Alex Wright

Beyond the tag cloud

July 31, 2006

For those of us who tend to agree with Zeldman's pronouncement that "tag clouds are the new mullets," Rashmi Sinha has written a solid piece in search of more useful, less hackneyed approaches to tag interfaces.

She specifically looks at three different approaches:

  • Faceted browsing (a la Flamenco)
  • Clustering and recommendations
  • Pivot browsing (or "[t]he ability to reorient the view by clicking on tags or user names")
This last approach seems particularly interesting - although it strikes me that this could also be considered a subset of faceted browsing, if you think of a tag as just another flavor of facet? Or perhaps I'm missing some important distinction here.

In any case, this seems like a good starting point for thinking about alternative tag interfaces. I was beginning to feel like the whole topic of tagging was thoroughly exhausted by now after last year's epidemic of blogorrhea and conference chatter, so it's encouraging to see folks like Sinha finding new ground to explore on what is undoubtedly an important (if over-blogged-about) subject.

File under: Informatics

« The Twilight of American Culture | Anatopic Obliteration »


Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages

Mastering Information Through the Ages

New Paperback Edition

“A penetrating and highly entertaining meditation on the information age and its historical roots.”
—Los Angeles Times     

Buy from