When I started blogging tags were the rage. I would often get more than one in a week and I quickly became unable to keep up with them no matter how much I wanted to. But it was still a lot of fun.

Even when I wasn’t getting personally tagged, I would see them on other people’s blogs. I think I would see at least one every single day (I follow a lot of blogs). But these days, I hardly see any at all. Maybe a little lost one here and there but they add up to a handful a year at most. That’s a huge drop.

a huge drop…

For those of you unfamiliar, blog tags were these types of chain posts that had specific content rules. Like you had to answer a series of questions or you had to talk about a specific subject through a specific lens. In practice, these posts pretty much always had some sort of rule that you had to link to the creator of the tag and often you also had to thank and link back to the person who tagged you. So they were in fact an SEO tool in a way. It allowed people to link to a bunch of other blogs and get links back that way.

For the creator, if the tag took off, they would get a massive amount of links and publicity for free. For the people taking part, it was a bit of a community project and a way to get some content for the blog. Fun times all around. But they also quickly get out of hand, when a creator gets greedy and has you tagging like 20 people at the time. Sometimes they would try to make responding more appealing by calling them “awards” complete with a little graphic you could put on your blog. It was cute.

These days, it seems the tag post has fallen out of fashion. For some reason, people just aren’t writing these anymore. Maybe it was a fad, that lasted a few years and went away, as fads do. Maybe it’s just that the blogging space got oversaturated and we needed a break. It could be that the tag post will come back eventually. But I also think that blogging, in general, has somewhat fallen out of fashion, there are a lot fewer blogs these days and the rate at which new ones appear has slowed down a lot. I hope it picks up again. I think blogging is fun and I like to have other people to do it with.

yay friends!

Whatever the reason may be, I just don,t see the same amount of tags as I use to. I think that’s a bit of a shame. Now don’t get me wrong. Tag posts weren’t these wonderful insightful things that you absolutely should read. Some of them got pretty repetitive. At first, it was fun to see how different people would answer the same 7 questions or so, but after a while, you sort of got the idea. Other tags were either confusing, complicated or just not thought out and left a series of barely readable posts in their wake.

However, I genuinely had fun participating in and reading through some of those tags and from time to time, I miss them. So I figured I would tell you about some of my favourites. You’ll see that they all follow a sort of pattern…

is it just me or do baguettes make people seem evil?

Make Everything Anime

I’m pretty sure the anime community co-opted this tag from somewhere and it wasn’t originally specifically about anime but this is the form I know it in and I like it this way. It’s a fairly simple tag. Bloggers simply pick 3 to 5 pieces of media that are not anime or manga but that they think would be fun or interesting to see in anime form and tell us why.

I really liked this tag because it made me discover books, movies, games and even songs and characters I probably would never have heard of otherwise. And some of them were awesome.

It also tapped into one of my personal interests. The mechanics of adaptation. Some bloggers would really go into detail as to why a particular piece of art was suited for anime. Talking about design, pacing and audience appeal. And that was simply fascinating. I would happily have read more of those types of posts. Theoretical speculating on adaptations. I will admit I did sometimes get frustrated that those amazing-sounding adaptations would never get made!

one line not online!

The One Liner Challenge

This was really one of my favourites. In part, because it was quick and easy both to put together and to read, and in part because it often created some really funny posts.

The one-liner challenge, when adapted for the anime community, was simply picking at least 5 of your favourite anime or manga (you can easily do this with any piece of media) and summarizing the entire plot in a single one-line sentence. That’s it.

And it was so much fun. A lot of beloved anime have some pretty convoluted storylines when it gets right down to it. And even when that’s not the case, summarizing anything in a single sentence is a bit of a challenge. So when you put the two together, you got some really interesting results. At one point I ended up summarizing my beloved Shin Sekai Yori with: it was man all along.

hopefully, this isn’t you right now…

The Boring Summary Challenge

This is a bit of an offshoot of the previous tag and it was popular on Twitter for a while. Once again, this tag wants you to summarize a piece of media (in my case of anime) but this time, the idea is to make it sound as boring as possible.

Of course, the fun of it is to pick a show that you either really like personally or that is generally liked by the community and definitely not considered boring, to begin with. Then you have to create a summary that is technically correct. Something that really does describe what happens but presents it in such a way that it sounds like the dullest snoozefest you can come up with.

