June 10, 2006
When tag clouds go bad!
It's more than a year since Zeldman proclaimed that tag clouds were the new mullets, and you know what? I still quite like them. More useful than a blank search field, they can help drill into a site's content. I'm still not quite convinced they make sense on personal blogs, but for blog-like content sites they can be a useful addition.
There are, of course, always counter examples. Case in point: what in the name of all that is Monkey happened on the Potential Energy blog? Are they attempting to explain the concept of a runaway chain reaction by building a folksonomy that, ultimately, will go critical? At the current rate of growth, I estimate their tag cloud will take over the sidebar in 1.2 weeks, their site in a month, the IoP's server in three months, and the entire web in under a year.
Stop! For the sake of our children, stop!