Opinion: Tags in bbPress, do you like it or frustration to maintain?
I would like to start this discussions because I have no idea what to think of the adding tags to topics feature in bbPress.
First, Tags are taxonomies like Categories are also. Each Post Type ( or custom PT ) can be added with those taxonomies Categories or Tags right?
Looking that the Core of WP and how they’re designed to work Categories and Tags where always designed to be added by editors or authors on content – people who understand how to own or maintain a website through the WordPress admin.
Somebody who writes a blog post can define what categories and-/or tags they want to add against their blog posts – bbPress also uses Custom Post Types for Forums – Topics and Replies because they’re great for adding those kind of structural elements only there is a huge difference in the way how those work and who uses them.
bbPress Forums have categories as taxonomy attached to them while bbPress Topics have tags attached to them. It seems pretty normal this way but if you look at how Forums and Topics are created at your WordPress site you’ll see that Forums are created by owners of the website ( like Blog Posts ) and topics are created by random users of the website.
Topics are more like comments compared to WordPress Core functionality because their added by external users not editors or authors like Forums are – you don’t want people who write comments to your blog posts also have the ability to add Tags to them , right ?
The main reason why I look at it like this is because I always switch the Tags functionality off in bbPress because it doesn’t work the way it should work to be honest. I think Tags are great for fast navigating and filtering-/grouping specific topics with the same errors at a forum the only difference is people who write topics have in general a problem with ‘something’ , else they don’t start a topic at your site at all. Those people often don’t know anything about blogging or maintaining a website and how Tags and Categories work. A Live example of how bad Tags in bbPress work if you let them get added by users who don’t know how they should work is the Tags Cloud on the sidebar at bbPress.org.
Just look at the Tag Cloud in the sidebar, the bigger-sized words are most often used. BuddyPress + WordPress + Integration + Forum + Plugin + Theme those words are often tagged by people who write topics which is crazy because those are totally not Tag-wards at all.
How could you ever filter WordPress or something like BuddyPress or Plugin at a forum? Those words are too broad or wide to be used as Tags , maybe they’re beter as Categories. Tags should be words you could search for to solve a problem – like bbPress Core function_names() could be great Tags at a forum like bbPress.org but we all know most people who write topics don’t understand this so they add more ‘sloppy’ (with al respect) words as Tags or even more worst they’re used as SEO keywords or something like that.
My main problem with this feature is, IF you enable the Tags feature in bbPress you Moderation-activity goes up very fast because you’re always editing topics, removing bad words and adding better words. Okay we all know this is fun at the start when you’re forums are fresh and not very active yet but after 6 months or one year you don’t become very active at maintaining your topics because it takes up too much time and your Tags Cloud grows to something totally un useful as seen at bbPress.org.
My idea is to keep the bbPress Tags feature for sure, but adding a Filter system who checks at existing Tag-words.
There’s a Plugin called auto-tagger ( or something ) It only works at WP Posts, but what it does is it check for similar words in Post titles, content and excerpts – if a word matches a Tag-word it automatically adds the Tag to the Post.
My opinion is we need this option by default at bbPress. Remove the adding Tags from the front-end – keep them add the back-end where some Moderator or site owner can create a list of Tags and whenever some user writes a topic and X word involves that topic the Tag will be added.
Knowledge boards like Stock-overflow uses those kinda of systems, they don’t let people write their own tags, especially not New users, you need at least X rate before you can add your own Tags.
Some other Great example is Zurb’s new Forum, they also add Tags automatically based on the words in the content. They’ve Pre-Tagged Foundation’s elements so whenever somebody uses one of those elements in their topics because they have a problem with this elements it becomes a Tag without doing anything. People who’s looking for support can click on those Tags and group similar topics together very easily.
It’s a long story, but I believe this would make the Core Tags function inside bbPress a lot better and people could really use it as a great feature instead of disabling it because it’s a pain in the * to maintain in the end.
Maybe we can use excising WordPress Plugins and change them a little bit because Blog Posts and Topics have the same structure, their both Post Types connected with a Tags taxonomy.
What do you think ?
Thanks for reading.
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