Maybe it’s because I have a love of Slice of Life anime that are often described as Rita is new at her school and decides to join the sewing club. Like that’s the official description and I’m all whoaaaa that sounds awesome! So for me, making anything come off as genuinely boring and not a show I would look forward to watching was really difficult. But it was fun. And it was also super fun to read others’ posts on that subject. I found it just deeply amusing to go through a paragraph trying and failing to guess what show was being described only to have it revealed at the end and go…oh yeah, that IS exactly what that show is…

this certainly looks hot… also Benimaru would qualify…

The 5 Hot Ones

This one was just silly fun. I believe the tag was originally meant for characters but you can expand it to entire shows or songs or something. Basically, the idea was to pick 5 characters you find sexy and just unapologetically drool over them on your blog. No need for justification or substance. No judgement here.

and well, these were fun to read. You had these straight lace professional blogger types type up these posts full of she’s soooo cute I just wanna ioudnajgaf… Or giddy adorable types that were just exploding with enthusiasm at the chance to share their own passion without shame. It was a fun time. And people got that it was just for fun. That’s what I personally appreciated about it.

I don’t recall ever seeing anyone do this, but now that I think back on it, I bet this would be a really fun post to put together if you were to pick scenes. Like 5 hot scenes in anime or you can spice it up with 5 unintentionally hot scenes or something like that. Hmmm, maybe I’ll try to put a post together at some point. It sounds like fun.

For those of you who still remember blog tags, do you miss them? Did you have ones that you really liked? As for those that haven’t had the chance to take part in one, would you like to?

39 thoughts

  1. I remember when there was no such thing as tags. And I remember blog tags being so big that even I got tagged a few times, and I’m sure anyone with a larger following really was just completely overwhelmed with them. My personal favorite – or one I remember the most – was I think something like five favorite songs. I really enjoyed picking those. Brought back fond memories and so forth and such like. Sunshine blogger went around a time or two and I even got it more than once, and I enjoyed those – both reading and writing them. Since I only ever blogged for pleasure in the last decade or so, and my blog isn’t terribly focused, they were just good clean fun for me. Where did they go? Could be it was a fad. Could be, also, that so many people now are very focused on making the blog pay or at least be super popular and they probably aren’t the best SEO ever (although yeah, the links were a good thing no doubt) and they certainly aren’t “focused” or “click bait”. Like everything I’ve watched so far on the Internet (and the Internet evolves really fast, so it’s easier to see patterns) blogging was for fun, then wow we could make money so now it’s commercialized to hell and tags just don’t fit into that. Even if you aren’t commercial, you are still influenced, you read the “how to blog” articles and they are “how to make lots of money with a blog” really, or “how to make your business really well known with a blog”. Ya know? Having your own website went from fun to businesses only. Blogging went from for fun to for business. Social sites, really, have mostly gone from for fun to business although there are still some people who use Facebook to share pix of the grandkids. I guess that’s just Internet evolution. Maybe we need to start a counter movement for us cockaroaches slinking around in the bottom of the web and blog and make websites for fun again… of course, they will no longer ever appear in a search result so it would just be an echo chamber. Kinda like some of those indie authors on Kindle where they have a few glowing reviews you figure are Mom, Dad, and cousin Benny and have probably sold maybe 10 copies total. And just like with websites and blogs, the sad part is there are some incredibly talented people down there.

    I’m sorry. I’m very ranty lately.

    I should cook up a tag just because…

    1. I would love to see a Foovay tag. actually any creative or interesting tag is a plus but they all seem to be very similar.

  2. I never saw anything like this, because I have come in the era where blogging is going through a slump, and people are more likely to open a YouTube channal instead of writing.

    But I like the idea of turn everything into an anime. I will do that one.

  3. I kinda miss them, but I admit there was a point where I got slightly overwhelmed from all the tags going around too.

    I always sort of struggled on how to start with these blog posts because generally, they’re not catered towards specifically anime/manga (sometimes you have to force it to fit the theme). The biggest one that makes me wonder what would happen if it spread more is the My Reasons Why tag, because I remembered my post while I was in a bad mental patch and, despite my belief to the contrary, it actually helped. I was waiting for the Flaming Hotties one for a while too…IIRC, I had to proactively get someone’s “inform me and I’ll tag you”, in the end.

    1. Ohhh, I don’t remeber the My Reasons Why tag. I can sort of guess what it was from the title. At one point there were so many different tags flying around.

  4. Ah, all the tags back then were so much fun! I think my personal favorites were the five flaming hotties, the make it anime tag, and my anime harem. Oh, and why I still love anime! 🙂

  5. Blog tags were really nostalgic indeed. I find that the colourful ways different bloggers pour their creative juices into the tag replies really make the tags shine and the posts fun to read.

