Are tag clouds, as Read/Write Web suggests, entombed? dead?
On my fleet of NMC WordPress site I am shifting to using tags more on posts as an organizer, and tossing some clouds on the pages (see lower right sidebar of Pachyderm Services). Its a bit easier on these sites that have a relatively low number of posts to go and “back tag” content.
But here at the old Yeller CogDogBlog, there are a lot of old bones- this, when published will be number 2100. And my tagging in the past, has been, well spotty. On the other hand, I was never too rigorous with the categorizing, so I am thinking as far as being effective, the approaches may be tied for last place over here.
Never the less, I am more of a loose ranging tagger than a cubby-hole categorizer, so I have started tagging posts, and swapped out the old Category listing on the side bar to a tag cloud (I use the option to randomize the order, mmm love randomness), my template code is:
<?php wp_tag_cloud('smallest=10&largest=24&number=40&order=RAND'); ?>
And I tweaked the Archives template in a few places to do a proper header and title. I have my templates tuned to display the links to the tag archives when used, as well as the WP Tags to Technorati plugin which links the same tags to who knows what at Technorati (see the bottom of this post, if I remember to tag it!)
To enable the switch, I used the built -n WordPress tools to convert my old categories to tags (under Manage -> Import), so for now, the cloud is likely heavily weighted my the old categories.
How do they stack up? Putting them side by side, we have, weighing in at about 140 different ones, are my sloppy pile of “Dog Tags” versus the neatly stacked 32 different
There is no real answer as to which is “best” (although my headers show my bias) – it’s like asking for a definitive answer to the world’s favorite vegetable (though, I am sure it is not beets. Nope. Nasty. Yeccch). I like tags, but pretty much, in WordPress you can make categories work like tags (multiple associations), so it more boils down to your preferences.
I’m a tagger, what are you?
Read/Write Web: “Bring out your dead!”
Tag Clouds: “I’m not quite dead yet….”