Product for simple content tagging

Jon Baldivieso jonb at
Tue Oct 9 18:28:48 UTC 2007

We at ONE/Northwest have in the past used a simple product for our  
clients that helps them relate content using a two-axis system of  
keyword-like metadata, traditionally along the lines of (intended  
target) Audience and (non-profit organization) Program Area (but also  
used in the contexts of "Issue Area", "Region", etc).  We're thinking  
about updating it now for Plone 3.0 in a way that takes advantages of  
some of the Zope 3 tools, and thought it might be of interest to a  
broader audience.

The use case is pretty straightforward: provide a brutally simple UI  
for end users to classify their content in 2-4 new axes of metadata.   
We'd like these new metadata fields, which would likely be just a  
multi-select of strings, to be available to at least Documents, News  
Items, Events, and Collections, but also to arbitrary content types  
(Collages? PFG forms? etc) -- probably as a tab next to View/Edit/ 
etc.  These classifications would then be available to portlets (eg  
"Related News"; "Also See...") and Collections, and any other  
scenario where you want to slice your content along these lines.   
They would typically not be exposed to site visitors though -- at  
least not per se.

Although this is related, this deviates from the problem space  
addressed by products such as ATVocabularyManager, PortalTaxonomy,  
ContentTagging and their ilk -- it's less about having a robust,  
flexible tagging infrastructure, and more about forcing non-technical  
users to 1) consider the audience for their content as they write it  
(ideally resulting in more focussed, deliberate content), and 2) tag  
that content accordingly (ideally to provide a richer site connecting  
content from disparate parts of it) -- all in a way that's stripped  
down, unified, and unobtrusive.  It needs to be easily configurable  
by a site admin.  We anticipate the primary challenges in creating  
this product to be more in the realm of creating a usable, intuitive  
UI and less technical.

Naturally, we're thinking about adapting metadata-aware content types  
to store the metadata in annotations.  One question we've been  
wondering about is the best way to make such metadata available to  
portal_catalog.  Presumably via a browser view, but I was wondering  
if there were some good examples out there we could crib from.  Also  
more generally, we would appreciate tips about any other related  
products we should be examining first before we get started.



Jon Baldivieso
ONE/Northwest Portland Office

New tools and strategies for engaging people in protecting the  

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