Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tagging innovations, from the government

Has anyone seen click-based tag clouds? These are tag clouds in which the size of the words depend not on the number of times something has been tagged, but on the number of times the tag is clicked.

I never had, but Abby just spotted on the website of the the State of Delaware. Apparently site visitors are interested in employment.

It's a pretty cool idea, and one I'd love to try out on LibraryThing. It wouldn't work on work pages, but it might on the home page. And I'm impressed that it was on state-government site. While these sites are increasingly competent, they're not usually thought of as a hotbeds of web innovation.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Andrew Timson said...

Perhaps they're increasingly competent for websites other than Michigan's…

(My initial instinct was to use set notation in my reply. I think it's bedtime for me... :D)

9/24/2007 2:22 AM  
Blogger Joe Pomonomo said...

How about making it an option for all users here on LT? For instance, the way you have "Tag weight show | hide" on the Tag Mirror well, - you could have 'Tag interest show | hide' on all the user Tag clouds.

Joe

9/24/2007 8:35 AM  
Blogger SqueakyChu said...

A very cool idea! It probably more accurately shows the relevance of tags to individuals who use them to find books.

9/24/2007 3:15 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

This kind of reminds me of "self-fulfilling popularity" - the more something is clicked, the bigger it gets, which makes it more likely to be clicked by subsequent visitors. The utility of this approach might diminish over time, or kind of funnel everyone through the same path.

I do like the concept, though, especially if takes more than just this tag cloud into account (if it tallied up click rates for all navigation links everywhere on the site, then it might be more accurate).

9/24/2007 3:16 PM  
Blogger Amarie said...

This is similarly implemented on the main control panel page where my web site is hosted [Dreamhost]. Even though I was familiar with the site navigation, I find myself using the larger--hence more common--functions listed like "Manage E-mail."

Especially for government services, the most common tasks/information are probably going to be the most looked for by your average user so good for Delaware!

9/24/2007 5:01 PM  
Blogger oldcyberdude said...

Interesting idea. But I would go a step farther with color. How about color coding the tag cloud for clicks in chunks and keep the font size like normal clouds based on popularity of the tag!

10/09/2007 11:21 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Oldcyberdude:

That's a really interesting idea. I'm going to try that next chance I get.

10/09/2007 11:39 AM  

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