If you’ve upgraded to the recently released WordPress 2.3, you may have noticed that the release brings official support for “native tags.” Tags are familiar to most people who use various social networking sites such as Flickr or Del.Icio.Us, but in the context of blogging it can be a bit confusing because there is often some semantic overlap between a blog server’s use of tags and categories.
In short, categories are typically used more conceptually for organization, while tags are used for identification by whatever keywords seem appropriate. For this reason there is usually a limited number of categories on a blog, while there may be an infinite number of tags.
Many people have asked me when MarsEdit will support the native tags in WordPress 2.3. For once, I’ve got good news that doesn’t require me to release a new version! Thanks to some thoughtful design by the WordPress developers, native tags are already supported.
How do you take advantage of the support? Just show the “Keywords” field for your WordPress 2.3 blog in MarsEdit. You do this by selecting it from the View menu in the main menu bar. Now you can enter tags as a comma-separated list of terms. These will be sent along with your post to the WordPress blog, and if it’s version 2.3 or later, the terms will automatically be incorporated as tags along with the post.
I hope this brings an “unexpected” feature to light for those of you running WordPress. There are obviously improvements I’d like to make in the way MarsEdit handles tags. Obvious things that come to mind are auto-completion and an improved UI for reinforcing the separation between tag terms. But for the short term I think this feature will be very appreciated.