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Tags on the BootsnAll Boards

We've made a pretty substantial change here in the BootsnAll Community, and though it's something we think is mostly behind-the-scenes, we think it will help users immensely when they're trying to find the answer to a question. What we've done is implemented "tags" for each post on the boards. This document will help you understand why we've done it, how it helps you and us at the same time, and how to use tags in your posts on the boards.

What are tags?

That's a fair question, so we'll start there. "Tags" are relevant keywords or labels established by the author for things like blog or message board posts (among other things) which help users identify what the post is about in a few words, and they also help search engines to deliver the right post to you when you're looking for something specific. They can be one word each or short phrases, and they're usually separated by a comma. Also, if you've ever used Flickr, you've used tags to categorize your photographs. You can learn more about tags in detail here.

Yes, the title of a post helps with this to a certain extent, but titles can be misleading and we can't categorize posts by titles alone. For instance, a question on the BootsnAll boards about hostels in Berlin could be tagged like this: hostels, berlin - so that anyone looking at the tags would immediately know that this was a question about both Berlin and hostels, even if the title was simply, "I've got a question, please help!" (That, by the way, is a bad title. But that's another subject.)

How do tags help me?

The beauty of tagging the posts in the BootsnAll forums is that eventually when you're looking for all the posts about Bulgaria, you'll be able to go to one page with all the posts that have been tagged with "Bulgaria" and not hunt around through the entire Europe forum. As the lists of tags grow, there will be more and more specific pages you can call up - pages full of posts about just the ferry between Croatia and Italy, a certain backpack you're considering for your RTW trip, the best surf spots in Bali or a well-known festival in Chile. Without cluttering the boards with an individual forum for each topic, we'll still be able to offer users the ability to bookmark certain tag pages that are of the most interest to them. And the best part is that they look exactly like the boards pages you're already used to.

Do I have to learn anything technical to use tags?

Absolutely not. In addition to what you already know about posting on the BootsnAll forums, all you'll need to do is tag your own posts as you write them. Just choose a few words or short phrases separated by commas that describe the gist of your post - you can check out the list of tags which already exists for ideas, or, if your post doesn't quite fit into any of the existing tags, you can create your own. If you're having trouble coming up with what tags would be appropriate, just think about what search words you would use if you wanted to get to your post and use those.

I kind of think I get it, but could you give me some more examples?

Sure thing.

Again, try to remember what you would search for to arrive at your post and you should be on the right track.

What if I screw up and write the wrong tag?

Don't fret over your tags too much - nothing is set in stone. As the person who started the thread, you can go back later and edit your tags. Also, our excellent moderating crew has the power to edit tags as well, so if you're having trouble with the whole thing, don't hesitate to ask Jessie or the mods for help.

If you've got questions about any of this, shoot us an email or post a note in the Feedback Forum and we'll answer it there.