- Use full names, first and last. Check out the tag list to find the most popular formulation of people's names. Should it be "Joe Wilson" or "Joseph Wilson"? A look at the list shows that the masses have settled on the former. What about the president? It's a battle between "George W Bush" and "George W. Bush" (with a period after the 'w').
There is one early exception -- PLAME is settled without a first name. Probably because most of the time the term is used it refers to the scandal, not Valerie herself.
- Use combinations of simple tags rather than inventing complex ones. For instance, use tags CIA, LEAK and INVESTIGATION, instead of "CIA LEAK INVESTIGATION". Avoid creating tags longer than two words.
- Try to think of what tags people might use to search for something and use those. For example, PLAME, KARL ROVE, PATRICK FITZGERALD, BOB NOVAK, and TREASON might all be good tags for an entry on the Valerie Plame outing.
- Try to re-use existing tags. Keep it simple. Don't use tags that are redundant. Avoid obvious tags. This is a site about politics, so there's no need to use a tag called POLITICS.
- For election posts, add the year, state and office. So the Colorado governor's race in 2006 is tagged: 2006, GOVERNOR, COLORADO.
- Stop with the "cutesy" tags. This is a tool to help organize content, not show how clever you are with keywords like HUNTERRIFIC to express how great Hunter's diary was. Or FROGMARCH to get a chuckle out of Rove's fate. And it's definitely not a place to offer feedback on a post, like IDIOTIC or INSIGHTFUL.
One last point -- while I have alll-capped the tags for emphasis in this post, don't all-cap them when laying out the tags. The tagging system is not case-sensitive. But this is the internet -- all-caps equals shouting. Don't shout your tags.
Update: I've been persuaded that using the current race abbreviations is probably a good thing, like "OH-Sen" and "AZ-01". That's site nomenclature that has evolved over the past four years, so we might as well use them as tags.