January 30, 2008

Tag Clouds Aren’t Just for Folksonomies Anymore

At various times during the last year, I’ve heard a librarian here and there say that tags and tag clouds are a passing fad, something our patrons don’t even know about let alone use, and useless compared to structured search.

However, thinking that tags are only about classification (good or bad) is missing the forest for the trees. Tag clouds can also be useful as navigation tools and for pattern recognition. Which is the name of Jason Griffey’s blog and must be why Jason helps prove this point.

2008 State of the Union as Tag Cloud

“Last year’s 2007 State of the Union Tag Cloud was such a hit, I decided to follow up again this year. A few major differences: Congress is mentioned a lot more this year, while health and oil don’t show up at all. This year’s address looks more active…instead of ‘fight’ we get ‘fighting.’ ” [Pattern Recognition]

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10:16 pm Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. […] bookmarks tagged just Tag Clouds Aren’t Just for Folksonomies Anymore saved by 3 others     Urmean15 bookmarked on 01/31/08 | […]

    Pingback by Pages tagged "just" — January 31, 2008 @ 1:20 am

  2. […] my random research idea stems from this post over at The Shifted Librarian, which is a reference to another post altogether regarding using tag cloud mechanisms for […]

    Pingback by Power in programming, and another research idea I’ll never have time to get into « Information Musings — January 31, 2008 @ 2:30 am

  3. Yeah. Tag clouds are a great data visualization method. The free Web service many eyes (http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/app) lets you upload data and visualize it as a tag cloud or a bunch of other types of graphs. Some very cool stuff on their site.

    Comment by Andy Havens — February 1, 2008 @ 9:22 am

  4. […] State of the Union as Tag Cloud. Thanks Shifted Librarian! […]

    Pingback by ResearchBuzz » » ResearchBuzz Roundup 02022008 — February 2, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

  5. Maybe the point is that some uses of tag clouds are more valuable/appropriate than others, depending on your user communities and the data you’re visualizing. Stretching the sparse metadata of MARC records into a cloud yields results that are frankly quite odd and I suspect usability testing would prove somewhat distracting.

    Comment by K.G. Schneider — February 6, 2008 @ 10:20 am

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