New Version Of Bsuite…w00t!

I was thrilled when Casey over at MaisonBisson posted about the release of Bsuite b2v6. After much prodding by me, Casey has separated tags from posts into their own tables. He and I sat down one evening and fleshed out the overall goal for the tagging structure…we butted heads on a few things but the end result is pretty snazzy. I’ve beta tested the tagging features and I’m fond of them…w00t! Because of all the optimizations, I quickly installed the update on the blogs I host:

Zach writes (and I agree with him hands down):

This is a fantastic plugin for WordPress which does a lot of heavy lifting and can help to better leverage the long tail of your content. Frankly I wouldn’t run WordPress without it. This bug fix release clears up a lot of little nagging problems [...]

Tags Done Right…the Technorati Way

My pal, Casey, posted an article about tagging. His topic is right, the implementation he is using for Technorati tagging is a bit off as it only accomplishes half of what is needed and may be misleading (luckily his implementation is in alpha testing). He states:

Flickr does tags better than any other, so far as I can tell.

[...]

Take “road trip” as an example. What one tagger thinks is two words might be just “roadtrip” to another. This is where Flickr’s tag indexing does it right: we still have to pick the right words (and spelling), but we don’t have to worry about spaces or punctuation.

So, when I tag a photo “Mt. Moosilauke,” Flickr stores the both text I enter as well as a version in all lower-case, without spaces or punctuation: “mtmoosilauke.” And when you search for “Mt. Moosilauke,” you get the same results as your neighbor searching for “mt moosilauke.”

Casey has modified his excellent WordPress stat tracking/tagging/everything else you could ever want plugin, bsuite, to place Technorati tags at the bottom of posts in that fashion. So, I could enter the following as tags in my post:

<tags>squirrel handed people, bologna, large elephants taste good with cheese</tags>

His plugin would display the tags (and thus, ping Technorati) as:

<tags>squirrelhandedpeople, bologna, largeelephantstastegoodwithcheese</tags>

Neat feature, but there is one issue. Technorati tags don’t work that way. If I wanted to search for WordPress, I would get a whole set of different results than if I had searched for Word press or even “Word Press”. Which is right? Well, the user community drives what is right so…all three. We can make the assumption that many users will enter their search terms in many different ways depending on where/how they learned about tagging.

I quote my tags. One of my friends doesn’t. Casey likes to omit spaces.

Casey is right in that Flickr did it correctly from the start. But when working with Technorati its a whole other ball game. Bsuite, in my opinion, should either leave tagging stories as the user enters them OR when displaying tags and pinging Technorati, all possibilities need to be accounted for. Luckily there are only the 3 main types:

  1. Tags with spaces
  2. Tagswithnospaces
  3. and “Tags in quotes”

I am pleased to say that option 3 – “Tags in quotes” – happily replaces all punctuation with a single space. So I could write the following and it’d all be the same:

“Tags in quotes”
“Tags+in+quotes”
“Tags-in_quotes!”
etc.

The moral of the story: There may be a correct way to implement a base feature…but when you are relying on a separate web service to manage that base feature, you need to adhere to their standards to optimize your results…and in the mean time beg them to change it. Tonight I will be meeting with Casey and hopefully bend his Bsuite Beta tag implementation to my will!

bstat Search Cloud

Casey over at MaisonBisson has developed a sweet WordPress plugin called bstat. I’ve been using it since I installed WordPress as my blog. Well, one thing that is missing from the plugin that I decided I wanted was a search cloud (like a tag cloud, only for incoming searches)… I recently created a tag cloud on MasterWish so decided to use that. Here’s the function.

Special Functions

  • bstat_search_cloud

Usage:

bstat_search_cloud(post_id, maxresults, days, starting_font_size);

  • post_id is the post_id for the story, usually provided by a WP variable. A value of 0 is used for grabbing all search terms from any post
  • maxresults is the number of search terms you wish to retrieve
  • days is the number of days back to look
  • starting_font_size is the starting font size of the smallest search term

Example:


<h3>All incoming search terms for this post</h3>
<small>< ?php bstat_search_cloud(0,50); ?></small>