There's an approach to organising information that says that hierarchy is a tool of the devil, or at least is overrated. I've embraced this understanding for a data-driven site I'm working on which has a fixed set of admins who create and tag data and a slightly less fixed group of data consumers. It uses tagging and search to inform the data consumers when a piece of information is related to what they're reading or searching for (as opposed to expecting non-1337 admins to maintain an object-style hierarchy).
I now face the situation of needing some items of information to relate to "all" others in one respect. I cannot expect content creators to tag their "all" entries with every subject in the domain, and if they did the sheer weight of tags in that domain would drown out the information implied by the other tags on the entry. The options I can think of thus far (all unappealing) are:
- Create an "all" checkbox, which can assign an arbitrarily higher score to an entry when considering relevance
- Make different categories of tags, i.e. one tag field per clearly delineated group of subjects
- Replace tagging with a more traditional hierarchy
- Create magic "all" tags that get handled differently by my code (I can't believe I'm even thinking that out loud)
Are there any other approaches that could work? Is one of these a clear winner?