Is the Tag Cloud Dead?

Filed as News on August 4, 2008 3:24 am

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No, I don’t think it is, but if you want to use tags for navigation then just slapping a tag cloud in the face of the user might not be the best way to go. Rob Cottingham declares it dead in a comic strip over at ReadWriteWeb, although he won’t commit to it all the way:

And maybe they were overused and abused back in the day; not every site lends itself to a tag cloud, and not every tag cloud needs to be overwhelming and cluttered. Still, they have their place, and I’d be sorry to see them die out.

What do you think about tag clouds? Share in the comments.

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  1. By Tech Blogger posted on August 4, 2008 at 3:30 am
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    Tag cloud as certainly not Dead, they are taking re-birth in shape if New Delicicious 2…

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  2. By dandellion Kimban posted on August 4, 2008 at 8:39 am
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    It would be shame to see tag clouds disappearing. They are a great navigation tool. Problem is that so many bloggers doesn’t think about them.

    It is not just slapping all the keywords one can think of. It takes a bit of thinking about the blog as a whole, relationships between the posts, if something appeared before as a subject and also if here is a chance that the subject will appear again in the future.

    Then, one should think of the treshold above which a tag appears in the cloud, that is, in how many posts a tag appears before getting into the cloud. It doesn’t make much sense to make a mess of dozens of small size words making the cloud half of the sidebar big. Also, tags are a great tool to find related posts.

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  3. By Fern posted on August 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm
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    I’d be interested in seeing stats showing how often people click on tag clouds. I personally think they’re ugly, difficult to use (unless you’re looking for a popular tag), and have never seriously used them on anyone’s blog, let alone my own.

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