    Some of these tag/award posts also let us bloggers know each other more/better. So overall, I think regardless of whether it was for publicity or not, writing and reading these posts were time well spent. Even if it got saturated back then. ☺️

  6. I loved them since I got in right when the blog tag craze was winding down. I always felt down when I had to turn down doing a tag though since I had already answered it before. I’ve actually been thinking up a blog tag for anime in particular… but making one is actually pretty hard. So I’m taking my sweet time on that lol.

  7. I miss those tags. I’d probably write more if they became popular again. I also miss the OWLS monthly post topics. These things gave me excuses to write even when I really had no inspiration. It has been a while since I watched an anime that made me want to spew a bunch of words into a blog about it.

    1. They were a very nice and easy way to get some content. I always thought tags were perfect to round off those weeks where I ran short on inspiration

  8. I like reading them personally, and don’t mind doing them as long as the questions are not too personal. When I do get tagged I feel happy because it means “Wow someone actually thought of me!” Even though I know sometimes, it’s not always the case.

    1. I remeber one where they questions were all surreal and basically everyone ended up writing this crazy story.

      1. I think there were a few like that. I know on ones where it prompted you to write your own questions, I always liked to try to come up with at least one surreal one.

  9. I have wanted to do a few, but after a while of not getting to do them due to other more pressing matters I just never do them. I have done two or three in the last and only 4 years of my bloggong carreer so far. Who knows, I might decide to pick one up that is not even that active anymore.

  10. I wouldn’t know. All I know about this art of reviewing was drilled into me by my Editors over the years. You must have a Social Media presence (years before Cancel Culture became a thing), you must use link words so your content pops up on people’s searches, you must network and know others in the field as they’ll help teach you what you need to know. So basically even if I was tagged I probably ignored it. Because my head was already filled with all the instructions given to me by Editors past. I’m sure I made people angry by ignoring their tags, but in my defense I’m kinda introvert… Hard to believe from all these responses I know… So I’m not exactly hopping at the bit when I get tagged. Past tense. Oh well. Bye.

    1. I didn’t realize there was social media before the internet. I guess it was analogue. It makes sense of course but for some reason I never really thought about it.

  11. I do miss them. One site published a tag post and tagged me, and I looked at Note I keep to track nominations. I realized that several of the sites don’t even exist anymore.

    I like the insights in your post. I knew that picking 10 or 15 other people was a pain, and now I have a context for why. Yeah, I should have picked up on it — the poster wanted more referrals! But I’m so busy with work and career II and family that when I finally get a few minutes to read tag posts, I’m at a dead run.

    So thanks for thinking these things through!

    Maybe I’ll try to answer a few tags in the next week or two. I doubt I’ll restart a trend, but it’ll be nostalgic!

      1. I’m going to write a tag post, so thanks for the inspiration! I wanted to mention that I was going to tag you in appreciation for the inspiration, but I noticed the post that tagged me had also tagged you! Not sure you saw it since the tag went to your main site instead of a single post (and at least for me, tags that reference the main site don’t show up as a notification).

        The original tag is from Nerd Rambles:

        https://nerdramblesblog.wordpress.com/2022/02/20/the-%e2%9c%a8eximius%e2%9c%a8-blogger-award/

        Thought you’d like to know!

  12. I’m glad that people were kind enough to tag me in these kind of things in 2019-2020 but I always found myself lagging behind on them because I just had a lot of other topics that I wanted to throw down with; especially reviews, personal stories and anime/theology crossovers. Can’t say I do miss them, and they were easy to write, but nowadays with my schedule I can’t foresee myself ever involving myself with them.

  13. I do and don’t miss them. There were really too many of them to ever keep up with while doing my own blogging that I just couldn’t do them anymore or ever. Especially when you do one, tag a person, and then eventually you will be tagged back. Or just searching for a person who hasn’t been tagged on your list which can take a really long time.

    I wouldn’t mind if they came back to only seeing a few at a time and not just it going crazy like last time because are fun to read and write, but can cause quite a burn out too. So if there can be a lot more control over how they appear, it would be nice.

    1. Balance is always the hard part. I think tagging like 3 peple instead of 15 is probably one of the keys to keeping things under control. But then people won’t get as many links back.

  14. I’ve literally never in all my internet days been tagged in these kind of posts. I remember when I started out on DeviantArt and hoped that one day I’d get included… and it never happened… I just watched it all from the sidelines, quietly hoping.

    Aside from my feelings of envy, I’m sad they’re going out of favour because they usually had a bit more of the author’s personality behind them, and that always interested me to see. Not to mention how cute it is to see bloggers linking to each other.

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