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Obviously we don't want to make the whole thing too complicated, but another idea would be to allow members to tag themselves (under user info or settings) under a number of headings - e.g. EU, Politics, Energy, Sociology, Management.  This would create special interest groups of members interested in - e.g. EU - who would could have their own discussion area/debate area/ collaborative writing space, and who would be notified if a diary/story with that tag is published.

I find that there is a lot of stuff going through ET (and other sites) and to avoid info overload you have to be selective in what you look at. Titles are sometimes misleading and you can miss stuff you would really have been interested in.  Obviously your tags wouldn't preclude you from having access to other stuff as well (and people without an EU tag seeing EU stuff if they want to) - it would just be a way of selectively channeling content your way and building specialist sub-communities - important as the user base gets bigger.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Dec 30th, 2007 at 02:44:27 PM EST
It seems ET is slowly growing up to a size where this would be useful, indeed. Being away for a week means taking quite some time to catch up on what has been written in the meantime. It would be useful to have a rather limited list of tags (to avoid tags explosion) and to allow adding tags to existing stories/comments thread (there is a lot of content in the comments !)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2007 at 03:45:54 PM EST
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In Theory, keywords solve that problem allowing information to be automatically found and retrieved no matter where it resides in the knowledge structure.

In Practice, not so much -- as evidenced by user frustration with Google, et.al.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Dec 30th, 2007 at 04:02:16 PM EST
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I agree, that tags, if introduced, should be very limited and be built around a pre agreed set of words.

Additions ought to only happen on an administrative level, to avoid traps -> tags that refer to the same or similar things (Demokrat, Demokrats, Demokratic, demokrat, democrat......)

by PeWi on Mon Jan 7th, 2008 at 05:53:20 AM EST
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