff.

My community also has a ton to discuss regarding amateur radio antennas, power supplies, setups, how-to, etc etc. that is more down the middle use case for discourse and not linked to location. So I’m planning to keep the location-based conversations in a single Category and use the location plugin to tag locations there.


Unfortunately you won’t be able to install that plugin on your current hosted plan. :frowning:


@HAWK yikes! Is this because it is not an officially supported plugin?


It is officially supported but you are limited to the plugins available on your plan. Ping if you want to chat about it with the support team.