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)


  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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