How to Tag Wiki Pages - a Best Way?

A friend of mine came to me with a frustration, which was that he is attempting to use Apple Wiki that comes with Leopard Server, and was stuck understanding the concept of tagging. Apple made a conscious decision to step back from hierarchy in their Wiki server product. All the pages are lumped into a folder, and it’s up to you to create index pages if you like, and to tag pages.

So What’s the Best Way to Tag?

I think the whole concept is confusing at first because it is so flexible and because most people don’t think about categorization like librarians might. Basically, you can tag pages based on attributes like:

Page Type - article, tutorial, reference, “meeting notes”

Page Content - “restaurants in Tokyo”, Rhinocerii

Workflow State - “to do” or WIP” and so on, if you are trying to use your wiki as a GTD system.

These are different “data dimensions” one would use to talk about the content on a page. A page could also have more than one type of tag - there are no rules for it and no best way. Once you have your pages tagged, you could make index pages with links to the tags if you like, or just rely on search. The lack of a hierarchy in Apple Wiki in Leopard Server is powerful once you “get” it.

This challenge reminds me of Google Gmail’s concept “search not sort”, which is in opposition to the sort paradigm of systems like Yahoo mail. Gmail’s concept was hard to stomach at first, and may still be so, for people who like to sort things.