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Do you use the tag clouds on this blog?

4 August 2011

If you look in the sidebar on the right, you’ll see a Tag Cloud and a Category Cloud. They show the frequency of keywords used to describe different posts, and they are supposed to make it easier for people to find posts on a topic that interests them. If you click on one of the words in the cloud, you should see a list of relevant posts.

A recent discussion in the alt.usage.english newsgroup made me wonder if anyone ever uses these things. Some people seem to find them annoying.

Here are some excerpts from the discussion:

Most pointless invention of the 21st century

Tag clouds….

Is there anyone on earth whose experience has in any way been enriched by these
jumbled clusters of words in assorted sizes and orientations?…

Do they in fact *have* an intended purpose, or do they exist only to fill up
otherwise empty page or screen space?…

Do they follow any laws of organization whatsoever?…is it even possible to
speak of a tag cloud being “put together wrong”?…

The author of that goes on to say that the Wiki article says they were popularized by Flickr, which later dropped them and apologized to the web-community.

So, how useful do you find tag clouds?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 15 August 2011 8:23 pm

    I like tag clouds, they make it easy to browse subjects and see what someone has written about a subject in the past. I’m not that often on your blog, so I don’t use it frequently, but they surely are no waste of space on a website but something very helpful…

    • 16 August 2011 7:34 am

      OK, i won’t remove them then.

      One of the problems is that when WordPress introduced tags as opposed to Categories, they offered to convert Categories to tags, but the conversion did not work completely, and so there is a confusion between tags and categories, and they overlap instead of complementing each other.

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