look, a tag cloud!

June 9, 2007

I’ve been exploring tag clouds lately. My curiousity started when I added a tag cloud on this blog.  Tag clouds are everywhere. (Tag clouds are often considered “web 1.0”, since they’ve been around for a long time!)

A tag cloud is a visual representation of categories or subjects on a site. The cloud is weighted to show which tags have more content. Tag clouds aid in search and discovery, and often reflect what is currently ‘popular’ on a website.  Check out the Wikipedia definition of tag cloud.

The first website to use tag clouds was Flickr. Flickr displays the most popular tags, and hot tags in the last 24 hours/over the last week.

Del.icio.us users relish in tags! On del.icio.us, tag clouds are used to display the most popular tags and ‘what’s hot’ topics.

My blog software WordPress, uses tags to display the most recent posts for a topic.

Technorati offers a tag cloud to aid in blog search and discovery.

Popular topics in LibraryLand is an amazing example of a tag cloud that analyzes 481 library/librarian blogs. A great way to keep up with the hot topics in “LibraryLand”.

Text clouds are emerging as a new web 2.0 tool, and are used to understand a body of text or phrase. The focus is on “analysis” rather than “access”. To learn more about text clouds take a look at “Text Clouds: A New Form of Tag Cloud?”

And of course, you can also check out the tag “tagclouds” on del.icio.us!



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