dizmo: Firefly: Jayne's cunning hat. (firefly: jayne cunning hat)
Erin ([personal profile] dizmo) wrote2010-01-05 09:12 pm

Tag Wrangling 101! Lesson 1!

Right! So! I am, well, as most people who follow my journals in any capacity probably know, a tag wrangler for Archive of Our Own. What with Yuletide driving us crazy (in a good way, honest! ;)) lately, we've been getting a bit more publicity. (Which is kind of awesome! Because lord knows we need more wranglers! XD) However, as much description as has been given as to what exactly it is that we wranglers get up to, nothing quite manages to sum it up as well as seeing the interface and the steps and the stuff that we do!

So... I've decided to make a few posts showing off! And I've just finished the first one!

I will be calling them... Wrangling 101.

If you have no desire to see the inner workings of the Wrangulator, please, feel free to skip this post. If you're on dial-up, and this will kill your connection... definitely feel free to skip this post because...

Well... you've decided to brave the post. I applaud you. In lesson one of Wrangling 101, I'm going to show off what we do to assign a fandom tag to a media type, and create a canonical tag for it, making the user-generated tag a synonym to the canonical. Screenshots and commentary abound!

We will start with the front page of the archive. Which is just the same as anyone else sees but with one subtle difference.

As you see, when you're a wrangler and logged into the archive, you get a special link down at the bottom which will take you to where the magic happens! :D

This is what you see when you click on that link. The first group of links are to the groups of tags in each category that aren't assigned to a media type (in case of a fandom) or a fandom (in the case of... well, everything else). You see that at the time that this screenshot was taken, there were 31 unassigned fandom tags, 1052 unassigned pairing tags, 4161 unassigned character tags, and 3962 unassigned freeforms. (These numbers all used to be markedly less, but... Yuletide was the equivalent of a tag blizzard, and we just got the okay to wrangle again about a day ago. They'll be dropping again.)

The second group of links are the mass wrangling links where you can go to access all the character tags in a fandom, for instance, or all the fandom tags in a medium. These are out of the scope of lesson one, so I'll talk about them later. The little bar down at the bottom... well, that's self-explanatory, I think.

Let's click on 'Fandom' and see what we can assign!

This is the fandom mass assign page. I clicked on the dropdown to show the mediatypes that we can shoot fandoms to! You'll also see some oddness, like the tag hidden by said dropdown that starts +psych"fandom":, etc. These show up on occasion, are usually archives of imports, and get fixed by the authors pretty quickly. Any tag that isn't tagging any works, isn't a canonical or synonymous with a canonical gets automatically raked away periodically so as not to sit around gumming up the works.

Here we see, among others, the fandom tag 'Sweeney Todd (Sondheim muscal)' Specific enough that we know exactly what we're talking about, but not exactly in filtering format, so we get to tinker! Yaaaay, user diversity in tag naming! It makes wrangling fun! :D

We could just select the ticky-box (WHOOOO TICKY!) and choose the appropriate media type from the drop down (which is useful when you want to assign a bunch of fandoms to the same media type... hence the reason it's called the 'mass assign' page). But I'm just showing off how to do one tag this time. So we'll go ahead and click on it and see what we get.

And here is the Edit Tag page for a completely unwrangled tag! The only information it has at present is its name and what type of tag it is.

The musical should be categorized in Theater, so we'll go ahead and select that one from the dropdown and hit the 'Save changes' button.

Yaaaay! It's now successfully out of the unwrangled bin and into Theater!

Now it's time to work on pinning down the canonical format for the tag.

So I drop by the tag wrangling section of the AO3 internal documentation wiki and check to see what the current guidelines are for the canonical naming of musicals. (All of our guidelines are subject to change at any time, based on constant discussion, and, yes, listening to feedback from the users. We want to make things easier to use for you guys, not more difficult, I promise! :D)

The guidelines say that the proper canonical for a musical is Title - Composer/Lyricist/Librettist. Well... that should be simple! ... But wait... The musical's full name is technically 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street'. ... Should I insert the subtitle? Wait! I know who to consult!

A quick run to tag wrangler chat should solve this sticky wicket! These things are so much easier now that the character limit for tags is 100 instead of 42. :) Yaaaay collaborative efforts!

Okay, back to the tag edit page!

I'll go ahead and put the canonical that was decided on into the 'Rename' field. NOTE: This will not rename the tag that the author put on her fic. What it will do is create the new tag, and then the tag we've been working with will be a synonym for it. So whenever you click on 'Sweeney Todd (Sondheim musical)' in the fandom field of a fic, it'll bring up everything tagged with 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Sondheim/Wheeler' or any other synonyms it may acquire.

