Tags are interesting tools that allow us to organize and later retrieve information. Tags may be seen as hyperlinks that point to a collection of items (or posts) that are associated with a tag. These key words may seem very simple but they have the potential to greatly benefit others on the internet. One such benefit that I stumbled upon (although may seem quite obvious) is the ability to understand one’s own own interests.
A person may have a range of interests that one may often express through writing on a blog or a website. It is always interesting to see a visual representation of your work. But how best to see one’s own work in a simple, clear, yet comprehensive way? Bloggers understand well how tags can be used to create powerful visual representations of work. There are many programs and plugins (wordpress) available that display the most commonly used tags prominently. Automatically the most commonly used words (or tags) are gathered together in an effective visual representation (like the tag cloud you see on the right in this blog). There are ofcourse others ways of creating tag clouds also. One such tool is called Wordle. It displays the content of the web-site in a clear, visually appealing way. The image in this post has been generated using Wordle. If you use tags on your website, simply go to Wordle.net and follow the instructions. You won’t be disappointed!
Tag clouds can be of different types. Some display the words in alphabetical order while others sort words by the frequency of their use. So the options are not limited and based on preferences one can choose the type that suits a user’s tastes or needs better.
I have been using tags related to my posts for quite a while but today I was amazed to see the tag cloud on my website from a different perspective. I was excited to see the words that I used most as tags on my website and realized that there were certain research interests areas that I knew I liked more but was not really aware of. The beautiful visual display of my website tags, made me think for a moment what I was interested in most and what I wrote about often. So a tag cloud gave a reflection of my interests and maybe even I was not aware that these interests areas inspired and motivated me so much. Blogging emerges out of interest and often one does not realize the range of topics one writes about. Seeing a visual representation of writing areas surely directs attention to what one likes most. Nevertheless, somethings as simple as a tag cloud can be so important for eveluating and guiding one’s writings. Interestingly, before publishing, I do plan to add tags for this post also.