Tagging in the wake of Tribes and Tokens

in palnet •  11 months ago  (edited)


Recently the subject of how to properly tag a post has resurfaced in PAL chat. With the advent of SCoT, steem-tribes and various tokens on steem-engine that can be staked and delegated, tribe tags that catch possible curator attention have taken center stage on Steem. We have #palcoin, #weedcash, #leo, #sct - an infinite possibility of tags as new tokens/tribes surface and gain momentum.

This has cause a bit of confusion and jockeying for rewards. Many steemians want to cash in on the reward pool perks. Who wouldnt pick up a quarter lying on the ground out of the blue? It's not that easy though.

For example, with the release of steemleo, I could swear that the who's who of steemdom released a post welcoming this new tribe to the platform. While many of the posts explained that steemleo was an investment coin and possibly noted which tag to use, very few of these posts specified that the #leo tag should only be used for investing/investment-related posts.

While we saw many posts about steemleo, there were also a few random posts about photography, the solar system, life news, actifit and contests which somehow mentioned steemleo. Anyone new to the game not making the implied connection between investment coin and use of tag might have simply misunderstood, however some bloggers might have been intentionally trying to cash in on the momentum of a new trending tag. Yet as far as I can see, none of them were upvoted by steemleo.


The key to cashing in on this glut of tribe activity is identifying the proper niche your post falls into, and using the best tags to garner the most curator attention for a lucrative upvote. But how do you decide which tags are the best? And how can you prevent mistakes?

Use your common sense!

#photography is a very popular tag. You might think if you have a few photos in your post that this tag will be perfect. Tons of viewers! High payout!! But is your post specifically about photography? Does it contain an acceptable portion of original quality photographs? If yes, then fair enough.

But lets say a photo curator sees your post and feels that you have abused the tag because your post is mostly about basket weaving, and your photos are poor quality. Sure you have a few photos of baskets, but thats not really where the focus of the content is. Thats when this tag could backfire. The mistake could eventually get you muted by curators if you misuse the tag inappropriately over time. If your post contains mostly stock photos, the tag doesnt really apply, does it?

What is tag abuse?

Tag abuse is using an inappropriate tag, either without proper consideration and investigation as to the tags parameters, or in spite of them, in order to catch viewer interest with a popular or trending tag, (even though the tag may not apply to the post).

A good way to avoid tag abuse is to consider who you want to view your post. Do you want your community to see it? Tag your community. Do you want people who enjoy pole dancing to see it? #pole-dancing. Is the post about mitochondria? You might want to use the #science tag.


Basically, you want to narrow down your choice. You have five tags. (Eight if you use steempeak). Choose the tags that will get you the most notice by the people most likely to upvote your post.

This gets tricky. Say you are in the #leo community and your post is about making stuffed anchovies, and the leo community only wants to curate posts on investing. The leo community might view it, but not upvote it because it doesnt meet their criteria. That becomes a wasted tag. You may even eventually get flagged or downvoted, a "nopal/leo/weed/etc 4u" that the community admins might use to counter tag abuse.

Another way to avoid improper tagging is to make sure you know what kind of content a tag is meant to be used on - and to avoid using that tag until you are sure how to use it. If you are unsure what kind of content a tag is used for or if it applies to your content, ask a moderator or someone who has been on steem a while!!!

Using a tag simply because it’s popular is a bad idea and might get you yelled at. I remember one new guy who decided to use the #kr tag because it was trending, until he discovered it is used for posts in - korean!


Another interesing place to look is the trending tag page. Right now the top trender is #threespeak, which is a tag that is ONLY used by certain upper echelon people. I had to ask to discover this. Tags can be very broad (#life) or very specific (sct). Either way you want your first tag to be one of the broader more popular tags, then slowly narrow it down to specifics.

I'm hoping as the need arises, the devs will fiddle the cap for tags upwards to account for increased use of tribe and token tags, however being in the habit of narrowing down to the essentials of tagging will always be good practice. Maybe in the future we will see the implementation of color coded tags, or even little wiki pop up info-doots to explain what tags should be used for.

There are a few old steem posts that are worth perusing for relevant bits of information that will help you with your basic tagging skills. Knowing that the first tag is permanent and uneditable is important. If you are new or unfamiliar with how tagging works, you might want to read through a few of these posts to familiarize yourself. I dropped links to a few below, but feel free to do a search and look around.

In the end, it is up to the blogger to discover which tags are the best - a bit of personal responsibility.

How to use tags to maximize visibility for your posts and gain more upvotes

Odd categories in Steemit - what they mean..

Secrets of tags in Steemit!

Tagging Posts

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Great post. There's no inherent limitation in the data structures on how many tags a post can have but I am glad most frontends still limit the quantity because limits encourage focus.
I've done a few tagging projects and what tends to happen is that conventions arise around the tags and a taxonomy of tags, both types and values, emerges. For example, now posts have tags for community, topic and language (at least). These types of tags are not conceptually equivalent.
Given that there are more types of tags, it makes sense that we increase the number of allowed tags higher than five. Also, as the conventions around tag usage become culturally codified, we can consider formalising the tag by moving it into the json_metadata of a post.

Posted using Partiko Android

thanks!! i agree, i think ok maybe 8 tags to account for more tribes. we are discussing tags right now in crims show!! come !!

Oh damn! I missed it. Housework beckons.

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good explanation on tags. People understanding what tags to use when is going to become important as the tribes /communities expand.

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What about pole-dancing mitochondria? 😬

It would be nice for people to control their tags, but such has been the lack of decency from the community in general for a long time now, mis-tagging will become rife - unless the likes of nopal4u and noleo4u guide the community by showing disapproval to certain content.

However, looking at the Communities spec, hiding posts looks like an option to quickly unclutter a feed like Hot or Trending. Right now though, bit of top-down management would be nice to see, so that people get used to the #newsteem.

agree, #new-steem communities can and will create #nopal4u-like downvotes to control the abusers. I'm trying to address the newbs and returnees who might be trickling in and arent quite in the loop about all the changes and how to's of steeming. a reminder if you will.

i'm still trying to not visualize the pole dancing mitochondria...

Yeah I struggled with the visualization :)

I think the best way is to show by doing, and perhaps the notoken4u accounts will have a standard message to apply to comments so that the poster/visitors are aware of the reason the content has been downvoted.

Interesting times ahead, and I hope we get some of those newbs/returnees you speak of.

already seeing newbs in pal, not a huge lot, but enough to give some new life :)

Excellent to hear!

Great advice. Have to say though, Steempeak allows more than 5 tags. X

Posted using Partiko Android

ya i know, i was trying for the standard... ty for readin :)

I might be wrong, just tried to use them in Steempeak but it wouldn't let me? Hm. I swore someone said there was 10 now! goes off to research

I couldn't use more than 5 for Steempeak.... maybe its Steemit that's letting 10 now?

ive been told the only way to get ten tags is by using python or some other code, which is a special case thing. basically it's hacking the system...

ya i tried to edit in a 6th tag and no bueno...i thought it was 8 actually.

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