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Skot Nelson <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 24 May 2007 21:15:55 -0700
text/plain (76 lines)
On May-24-2007, at 07:50 , Bryan Grubaugh wrote:

> 1)  They serve no practical function that
> probably couldn't be better represented in another fashion.  This  
> being
> said, I might fall victim to the "I don't know, what I don't know."

You should try jumping over to the Movable Type ProNet list. Some  
pretty passionate feelings about the necessity of "tags" as well as  
the "tag cloud."

The argument is that tagging provides a finer level of granularity  
than content categories allow. On a personal site, for example, I  
have a category of "Family" while I would tag individual entries  
"Georgia", "Benjamin" or "Elizabeth."

I don't fundamentally disagree with the argument, but I think the  
introduction of an additional level of categorization to some content  
can be difficult. Sites where Tags work seem to be those where they  
are the primary form of content organization from a user's  
perspective: Flickr is the example that comes to mind, and the one  
that made Tags rise to least in my lexicon.

> 2)  ...  What I
> mean is, if you are going to use a tag cloud, it should only be  
> used to
> show some thing's size, popularity, or importance against other  
> items in
> the same set.... When a person sees the tag cloud, their attention
> is immediately drawn to the larger items.

There's a tendency, as well, to display "all" while it might be  
better to display less....your comment about showing relative values  
is a good one....the "Cloud" can show that well, but displaying a  
*complete* listing of tags tends to result in a lot of crowding at  
the lower end. I might have a single tag used dozens of times (i.e.  
"Kids") and a large number of tags that are used much less frequently  
(i.e. "Hayden").

The rapid proliferation of these single or limited use tags can  
significantly impact the usefulness of a cloud.

My general opinion is that Tag Clouds
- were pretty trendy
- now not so much although "tagging" remains popular
- the "cloud" will continue to be seen where they add value

Another interesting note: Movable Type is (apparently) officially  
deprecating its "Keywords" field in favour of the "Tags" field. tagging just a different word for keyword meta content? (My  
two cents: pretty much, but at least it's being used now.)
Skot Nelson
skot (at) penguinstorm (dot) com

p. 206.629.8735
skype. skot.nelson

	"In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when
	 there is no longer anything to add, but when there
	 is no longer anything to take away."
	-- Antonine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars

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