Enter the new canonical, hit 'Save changes'...

SUCCESS! It's now a synonym of our shiny new canonical! But how will I let the other wranglers know that the fandom is now in the archive? I'm not overly familiar with the fandom myself, and someone who is may want to have fun wrangling it!

And here we go... Tag Wranglers have an unholy fondness for...

Google Docs spreadsheets. This here is our assignment spreadsheet. It's where we keep track of what canonicals are currently in the archive, and who's wrangling what fandoms. Right here? In the middle are my fandoms. ... Although, oops, I need to update that notes section. I went through and did a bit of cleanup wrangling yesterday, so my dates are off. But that's not what I'm worrying about at the moment. Scrooooooooooooooooll dooooooooooown to the bottom of the spreadsheet...

... yes, it's a long spreadsheet... And add our new fandom! I'm not putting anything in the 'Wrangler' or 'Notes' column at the time being, because I'm not claiming the fandom for myself (anyone who wants it, though, can come and add their name!), and I didn't do any real wrangling in the fandom other than creating the canonical. So I'm done with that for now!

Just to doublecheck that everything's A-OK, I'll drop by the tag edit page for our new canonical...

... And voila! It's listed as the official name for the fandom, magically put into the proper media (because of the media of what we were using the 'Rename' function on), and the synonym is attached perfectly! We may now pat ourselves on the back! Yaaay!

ETA: Yes, I went back afterwards to fix the fact that the 'the' in the subtitle really needed capitalizing. Which just goes to show another immutable law of wrangling. You CANNOT screw up so badly that it can't be fixed. :b

.... And that is my first little mini-demonstration of tag wrangling. It gives you a general idea of the interface and some of the tools that we have at our disposal (TICKY BOXES! SPREADSHEETS! :D :D :D), and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions about anything I have up. (I'm fairly sure some other wranglers would be more than willing to chime in as well.)

If everyone likes this one enough, I'll probably have more similar lessons for such things as wrangling stuff inside a fandom. Characters, pairings, etc., etc. But really? That's more than enough for now. Hope you found it interesting! :D
tree: a figure clothed in or emerging from bark ([else] tag wrangling)

[personal profile] tree 2010-01-06 06:00 am (UTC)(link)

'tis beautiful :)
tree: a bird perched on a girl's head ([else] is in my tree)

[personal profile] tree 2010-01-06 04:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Which just goes to show another immutable law of wrangling. You CANNOT screw up so badly that it can't be fixed.

hee! or just completely replaced and swept away by The Rake. not that i've ever had to do that. no sireebob.
hl: Drawing of Ada Lovelace as a young child, reading a Calculus book (Default)

[personal profile] hl 2010-01-06 08:32 am (UTC)(link)
This is awesome! I plan to redirect anyone who wonders how we work/who can be lured into wrangling. :D
alasen: tenniel's picture of alice adjusting her crown (Default)

[personal profile] alasen 2010-01-06 08:36 am (UTC)(link)
This is just great. I'm going to link to it - I know a few people on my flist were interested when I briefly talked about wrangling weeks ago, and I think we do need to have info out there about what we do.
angelikitten: El Dragón on a computer (Tech - I have a hard on for technology)

[personal profile] angelikitten 2010-01-06 09:52 am (UTC)(link)
All this makes me feel happy that I decided to use an existing tag for my Superdictionary fic - especially as I got my account after Yuletide.
angelikitten: Cat with a halo (Random - What does this button do?)

[personal profile] angelikitten 2010-01-06 10:41 am (UTC)(link)
Fair enough :) That said, I do like the tag I chose to go with (DCU - Superdictionary) for reasons I can't seem to explain.

(I'm going to import all my fortycakes stuff as soon as I can get onto a computer - it's doable on my phone, but if the original fic was 5000+ characters long, the end gets cut off. My phone's weird.)
Edited 2010-01-06 10:41 (UTC)
angelikitten: Yami Yugi looking lost in thought (Thoughts - Thoughtful!Yami)

[personal profile] angelikitten 2010-01-06 11:05 am (UTC)(link)
Superdictionary's become my main pet fandom, I think, and I would love to see more people write it. Showing people that there's some fic out there might help, so :)

In fact, everything I've posted so far has been either Superdictionary fic, girlslash or transfic - three things the world needs more of.
angelikitten: Lia and Fiona kissing (Love - I'm so excited)

[personal profile] angelikitten 2010-01-06 11:28 am (UTC)(link)
And that's terrible wonderful XD
inkstone: Tenjho Tenge's Madoka smiling (happy)


[personal profile] inkstone 2010-01-06 10:15 am (UTC)(link)
This is awesome! :D
htbthomas: (Gwen SSM cartoon)

[personal profile] htbthomas 2010-01-06 11:28 am (UTC)(link)
I can't wait to dig in to this. Thanks SO much!
were_duck: Ellen Ripley from Alien looking pensively to the right in her space helmet (Breakfast like Clockwork)

[personal profile] were_duck 2010-01-06 02:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Great post, whee!
jaebility: (hark! // shakespeare)

[personal profile] jaebility 2010-01-06 02:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm a newbie wrangler and this is so incredibly helpful. Thank you!
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-01-06 03:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks so much for this--it's fascinating.

