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Old 03-22-2010
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Default Tags for Easier Searching

Apologies if this has been suggested as an idea before, but the librarian in me has been wondering. What are your thoughts on adding keywords to the summary? When trying to find a story I've previously read, I'll do random searches of the title and/or summary to see if I can locate it. My success rate varies.

Summaries aren't always (nor should they be) written to provide a true summary of the story. Many are written to draw the reader in and will sometimes be intentionally vague or include lines from the story itself. These summaries should not be changed, but adding keywords may help people locate the story once it is off the recently updated page.

Here's an example:

When Uncle Jack comes to town, one thing is certain: life won’t be boring. This particular visit is no exception. Throw in some video games, a treasure hunt, a case of benitoite gemstones worth millions, and a pair of sinister brothers who will stop at nothing to acquire those gemstones, and the Spencer men quickly find themselves in over their heads.

SPOILERS for "The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable"

KEYWORDS: knife, sharpener, mine, rescue, collapse


One significant problem I see with keywords is how to balance their use so that they will help locate a story down the road, but won't completely reveal the plot either while the story is in progress or before a new reader has started reading chapter 1. Perhaps that could be at the author's discretion and/or perhaps keywords could be added once a story is marked as completed.

Obviously, this would be optional and authors could choose their own tags/keywords.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-22-2010
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I think it's actually possible to search the body of the story using the advanced search. Which, if you can think of a word that's specific enough to a story, would make searching easier. It's (sort of) similar to having keywords. Keywords could be useful if everyone used them properly, but the problem is a lot of stories would wind up with a lot of similar keywords. And you would have to guess the right keywords as a searcher to find the fic still. A little searching is always going to be necessary unfortunately.
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Old 03-22-2010
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I agree that the keyword thing would be a good addition--But I also agree that it could get messy.

I've been, personally, DYING for a 'whump' category--perhaps it could be broken down between 'Physical' and 'Emotional' cause people like different kinds of whump. However, adding this to the keywords (if making a category is hard) might make it easier for people to find it. It would also help with smaller classifications like 'Shules' and 'Shabigail'--it would prevent the authors from having to specify that in their summaries.

Although it's good, I kind of get tired of 'SHULES' in the summaries of everything...

As a whump fan, I find that just searching for 'graphic violence' or 'hurt/comfort' doesn't necessarily mean the story will contain whump--though stories categorised like this usually do.

Okay so basically I am just ranting for a batter way to find whump stories. XD Hope someone else agrees with me. But like I said, I think it would be good for keywords cause maybe there are too many categories already or they are hard to add or something. Cause I never search the summaries for 'whump' when I want it. Keywords would be nice. +shrug+ Just throwing random stuff out feel free to ignore me. XD
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Old 03-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicalLuna View Post
I think it's actually possible to search the body of the story using the advanced search. Which, if you can think of a word that's specific enough to a story, would make searching easier. It's (sort of) similar to having keywords. Keywords could be useful if everyone used them properly, but the problem is a lot of stories would wind up with a lot of similar keywords. And you would have to guess the right keywords as a searcher to find the fic still. A little searching is always going to be necessary unfortunately.
I'm all for searching. Unfortunately, advanced search doesn't perform a full text search (it would be wonderful if that was possible). Keywords in this environment would be more social tagging rather than strict subject classification, so guidelines as to their "proper" use wouldn't be needed. The keywords would serve to only enhance the summary/increase the possibility of finding a story, and the onus would still be on the searcher to try different terms.

Yes, the chance of similar keywords is high, and there would be a fine line between using keywords and being redundant with categories. Starphyer raised this when she mentioned the use of "shules". The use of "whump" has also become popular recently. What was crossing my mind is if, for example, I remember a story about copper thieves but I can't remember that it was SydneyWoo who wrote it or that it was called "I See Your Hubris.." Including a keyword "copper" would help me locate the story immediately.

Having said that (and I would still love to see keywords), we currently have a wonderful resource when searching the archive doesn't yield results -- this community is incredibly responsive when someone posts a "trying to find a fic" message.
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Old 03-23-2010
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I see, I see. Makes sense. It's been awhile since I used the Advanced Search, I probably should have messed with it first. XDDD Tags would be useful in that context. If we could use them the way LJ uses them, that could be extremely helpful. The main reason I'm so hesitant about the idea is that people tend to overinform with the other categories. They put every single character that shows up in the story, or choose several genres instead of the one or two that actually represent the fic, etc. User inputted tags could very easily get out of control and result in lists of dozens of keywords.

So I think theoretically tags are a good idea. But I also think if the categories were all used more judiciously by people it would be much easier to find fics with the searches we have. Not that that means we shouldn't perhaps add tags to assist in searching. They definitely could be useful regardless of the potential issues.

Hopefully I'm expressing this clearly. I don't want to make it sound like I'm totally against the idea because I'm not.
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Old 03-24-2010
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Originally Posted by MusicalLuna View Post
I see, I see. Makes sense. It's been awhile since I used the Advanced Search, I probably should have messed with it first. XDDD Tags would be useful in that context. If we could use them the way LJ uses them, that could be extremely helpful. The main reason I'm so hesitant about the idea is that people tend to overinform with the other categories. They put every single character that shows up in the story, or choose several genres instead of the one or two that actually represent the fic, etc. User inputted tags could very easily get out of control and result in lists of dozens of keywords.

So I think theoretically tags are a good idea. But I also think if the categories were all used more judiciously by people it would be much easier to find fics with the searches we have. Not that that means we shouldn't perhaps add tags to assist in searching. They definitely could be useful regardless of the potential issues.

Hopefully I'm expressing this clearly. I don't want to make it sound like I'm totally against the idea because I'm not.
Thanks so much for creating a separate thread - that is much appreciated! Haha - it had been a while since I used advanced search as well, so I had to double check! I'm not active in LJ, so I should check how keywords/tags are used there. I agree with you that the overuse of categories has canceled out their usefulness in searching/browsing (I'm probably just as guilty of overuse). If the idea of keywords were to catch on, there could be a limit (perhaps between 3-5), on how many would be allowed to avoid pages and pages of them.

Thanks for your feedback!

P.S. Love your avatar - I'm a Grobanite too!
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