Stuffing the ballot box?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/10/08 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

No, this post is not about politics. :-)

It all happened in the late morning, yesterday. Robert Howard of Telligent had pointed out the Tags page on, and I took a look at it (even broke my rule about clicking in links in random email!).

There are a whole bunch of tags there, from Int'l Programming to Keyboards to Linguistic to Collation/Casing to Locales/Cultures to Unicode/Standards and maybe others that are there pretty much because of me (and clicking on them pretty much hits posts from this blog).

So I have been stuffing the Tag ballot box a bit, I guess.

Makes me wonder if I should be renaming Int'l Programming to International Programming -- especially since it seems to have top billing? :-)

Kind of weird when I think about it -- I looked at the total number of posts here in the blog as of yesterday (1354) and then saw that 574 of them had that Int'l Programming tag. In case there are bloggers here looking for hints on how to get a tag in big letters on that Tags page. All you need is over 500 posts that hit a particular topic with a unique name, and you can have it up in big letters, too.

Maybe I should rename it to Room for Rent or This Space Left Intentionally Blank or Aren't Tags Silly? just to see one of those in big bold letters.... now that would be funny!

The use of the Tags sort of page seems limited -- it is a great demo but I'm not sure what it actually delivers, if you know what I mean. Given how many other topics exist, I think the page would be better to lower whatever the entry bar is (number of posts?) to get on it so it can be a bigger page with a wider variety of tags. along with a nice random option to jump to a random topic?

On this blog I have CSS'ed the whole Tag Cloud out of existence; it just annoyed me too much. Now it is just a simple list, like it always was before. Tag Clouds are for big areas with lots of posts by lots of people. At least that's how I see it.

In news related only in the sense of both being related to meta-blogging at SIAO, I do like Windows Live Writer and have written several posts with it over the last few days, though the fact that posting in advance and marking the date ahead does not work with my blog (it posts immediately even with the most recent build 145, despite claims that the feature works now) means I can't really use it all the time. Perhaps they will fix that eventually....

On a totally unrelated note: I overheard on the Chris Matthews Show (I think it was NYT's Maureen Dowd who said it?) that a recent poll said that 75% of democrats polled think that Hillary Clinton should run, but only 55% think she would win (insert self-deprecating democratic laugh here). I think maybe someone should explain to the 20% of semi-retarded, self-destructive democrats that they do not need to have Born To Lose tattoo'ed on their hands, even virtually? :-)

Nawak on 8 Oct 2006 7:17 AM:

Maybe these 20% think they will lose whatever happens, but still think Hillary is their best candidate... That could be called pessimistic realism? (I don't know anything about the US politics so I don't know if it is realistic to be sure to lose for the democrats... but it certainly is for other candidates that still present themselves... Maybe 0% of their supporters think they would win, but does that make them "retards"?)

Oh and what happened to the promise "No, this post is not about politics. :-)" ? :)

Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Oct 2006 7:26 AM:

Well, it isn't about stuffing ballot boxes, at least. :-)

In the US these days, the other side of the argument believes in enough things that are different that if you don't back someone you think can win, at least a mild degree of a) apathy, b) ignorance, or c) retardation has to be involved....

Maurits [MSFT] on 8 Oct 2006 3:26 PM:

As someone who regularly votes for third-party candidates, I personally disagree with the exclusivity of those options.

Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Oct 2006 3:45 PM:

Ah, but that is not the same as someone who claims to be a democrat, now is it?

Nicholas Allen on 8 Oct 2006 6:50 PM:

The tags page does some quite, well, useless.  Most of the tags that are not totally unspecific are due to a single prolific blogger.  Besides all of your categories, I'm the only one that still tags things Indigo, there's not a lot of General IE Information besides the IEBlog, and tags like Gretchen's Posts and Virtual PC Guy's Computer Game Screen Shots are not known for their broad usage scenarios.

Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Oct 2006 7:46 PM:

Ah, perhaps two improvement are needed:

  1. The minimal number of posts to have some representation should be lowered (Telligent's job).
  2. The actual tag names should be made a bit more dictinctive or interesting so as to inspire exploration (the job of the bloggers).

If all of those happened, perhaps it would be a more useful/fun resource? :-)

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