- I liked your old website. Why did you redesign it?
- What's a "tag" and why should I care?
- How do you decide how to tag something?a
- What’s a "tag cloud?"
- What are those little orange icons next to the tags?
- What's an RSS feed?
- Why don't you let readers comment on your stories?
- I searched your website for a story you published in 1998, but I couldn’t find it. Why not?
- I found a glaring error in one of your old stories. What should I do?
- Don't see your question? Email us!
I liked your old website. Why did you redesign it?
There were things we liked about our old website, too. In fact, it won a couple of awards. But we started building it several years ago, and the content management system we used doesn’t really work for us anymore.
For one thing, it was impossible to find old articles on our site. The search function was practically useless, as many readers have astutely noted. And we couldn’t publish RSS feeds — we’ve lost count of the number of times readers have complained about it.
Over the past year, we’ve put a lot of time and resources into our web operations. It just didn’t make sense to keep investing in a website that didn’t work the way we wanted it to.
We’ve tried to preserve what we liked about the old site, while adding bells and whistles to the new one — the ability to tag stories, for example.
What's a "tag" and why should I care?
Tags are one of the new ways we organize our content online. Literally, they’re words — such as “politics,” “music” and “environment” — but you can also think of them as virtual file folders. If we write lots of articles about a particular topic, we’ll create a tag for it.
Each article has at least one tag. They’re listed near the top of the article, just beneath the byline. When you click on a tag within an article, you’ll go to a page that lists all of the stories that relate to that particular tag.
Tags enable us to group articles by subject matter. We’ve got a tag for “foreign dairy workers,” for instance, and one for “theater review.” We’ve also got tags for cities and towns. So if you want to see everything we’ve written about Burlington or Middlebury or Winooski, you can search those tags.
How do you decide how to tag something?
If we publish a profile about a new business in Montpelier, we’ll tag it with “Business,” “Business Profile” and “Montpelier.”
If our theater critic reviews a new play at St. Michael’s College, we’ll tag it with “Performing Arts,” “Theater,” “Theater Review” and “St. Michael’s College.” If it’s a play about the Iraq war, we’ll also tag it with the term “Iraq war.”
We haven’t tagged everything in our system yet. If you see something we missed, please let us know.
What’s a "tag cloud?"
The tag cloud — that cloud-like cluster of words that appears below the search boxes on the Search page — is a visual representation of what’s on our site. The size of each tag in the cloud corresponds directly to the number of our stories in that category. So the “politics” tag is bigger than the “home & garden tag.” That’s because we publish more stories about politics.
You can see immediately that Seven Days publishes lots of stories about music, culture, politics, the environment and performing arts. If you click on any of the terms, you’ll see another tag cloud that shows you the most popular tags within that main tag.
For example, if you click on “politics,” you’ll see a cloud that includes the tags for “Inside Track,” “Iraq war,” “activism,” “9/11,” and “civil liberties.”
IMPORTANT: If you click on a term within a tag cloud, you will only see articles that carry both the “parent” tag and the “child” tag.
Example: Let’s say you’re looking for a Local Matters story. You click on “Local Issues” from the main tag cloud on the Search/Index page. Then you see a large “Local Matters” tag in the “Local Issues” cloud. If you click on the “Local Matters” tag, you will see all stories tagged with “Local Matters” and “Local Issues.”
But if the Local Matters story you’re trying to find is about climate change, you need to search under “Environment,” not “Local Issues.” In that case, “Environment” would be the parent tag, not “Local Issues.”
To see all stories tagged “Local Matters,” click on the “Local Matters” tag within a story, not within a tag cloud.
Yes, it’s a little complicated, and yes, we know that tag clouds will be unfamiliar to some of our readers. But we like them, and we think you will, too. They’re a way of connecting our content in a new and innovative way, and they might direct you to stories you might not otherwise have seen.
If you still have questions, feel free to email us and we’ll try to explain further.
What are those little orange icons next to the tags?
Those are RSS icons. When you see an RSS icon next to a tag, it means that you can subscribe to an RSS feed for that tag.
What's an RSS feed?
RSS feeds basically allow you to subscribe to Seven Days content online. To use them, you first need to sign up for an RSS reader. There are several folks here at Seven Days who use RSS feeds. They recommend the Google RSS reader, which is easy to set up and use once you have a gmail.com account. Some people also use the Bloglines reader. Both are free, and relatively easy to use. Click here for more information about RSS readers.
Once you’ve got your RSS reader set up, you can subscribe to RSS feeds. So instead of checking our website to see if we’ve posted Shay Totten's latest “Fair Game,” for example, you can subscribe to the “Fair Game” RSS feed. Whenever we post a new “Fair Game,” the headline and part of the article will automatically appear in your RSS reader, so you can decide if you want to read it.
Why don't you let readers comment on your stories?
Honestly, it’s something we’ve wanted to do for years, but until recently we didn’t have the tools to make it happen. Now that we’ve rebuilt the foundation of our site in the Drupal content management system, we’re working on adding a commenting function. Give us a few more months.
I searched your website for a story you published in 1998, but I couldn’t find it. Why not?
Sadly, our web archives don’t go back that far... yet. We’ve only got stories from 2002 to the present day. And we don’t quite have all of those.
If you’re looking for a story that appeared between 2004 and 2007, and you can’t find it, send us an email and let us know. If you’re looking for something that appeared before then, please be patient as we update our archives. You can also drop by our office to check out our stash of hard copies. Call or email before you come so we can help you find what you need.
I found a glaring error in one of your old stories. What should I do?
Email us and we’ll see if we can fix it!