Categories vs.Tags = Chapters vs. Index

tags, tea

(photo: wikimedia)

No doubt this blog would benefit from a better system of categories and tags (the words that appear at the bottom and let readers search for similar content). Here’s a guide from the Elegant Themes blog on how to make those improvements. My tags alternate between the too general (“book”) and the too specific (the name of a person I’ve written about once). Time for a clean-up.

If you’re a blogger, you may have been as mystified about the difference between categories and tags as I still am, and this post will help there, too. It asks you to think about your blog as a book, with your categories as chapter titles and your tags as the index—more detailed, in other words. That means it’s easier to change and add tags than it is categories, if you already have a lot of content. (Ideally, this should have been done two years ago, when I started, but there you have it. Perfection is elusive.)

The link provides a helpful list of do’s and don’ts, too. Many of which this blog violates. Faced with such a situation I always hear the immortal Jonathan Winters calling, “We’ve gotta get organized!”

The Blacklist: Under Covers

TV, NBC, Blacklist, James Spader, magazine cover

(photo: AP/NBC)

Since the ads on network television drive me crazy, it’s ironic that ads have persuaded me to watch the second-season premiere of The Blacklist, Monday, September 22 on NBC. If you’ve watched the show, you know it’s an American crime drama starring James Spader, Megan Boone, Ryan Eggold, and Harry Lennix. The premise is that Spader, a high-profile fugitive—Raymond “Red” Reddington—emerges from the shadows to make a deal with the FBI. He’ll help them capture a series of hard-to-nab global criminals, but only if they let him use a young profiler (Megan Boone) “fresh out of Quantico” to help.

The show last season received pretty strong positive reviews from the critics, and in a recent Chicago Tribune interview about the upcoming twists, Spader said, “once you start taking all those backroads, the backroads become much more interesting than the destination.” Spader pursues those intriguing backroads with his characteristic intensity—which led Rolling Stone to call him “the strangest man on TV.”

But what about those ads? The first one I noticed was the inside back cover of this month’s Wired, which showed Spader in a typical neon-drenched Wired explosion, with mock-cover headlines like “Get with the Program: Red’s Shocking Next Move” and “On the List, Off the Grid: Tracking the Criminals Still at Large.” Clever. Then I spotted a fake cover in the 9/8 issue of The New Yorker, drawn by popular cover artist Mark Ulriksen (who drew the recent Derek Jeter cover), and you may have seen