November 14, 2006
@ 05:24 PM

Tag clouds are already a pet peeve of mine because they are a poor navigational interface but it seems some people [who shall remain nameless] have found a way to make them even more annoying. If you look at the Wikipedia entry for Tag Cloud it clearly states

There are two main types of tag cloud, distinguished by their meaning rather than appearance.

In the first, size represents the number of times that tag has been applied to a single item. This is useful as a means of displaying metadatademocratically 'voted' on and where precise results are not desired. A good example of this is, which uses this method as a means of displaying the genre with which an artist or track has been tagged. about an item that has been

In the second, size represents the number of items that have been given that tag. This is used as a presentation of the popularity of the tags and can be indicative of the content they cover, although in most contexts such information is of little use. Interestingly, the more prominent the tag the less information it contains. An example of this is Flickr.

It seems some people have decided to invent a third kind of tag cloud; one where the size of the font is chosen at random and has no relation to the popularity or number of items with that tag. Seriously, WTF people?


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