In Annotation by Kalir and Garcia, the authors observe that several things we now see as integral to what a non-fiction book is were actually also emergent phenomena from annotation by readers. Things like labels, rubrics, glossary and index. Kalir and Garcia make much of the social aspects of annotation, and the conversations those create. I’m fond of things that generate (distributed) conversations, I blog after all, but also have reservations when it comes to sharing tentative notes, associations and other annotations.

There are steps possible however to do a little bit more in allowing others to explore what I’ve written here. And an Index is an easy enough step to make. Easy enough because I can follow the footsteps of Chris Aldrich and Frank Meeuwsen who did this last year September/October.

Like them I installed the Multi column tag map WordPress plugin. Now this blog too has an Index, which shows you the tags I’ve used the past 20 years. Or rather the tags I’ve used at least 5 times.

It’s also immediately a useful tool for myself it turns out. Some postings had all their tags joined into a single tag (an error from when I imported posts while switching from Movable Type to WordPress, a decade ago), other tags are simple variations of the same word (e.g. singular and plural). Fixing these is easy, now that the Index list has surfaced the ones that need fixing.

A photo of a book index, by Ben Weiner, license CC BY ND

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3 reactions on “Adding an Index

  1. A much clearer page compared to my archives page, thanks for sharing. I modified my own /archives to better reflect yours and Frank’s layout. Not yet sure what the cut-off point should be, I’m not that big on tagging yet and my blog isn’t as old as yours, we’ll see how it goes. I have removed one-offs now, and might retro-fit in more tags from older articles.

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