Tag and Categories – what’s the difference (and how do they help organise content)?

It’s all well and good organising a portfolio into subject-specific bundles, but how do you then connect and easily find related pieces of research, analysis, and data that appear under different topics?

Let’s say a user is interested in finding connections between English, Canadian, and US eating habits. How would they find this information? Well, we have solved the problem for publishers who use our iReports platform.

Categories are used to organise content along subject lines. Tags are different. We use Tags to detail all the various elements that are mentioned in individual reports – and across a portfolio – to help users find related pieces of content easily.

How are tags organised?

For convenience, tags are gathered in sets created by the publisher. Up to five tag sets can be created across a publisher’s entire portfolio. Grouping related tags together simply make them easier to find.

Yes, but I’m interested English, Canadian, and US eating habits, please…

Let’s look at content around ‘Meals’. To make it easier to find related content, a publisher might want to establish a tag set for foodstuffs (dessert, salads, vegetables), one for related companies (Kraft, Unilever, etc), and perhaps one for cooking methods (baked, fried, grilled, preserved).

Organising tags in this way could help users to easily locate research on the popularity of, say, dessert in English, Canadian, and US eating, simply by combining a mixture of tags and categories in their search filters.

One report, numerous tags

Tags apply across all categories. As a single report will have many mentions of different elements, it’s likely to have multiple related tags.

So, a category about ‘Meals’ might contain a report called: English Eating Habits. This might well have tags for ‘salads’, ‘vegetables’ and ‘dessert’.

One tag, numerous reports

The same tags can be used on multiple reports within the same category to help identify the commonalities between separate pieces of content.

So, our ‘Meals’ category contains reports called:

  • English Eating Habits
  • Canadian Eating Habits
  • US Eating Habits

Our tags for ‘Kraft’ can appear across all three reports.

Why no Kraft category?

Wouldn’t that make it easier? Well no, not in this context:

  • The research in our example isn’t just on Kraft – it’s not a principal subject, so a category wouldn’t be widely useful or relevant
  • Mention of Kraft can apply to across multiple pieces of content in multiple categories: in our ‘Meals’ category, but also in the ‘Countries’ category. It’s important to be able to link all related content in some way, which is exactly what our ‘Kraft’ tag does


If you’d like to find out more about organising content in a smart way, we can help.

Either call or email for a chat or sign up here for a demo of iReports – our industry-leading content publishing and management system.

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