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What are tags, and why and how do you follow them?


What are Tags?

Tags are a way for members to:

  1. follow activity in the topics that interest them, and
  2. connect with other genealogists who share the same interests.

You can enter tags to follow here.

Many of the commonly followed tags are surnames, e.g. SMITH and JONES. Tags can also be locations, e.g. NEW_BRUNSWICK, or for special projects, e.g MAYFLOWER and EUROARISTO.

When you're following a tag you're alerted to new activity through your daily "Wiki Genealogist Feed" e-mail updates. The updates include WikiTree activity in followed surnames, tagged G2G discussions, and new members who added the tag.

Are they case-sensitive? Can you use spaces or special characters?

Capitalization does not matter for tags. McClellan = mcclellan = MCCLELLAN

Tags are limited to the basic letters of the Roman alphabet and underscores. You can't use spaces or even non-letter characters such as commas and apostrophes. For example:

  • The surname van der Beek should be tagged as VAN_DER_BEEK.
  • The surname O'Reilly should be tagged as O_REILLY. (This, rather than OREILLY, corresponds to the O'Reilly surname index.)
  • The surname Piñera should be tagged as PINERA.

Some of the reason for this limitation is technical, but often there are good reasons to group what may be variations of the same surname/tag through standardization.

Following Tags

How to follow tags

See Special:Following. (New members can also enter tags when they first set their communication preferences.)

When entering a tag, make sure to fill out the Comment field. This field is public, so please include friendly notes aimed at other genealogists who are interested in the same surname or topic.

Why follow tags?

WikiTree is all about genealogy collaboration. Tags are invaluable for connecting genealogists with each other and with the activity and discussions that interest them.

If you're just narrowly focused on your own family you don't need to follow any tags. You can follow activity in your own family, i.e. the profiles in your Watchlist, through your Family Activity Feed. Tags are for Wiki Genealogists who see the value in broader collaboration and who might want to help other genealogists who share their interests.

The 20-tag limit

If you try to follow a lot of tags you'll notice that Special:Following limits you to 20.

Many active WikiTreers would like to follow more. Unfortunately, since we use tags in so many ways, they place a burden on our technical resources. We need to limit them as part of our constant effort to keep costs low and always be free.

Although cost is the reason for the limit, there are advantages in watching fewer tags. The number of items in e-mail updates are necessarily limited so if you're watching too many tags you may be missing activity.

If you're at your 20-tag limit and you want to follow another tag, you'll need to delete one first.

Tagging Content

Tagging yourself

Following tags is essentially tagging yourself as a Wiki Genealogy Volunteer who's interested in the subject. Your followed tags will be linked from your profile and you'll appear on the lists of members following specific tags.

Following a tag doesn't commit you to actively participating in a project or to helping others in some specific way. However, people may reach out to you. If you have no interest in communicating and collaborating with other genealogists who are interested in a tag, delete the tag on Special:Following.

Tags in G2G

When you ask a question in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist Forum (G2G) there is a field for entering tags.

The tags you enter can be edited later by you, or by a WikiTree Leader. Leaders often edit tags entered by others because tags need to be used consistently in order to serve their purpose. Most newer members aren't familiar with the commonly-used tags.

The "Tags" tab in G2G links to lists of all questions with a given tag.

The "My Feed" tab in G2G shows recent activity in the tags you're following.

Some examples of G2G tags:

See the G2G Tag-Talk page for a semi-comprehensive list of recommended tags.

Searching for tags in G2G

Do you use the search box in G2G to look for tags? If you do, your search results will come back in a random order.
If you want them in date order, just click the tag you searched for, and the search results will be sorted with the newest post on the top.
Give it a try:
  • Go to G2G
  • In the search box at the top, type "question of the week"
  • When the results are shown, click the question_of_the_week tag, and you'll notice the results are sorted by date.

Tagging profiles

Person Profiles are auto-tagged with the person's Last Name at Birth. People with a given last name will appear on the genealogy index page for the surname (e.g. SMITH Genealogy), and additions and changes to them will appear in Surname Activity Feed (e.g. SMITH Activity Feed) and in the Wiki Genealogy Feeds of members following the surname.

Person profiles can't currently be tagged with locations.

Free-Space Profiles are manually tagged with up to three surnames, locations, projects, or other tags. There are fields for these on the edit page for the profile.

Project Tags

Every formal project and sub-project has a unique tag, and many Free-Space Projects do as well. For example:

Finding project tags

The project tags appear on the project home page. For top-level projects, they also appear on the badge.

Establishing new project tags

Project leaders, see Tag Names.

This page was last modified 23:05, 31 May 2022. This page has been accessed 160,556 times.