The primary tags for blog posts help authors target the right readers (by indicating the topic they’re writing about) — and help readers find the content they want (by allowing them to search for and follow tagged content that matches their interests) The thing is though a tag has limitations when serving up content. After all, a tag can be fairly broad and apply in many different sorts of blog posts.
Let’s take the ABAP Connectivity tag as an example. A blog post with the ABAP Connectivity tag could be about all sorts of things related to this topic. For example, I might want to write about an upcoming product announcement dedicated to ABAP Connectivity. Or about how ABAP Connectivity sessions at an event. Or some tips and tricks from a coding perspective around ABAP Connectivity coding.
In all of those cases, the ABAP Connectivity tag applies. But for readers and authors alike, the wide range of possibilities muddies the blogging waters. What if you’re interested in the product information relevant to ABAP Connectivity but you are not attending any events so things related to an event are not really the top of your mind? With tagging alone, you might have to trudge through the latter to get to the former. In other words, if you follow the ABAP Connectivity tag or search for it, you’ll find all ABAP Connectivity posts lumped together — regardless of context.
With all of that in mind, we have introduced a new category structure to the blog system — allowing visitors to sort content more finely.
If you go to the blog section now, you’ll see an option to choose tags (nothing new there), as well as a new option to sort by these categories:
- Technical Articles: Posts in this category help people get the most out of their SAP software by giving technical tips and diving deeply into best practices for developers using the software. Here’s an example.
- Personal Insights: A blog post under this category will explore a topic of personal interest to the author — allowing him or her to share knowledge about career development, life experiences, and more. Here’s an example. (Come to think of it, this blog post also qualifies for the “Personal Insights” category because…uh…I’m sharing my insights about the role that blog categories play in my life and…um…OK, I admit it: This is a stretch. To be completely honest, this blog post shouldn’t even be a blog post. It contains information that we normally limit to the “What’s New” page — and you will indeed find an item about these categories there. But knowing that people will have questions about the new categories, I decided to do a blog post to give people the ability to leave comments…and to give us a way to respond directly.)
- Product Information: This category applies to any blog post that covers features and explains functionality for an SAP offering or related product. Here’s an example.
- Business Trends: These blog posts demonstrate thought leadership by tackling broader trending topics relevant to the world of business software. Yeah, I know: Business Trends is already a tag. So why have a tag and category with the same name? Consider: A blog post with the Business Trends tag might detail the author’s ups and downs in the software industry — in which case it’s a proper fit for the Personal Insights category. On the other hand, a blog post that focuses on economic issues in a specific industry would belong in the Business Trends category, but the post itself would get the applicable industry tag. In these examples, neither blog post would appeal to developers in search of product details and best practices, so between the tag and category, readers would have an easier time pinpointing technical content (by sifting out general business topics). Conversely, business leaders looking for information about what’s influencing the software market (and have little to no interest in code and the like) could use the Business Trends tag and/or category to avoid the technical posts.
- Event Information: With this category, authors can share their points of view about any type of event (online or in the real world), explaining the benefits of attendance or even recapping things that happen during the event. Here’s a great example from a very gifted writer.
Now if you clicked on the links for the examples above, you might have noticed that these blog posts don’t actually have any categories assigned to them. Also, if you go to the blog section and sort by categories, you won’t see many results. That’s because the new categories are mandatory for blog posts moving forward. We’ll do our best to assign categories to older blog posts over time (and we’ve started with some already), but with so much content already published, we decided to focus on new posts.
You might also have noticed that I used the word “mandatory” in the previous paragraph. As in: “mandatory categories.” That means exactly what you think it means. Just as writers must choose a primary tag before publishing a post, they must also now choose a category.
This new approach may take some time to get used to, and the right category choice may not always be obvious (which, again, is why I wanted to offer more details about the categories here while also inviting people to ask questions). Long term, however, categories will make it easier for members to find the content that interests them (and exclude the content that doesn’t).
In the meantime, we’ll be monitoring feedback, and, if necessary, we can revise, remove, add, etc., categories…just as we did with tags. But I can categorically state that categories as a concept are here to stay — as we take more steps to improve the SAP Community experience.