Monday, February 18, 2013

Building You Blog: Tag Clouds


Tag Clouds
A tag cloud is widget that is a 'cloud' of text. The text of a tag cloud is comprised to the Labels you've attached to each blog post. The more you've blogged about a certain subject, the larger the label in the cloud.

There are essentially two types of blog clouds that I've found: block text and 3D Flash animated clouds.
Tag Cloud

Block Text Clouds
In a block text cloud, your labels are arranged either alphabetically or by post size. The various options are provided in your template widget.

I'm not familiar enough with Wordpress, but to create a tag cloud in Blogger:
  1. Select Layout
  2. Add a gadget
  3. Select Labels gadget
  4. Choose tag cloud options

tag-cloud
Flash Tag Cloud
3D/Flash Animated Clouds
These clouds are a little more complicated to implement, but are more eye catching than the simple block text cloud. Using Flash (an internet animation program), Flash animated clouds swirl the labels like you're actually looking at a 'cloud' of text.

Implementation
To create a animated cloud, you will have to get into the html code and change it to use the Flash cloud animation. Fortunately there are several sites that walk you through the process of editing the code. And even though this can be a daunting task, if you take it slow, and back-up your code before you experiment, you can end up with a flashy tag cloud.

Try these sites:
How To Add A Label Cloud to Blogger
Blogumus: A Flash Animated Label Cloud for Blogger

Why You May Not Want Them
Tag clouds let your viewers see all the various subjects you blog about. Unfortunately, tag clouds are often seen as big piles of poo cluttering up blogs, as if the author vomited all their topics into a stinking mess on their page.

Usually, viewers will see your tag cloud as a confusing jumble of words and simply ignore it. And you don't want anything on your page that is automatically dismissed by your viewers.

My advice? Don't bother with tag clouds. They clutter up the page and nobody really uses them anyway.   

3 comments:

  1. Hey Anthony...it took me awhile to find you; couldn't link up to you through my site; it took me to your facebook page. I finally saw you on Inkpageant.

    Good article on clouds.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I couldn't decide whether or not to have a tag cloud, but I think you're right, most readers just ignore them. I'll steer clear of putting one on my blog. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks a million! I’ve only glanced at what you’ve presented and already I can see I’m going to be able to make great use of this tutorial.
    website design

    ReplyDelete

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