Today should about round out the geek-talk for a while. The last thing I wanted to talk about was something called tag clouds. People are used to adding tags to files, pictures, blogs, etc. Those tags help identify all of the items that are related together based on the tag words. It’s all a part of the next step in handling information online–and as those with Windows Vista and other cutting edge operating systems know your local files–called the semantic web. “Semantics: noun. – The meaning or the interpretation of a word, sentence, or other language form.” The semantic web will use computer algorithms to make sense of what we put on the Internet in a better way. It will understand human language to put information together in meaningful ways without a person doing it.
At the simplest level a tag cloud is a collection of tags. A single page’s tag cloud gathers all of that page’s tags into an easily referenced side location. At the next level the tags are rated. The more important the tag, and the number of items with that tag, the more important the tag is. These clouds are obviously limited by having the scope of only one page. A site wide tag cloud gathers and rates all of the tags, and acts an index for the site. Tag clouds can be organised in non-alphabetical order and instead according to relationships between the tags. This requires more thinking on the part of the semantic software or the person ordering the tags if it is done manually. It’s hard to say which organisation method is more informative. I’ll have to see when I build mine.
Music: Keep Passing the Open Windows by Queen.