Tags at Daily Kos

Tags serve several key purposes at Daily Kos, allowing us to categorize, track, and search for stories on related topics bearing the same tag. Consequently, every Daily Kos post must have at least one Tag for it to be published. They are so vital to our overall system that it is necessary to provide a Tag on a draft even to have it queued or scheduled to publish. Omission of a Tag prior to scheduling or publishing a post may be the most common trigger of an error message.

Tag Requirements
The Tag field for a story in draft mode appears right beneath the text area for the body of the story.

A Tag has the same general appearance as a Twitter hashtag, which means that in many contexts it will be presented with a hashtag character # to start. Our software automatically applies the #, so you don't need to do so. In fact, if you DO include the #, your Tag will not be accepted.

Tags may include ONLY letters and numbers, plus these three special characters— hyphen, ampersand, and period—the last of which cannot come at the end of the Tag. Lastly, Tags may not have spaces within them.

Users are not permitted to add the Tag of Recommended or Trending to their own posts. Such Tags, carrying special significance for story placement, are generated by site algorithms not by individual users.

Tag Options
Letters may be upper or lower case, though it can help improve readability if the first letter of a word or name is capitalized; they are treated the same regardless.

Tag Creation and Deletion
To create a useful Tag, consider the appropriate labels or keywords which you want to have associated with your story. Enter them one at a time in the Tag text field, clicking Enter or the comma key after each one. Either keystroke will signal an end to the tag and put it in a display right below that Tag field. 

You can remove a Tag from that display by clicking on its X.

When you are satisfied with your Tags, then save your draft, using the button at the top right. A draft story with Tags may be published--thus group Admins sometimes remove Tags from a draft story that is not ready or intended for publication, to avoid any accidents.  

If you tend to write stories on specialized subjects, it may be worth some time and thought to develop a standard format for your Tags, to help you become more often associated with those subjects. This is an especially important strategy for candidates or activism campaigns.

Tag Edits Post-Publication
Tags are displayed in the left sidebar of every published story. Logged-in users may edit their own Tags from that sidebar, without needing to edit the story (return it to draft mode). In addition, Trusted Users (TUs) have the ability to edit other users' Tags. We do depend on TUs having sufficient judgment to refrain from adding inappropriate Tags.  

A very small number of TUs have the additional ability to act as Tag Librarians, a role which allows them to organize and edit Tags and thereby limit the proliferation of multiple Tags which reference the same topic.