Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Blog 'Labels' and technical stuff

Over time, and particularly when I am in Malaysia (visiting and permanent), the blog I suspect will grow, sometimes rapidly, with a focus on discoveries with regard to things that appeal to me (cycling, gyms, beaches, tai chi and other activities, food, restaurants and the nightlife etc.) and also snippets of news or other information that I think may be of interest to others.

To be really useful, in my humble opinion, once a blog gets very long it needs a good index for people to be able to find information.  Blogger is good in that it does provide a blog search tool so that people can look for specifics thus cutting out the need for bloggers to create massive lists of 'Labels' (index) listing every comment made, and to some extent rendering it useless.

The approach I have decided to use will be to only index posts by the generic topics they cover, mostly.  As such, the post below on 'Jabs' will be under 'Medical', not 'Medical' and 'Jabs'.  Anyone looking for general medical issues will thus turn it up, anyone looking for jabs will be able search.  The potential for the term vaccinations is covered also by inclusion in the post.  Another thing I will do is check the contents of each group over time.  If after 3 - 6 months a 'Label' has just one entry it is probably superfluous, unless of course it's something like 'Asteroid' relating to the massive entity hurtling towards Earth that will most certainly destroy the planet in 2 years time (that is an example by the way, tin hats are not needed at this stage).

I have pondered some of the 'Label' possibilities and changed my mind a few times.  As an example, 'Flights' and 'Travel'.  At the moment I have just categorised these under 'Travel' as a search for flights will bring them up readily and the 'Travel' label will bring up all travel related issues.  I am trying not to 'over categorise' either.  As an example, implicit in getting the MM2H visa is travel, but a post about MM2H will not be labelled as 'Travel'.  Finally on the labels front, took a while deciding over Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown as labels and contemplated just leaving these under districts.  Bearing in mind the likelihood of me frequenting these places regularly though I figured it would be useful to be able to quickly looks up all things, Penang, Gerorgetown and KL related.  Georgetown will of course be labelled 'Penang' as well so a search for Penang will bring up all posts with Georgetown, but not vice versa.

On some other technicalities of the blog, Blogger provides the ability to follow this blog, should you wish, by e-mail or RSS (News) Feed.  You can also send me an email from the blog and in time, especially when I am in Malaysia, I will log on to Yahoo Messenger and readers will be able to 'Chat' through that if they so wish (it will be clearly marked 'Online' when I am).  The links for all this stuff are on the right of the blog, towards the bottom.  I will also be putting up a related 'Facebook' page at some stage when I can figure out the technicalities of Facebook 'Page' use and the benefits (if any).  There is also include a list of abbreviations so they can be checked from within the blog.  I am not great lover of text speak (e.g. m8 for mate) but some in common use (AFAIK: As far as I know) can save time etc.  Others will relate to more general issues and some will be Malaysia/Penang specific.

So, that's it for now, at least until my accommodation is all arranged (a minor update) and, most importantly, my first trip starts.  Any feedback or comments on the blog (especially on the indexing approach and/or anything you think would be useful to include) are very welcome either through the 'Comments' section at the foot of each post, the email facility on this blog or through the forums I use for those that 'know' me from there.

I hpe you enjoy the blog and thanks for reading.


  1. Good decision. Starting general and getting more specific labels if it is warranted based on actually posts, is wise. And labels are hugely important - as you say - as a blog grows.

    I am also looking to move to Malaysia so keep up the good work. You have some great posts already. I have visited Penang already and it is quite nice.

  2. Thanks for the feedback and glad you like the blog so far. The Blogger search function is a godsend I think, saves having to 'Label' everything. I've seen some where everything that is said get's a label which can make it a bit pointless.

    It will likely go somewhat dormant here now until 19 April then I suspect a flurry of activity.


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