Tags, Writer, and WordPress
Ever since WordPress 2.3 hit the scene, adding native tagging support, there’s been some (understandable) confusion as to whether Windows Live Writer supports tags, and how it relates to WP native tags. Hopefully this post will clear things up.
If you’re using WordPress 2.3.1 or later, look for either Keywords or Tags near the bottom of the screen. You may first have to press F2 (or click the little up-arrow) to expand the property panel.
Better yet, if you’re using WordPress 2.7 (or WordPress.com) and Windows Live Writer 2009 RC or later, you’ll get tag autocompletion! The tags field also moves upwards, adjacent to the categories field.
The same instructions apply for BlogEngine.NET, though I don’t think a build has been formally released yet that supports tag autocompletion.
The confusion stems from the fact that there is also an older, non-native style of tagging that was in common use in 2006 when we launched Writer. At the time, none of the popular blog platforms had any built-in tagging features, per se—it was all about categories. Tagging usually meant manually inserting HTML links into the actual body of each post, with rel="tag" attributes on each link. Technorati and other search engines could detect these tags, but because it was all commingled within the post body, the actual blogging platforms could not.
The second public beta of Writer added support for this primitive form of tagging, and it remains in the product to this day. If you do “Insert Tags” from the main menu, edit toolbar, or sidebar, you’ll get this kind of tagging. And if your blog software supports native tags, as WordPress does, this is almost certainly not what you want.
It’s definitely bogus that we have two related-but-different tagging features, without making it easy for the user to know which to use. We didn’t have time to solve this problem for WLW 2009, but it’s quite possible we will do something about it in a future release.
Filed under: Windows Live Writer, WordPress | 16 Comments