How do I find content on MacGuffin?

By searching tags (key words) that other people have given to stories.

Do I need to use a hashtag icon (#) when I’m searching?

Nope, just type a word.

How does searching work?

Try typing a popular tag like ‘crime’ into the search bar. Once you begin typing, we’ll provide autocomplete suggestions (tip - if it autocompletes, that means there’s a story on MacGuffin with that tag). Then click the magnifying glass ‘search’ icon at the right hand side of the search bar. The search will return results tagged with the ‘crime’ tag.

Now leave the ‘crime’ in the search bar, type ‘10minuteread’ beside it, and click the ‘search’ icon again. The search results will return content tagged ‘crime’ and ‘10minuteread’, above content tagged either ‘crime’ or ‘10minuteread’.

Can I search multiple tags at once?

Yes! It’s a good way of finding really specific stuff. For example, use the tags ‘crime’ and ‘10minuteread’ to find a crime story that’s 10 minutes long.

What’s with the colons in some tags?

Colons denote a subcategory. ‘historical:tudor’ denotes historical fiction set in the Tudor period.

How come some tags are outlined in black, and some tags are outlined in blue?

Tags outlined in black were added by the author of that story. Tags outlined in blue were added by a reader.

Does MacGuffin only search tags?

No, MacGuffin also searches the title, description and text of all content, but tags get greater ‘weighting’ in searches.

What does it mean if I type a word into the search bar and there’s no auto-complete suggestion?

Assuming you’re online at the time, this means there’s no content on MacGuffin tagged with that tag. You can still search that word as a ‘free text’ search. In that case, we’ll search the titles, descriptions and text of stories on MacGuffin for a match.

How come when I search for a word, I sometimes get search results of stories aren’t tagged with that word?

This is because the word you searched for appears in the title, description or text of the stories returned in the search results.

Why should I bother tagging stories if MacGuffin’s search function searches the title, description and text of them anyway?

We think tagging is a far better way of curating content, because it harnesses the intelligence and taste of writers and readers; you get better suggestions from tags (and it’s more fun). For this reason, search results are weighted in favour of tags, rather than word occurrence.

What kind of tags do people give content on MacGuffin?

You can tag anything you like, so long as you don’t breach the Tagging Rules, but here are some typical types of tag:
Genre (e.g. ‘crime’)
Form (e.g. ‘shortstory’)
Theme (e.g. ‘nautical’)
Content (e.g. ‘porridge’)
Meme (e.g. ‘sundaysonnets’)
Personal reading list (e.g. ‘abishawshistoricalfiction’)
Group reading list (e.g. ‘leedsuniwritingyear4’)