Is there any way that non-wranglers can get access to the tag wrangling guidelines? They look very interesting and archive users would be able to express more informed opinions on the classification scheme if they actually knew how it worked.
tree: a figure clothed in or emerging from bark ([else] tag wrangling)

[personal profile] tree 2010-01-06 05:05 pm (UTC)(link)
*butts in, in an attempt to be helpful*

the philosophy of tag wrangling is that archive users can use whatever tags are intuitive to them and we then wrangle them to our guidelines in order to have a standard by which we maintain consistency. but that consistency isn't meant to be the One True Way, which is why we syn users' intuitive tags to the common pool of a particular tag. err, i have no idea if that makes sense to anyone but me. it's 4am.

that being said i have wondered if it mightn't be good to offer a basic 'this is how we do it if you want to do it that way although it's by no means a requirement' guide to things like pairings. i think even if we wanted to, we couldn't offer a complete guide because there are multiple pages on the internal wiki devoted to it and they're constantly evolving. which is kind of what makes it fun. :)

(probably not necessary to say, but this is by no means an official response. opinions of this user are by no means the opinions of anyone else in the universe at any time ever.)
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-01-06 05:18 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't mean necessarily "tell us how you do it so we can tag according to those rules." I mean "tell us how you do it so that we can tell you whether your classification system makes sense/is useful to us as AO3 writers/readers."
tree: a figure clothed in or emerging from bark (Default)

[personal profile] tree 2010-01-06 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
i see. the archive's system is designed so that users can use whatever classification system makes sense/is useful to them.

for example: the 'official' tag for a pairing would be Fox Mulder/Dana Scully. a writer might tag her fic as Dana Scully/Fox Mulder and a reader might search for Mulder/Scully. but they're all the same thing. (or they will be, if they haven't been syned yet - i don't wrangle XF.)

similarly, a story might be tagged as Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice, the 'official' tag is Pride and Prejudice - Austen and a user searches for Pride and Prejudice. her search will display the story as tagged.

in any case, you should send your suggestion to support, since neither [personal profile] dizmo or i have any power. alas. *g*
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-01-06 05:35 pm (UTC)(link)
for example: the 'official' tag for a pairing would be Fox Mulder/Dana Scully. a writer might tag her fic as Dana Scully/Fox Mulder and a reader might search for Mulder/Scully. but they're all the same thing. (or they will be, if they haven't been syned yet - i don't wrangle XF.)

Yeah, but a reader might (for example) want to find fics that are Mulder/Skinner and not Skinner/Mulder. As I understand it, AO3 currently wrangles them as the same pairing, which is a classification that might not work for everyone.

I will indeed send my suggestion to support!
sabaceanbabe: (BN Fiona)

[personal profile] sabaceanbabe 2010-01-06 04:55 pm (UTC)(link)
You rock like a rockin' thang! *twirls you madly*


Sorry, new wrangler here. And one who doesn't feel quite so intimidated. :D
saezutte: (high five)

[personal profile] saezutte 2010-01-06 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
New wrangler here! This is great and really helpful! Do you mind if I link it to people who might be interested in tag wrangling?
htbthomas: (Big Bang Theory)

[personal profile] htbthomas 2010-01-10 04:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I do have a question about one of the items - how did you end up changing the spelling of the fandom to fix the lowercase 't'? I have a fandom I claimed with a misspelled canonical.
htbthomas: (Big Bang Theory)

[personal profile] htbthomas 2010-01-10 07:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks! :)
midnightbex: (Default)

[personal profile] midnightbex 2010-01-14 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Got linked here by someone on delicious and found your post fascinating! Tagging is something I've become very interested in since I started posting recs on delicious. The system AO3 has set up makes a great deal of sense and seems very usable.

Just one question though, how do you become a tag wrangler?
midnightbex: (Default)

[personal profile] midnightbex 2010-01-14 07:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the info! I think I'll go apply. :D
ext_226990: Mikey Way in an Umbrella Academy t-shirt. (Default)

[identity profile] contrariangie.livejournal.com 2010-01-06 01:00 pm (UTC)(link)
It's so pretty. *____*