Two housekeeping questions: Tags and job-seekers

I’m looking for input and feedback on a couple of blog-mechanics questions.

1. What to call the “tag” for homosexuality, QUILTBAG, Teh Gay, etc.

I want to make better use of the “tag” function here to better organize the content of the blog and to make older posts more accessible.

Tags need short labels, and short labels are rarely adequate. I’ve inconsistently used the tag “equality” for posts on marriage equality or same-sex marriage or LGBT civil rights more generally. That’s both too broad and too narrow, I think. Too broad in that there are many other forms of equality and inequality, and the word by itself doesn’t convey what kind of equality the tag refers to. And too narrow in that I’ve written other posts on LGBT issues not directly related to simple questions of legal equality.

Tagging these posts “homosexuality” would make them more accessible for those using search engines and for the occasional evangelical reader who wanders in to see what I’ve written on “the issue of homosexuality.” The problem, though, is that while this term is popular and often used by those seeking information, I don’t much care for phrases like “the issue of homosexuality.” It’s inhumanly abstract, for one. And it’s usually the preferred language of those who are agin’ it.

Tagging such posts “LGBT” or “QUILTBAG” gets closer to inclusive terminology, but such alphabet-terms aren’t always understood by a wider audience and aren’t the first words people looking to read more might use to describe what they’re searching for. (I’m not just talking about “SEO” blog-traffic business there. If some Christian becomes uncomfortable with what she or he is hearing from the pastor and decides to read more, they’re likely to Google something like “Bible + homosexuality” or “homosexuality + Christianity.” And I want their search to bring them here.)

I suppose I could use multiple tags for such posts, but I dunno. That’s the point here: I dunno. What do you folks think? What sort of tag would be most useful/helpful for you? And what sort of tag do you think would be most useful/helpful generally?

2. Are job-seeker open threads worth restarting?

I’m nearing the one-year anniversary of getting laid off from the newspaper business, and for most of the past year my job-seeking attitude has been like a sine wave oscillating between hope and despair. I started those long-shot, maybe-just-maybe this could help someone somewhere job-seeker open threads at a point when that wave was cresting and I was in full-blown “Hey, ya never know! Let’s give it a try!” mode.

I’m not sure anyone actually was helped by those open threads, and they petered out once my sine wave dipped into one of its troughs.

I suppose my question here is, on balance, did those threads contribute more to hope or to despair? If the former, I’m inclined to restart them. If the latter, then not.

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  • I think that the only respectful position to take would be, ‘we are
    happy to use y’all’s term for yourself; just let us know what it is.’

    “the only”?

    As a Jew, for example, one position I can think I can respectfully take towards non-Jews is to not assume that y’all should all agree on one word that describes y’all. I might, instead, choose to refer to Muslims as Muslims, Christians as Christians, atheists as atheists, etc. At least, that seems respectful to me.

    As a Caucasian, I similarly think I can respectfully adopt an analogous position with respect to non-Caucasians. Heck, that might even be more respectful than expecting them all to agree on a term, or behaving as though non-Caucasians even had something important in common besides their humanity.

    Of course, keeping track of all of that is a lot of work, and I might not want to do it. Which is fine; I’m not obligated to. But it’s certainly an option, and as I say I think it’s a respectful option.

    Now, perhaps the situation is different for straight people; I don’t know. I’m not straight, and perhaps it’s not for me to say. But I really can’t see why it would be.

  • Anonymous

    I think we are talking at cross-purposes.  It is your contention that different groups should not be lumped together unnecessarily; it is my contention that groups should be allowed to choose their own names, and that outsiders have no place in deciding one for them.  I think neither of these points are disagreeable.

  • Tom

    “I think with “queer” it’s a generational thing: younger people are more comfortable with it.”

    In my experience it seems to be the opposite!  I’m pretty young myself!

    Quite apart from my personal hangups with the word, I don’t know a single straight person among my friends, family or aquaintances who would feel comfortable using it – even if explicitly instructed to by one of their gay friends.

    Even when gay people use it I find it very confrontational and non-inclusive.  I think that’s often the case with reclaiming insults – it has an element of “yes I’m queer… that’s right I’m a dirty ‘queer’… that’s what you people call us right!?”

    As I say – it’s maybe a cultural thing, it could be different in the US, but it’s still a pretty controversial word over here