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Clouded Futures (Updated)

If you take a look over to the right sidebar (and scroll down a bit), you'll see a new addition to the Open the Future site structure: a "tag cloud." That's what I was trying to get working yesterday when all hell broke loose and I had to re-create my main page template.

Most of you have probably seen tag clouds on other sites over the last year or so, but if you're not familiar with the concept, it's simply a weighted display of the various keywords (or tags) I've assigned to my posts. The more often a tag shows up, the larger the text appears in the cloud. It's a way of seeing, at a glance, the main topics under discussion. No surprises here, though: my primary tags appear to be Climate Change, Fabrication, Futurism, Global Politics, the Metaverse, Nanotech, the Participatory Panopticon and, um, myself (kind of an embarrassing revelation).

I'll likely be fiddling with it over the next few days, and might turn off the display of tags that I've only used once. That would make the cloud much smaller and more precise, but would do so at the expense of indicating the breadth of discussion here. Any suggestions?

(I have now gone ahead and disabled the display of the least-used tags; it does appear to be a bit easier to read now.)


There's a lot of them... how about having only a quarter of those, weighing recent stories more heavily?

I'm not seeing different font sizes, and the tags all appear as a vertical list - I'm assuming this is some sort of Java script, so the problem may well be client-side, but my browser and Java are all up to date. Just thought you'd want to know!

(PS The MT dig on the last post was only meant in jest ...)

Ah-ha - it's working now.

I think you popped in just as I was fiddling.

I have my del.icio.us tag cloud in my sidebar and I just display the top 25 tags (by frequency, though date weighting is an interesting idea) in the cloud.

This seems to work pretty well (especially as I've used hundreds of tags) - though as you say - it does illuminate various obsessions that might be best left hidden...


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