No Fancy Name
Monday, April 10, 2006
categorizations (and why folksonomies work for me)
[This is stream-of-consciousness ranting. Don't look for a well-formed thesis, supporting evidence, or a conclusion of any type.]

I don't usually get bent out of shape about these things, but I've been in a pretty bent out of shape frame of mind for the last couple of weeks because of some stupid not-my-drama crap that I'm not blogging about.

Oh, what are the "these things"? Categorizations. I hate them. I hate them because I've never fit into any one category of anything, and when people put me into one category or another, it nullifies my membership in other categories and that pisses me off. [Note: when I say "me" I really am just speaking for myself, but I also hate it when people categorize other things just one way or another and nullify their talents in other areas as well...but I don't know if that bothers others like it does me, so I won't use other people as examples.]

This is why folksonomies are awesome. Roll your own! Tag yourself/your content/whatever in ways that are descriptive and meaningful and if tags overlap then people can see that hey, this defies categoriziation as one thing or another.

What got me riled up this time? Well—and really, if you know me, you'll be surprised that I give a flying fuck at all about this, but it's been a crappy couple of weeks so go with it—in the BlogHer blogrolls this blog was originally in the "personal" and "technology & web" and "academia" categories (ugh, categories) and now apparently I'm just a personal blogger.

Now, I realize that in the last few weeks I've been all about the cats and the recipes and the miscellanous slices of life or whatever, but I'm the freaking technical director of an interactive media company. I write technical books (and am trying desperately to finish off the 3rd edition of one of them), including one on blogging. I have a sidebar full of how-to posts for bloggers and users of Firefox [there's your technology]. Oh yeah, and I am a grad student, not just for kicks but because I'm trying to transition back into academia. I'll even be one of the cool kids (next month) as I'll be presenting a paper at a conference [there's your academia].

But because I write about all these things equally as often, which is to say not one thing predominantly, I'm just a personal blogger. This is a "life" blog. I would be absolutely fine with that, if it didn't apparently preclude me from being anything else. Yes, I could submit the little form that says "hey, I'm miscategorized" but really, I think if I was once three things and now I'm just one, there's a reason for it (to them).

But in category-land, as opposed to say, tag-land, you can only be one thing.

I would say this holds true for "mommybloggers" which is a label I hate because a hell of a lot of the "I blog about life and things and I happen to be a mother and talk about my kids a lot, too" bloggers actually blog on innumberable topics, but as soon as they mention their kids, they're a "mommyblogger" which does have negative connotations in the blogosphere. [Not at all to me! I'm a huge fan of people and their kids! I mean the same people who always ask "where are the female bloggers" and answer it with "they're off blogging about their kids" which is just so incredibly not true.]



job / books / new blog

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