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Plugging into Tag Clouds

Posted on | January 16, 2009 | No Comments

What is a tag cloud?

Essentially, a tag is a descriptive word or phrase used to identify subjects in a piece of media (blog, video, audio, etc.), and a cloud of these tags allows the tags with the greatest frequency to show larger (more pronounce, obvious, bolder, etc.) than the lower-frequency tags.

What does this mean to me? Well, with a tag cloud you see more quickly, in a jumble of ideas, the ideas which are more popular within a given population, have seen more use, may be of more interest to others. And generally what is of more interest to a crowd (without being a crowd selection) is more interesting to marketers, emarketers, etc. Sure, you can sort terms in a database and get a count of terms to find out frequency…but that sort of data mining is not “visual” – it does not allow for easier understanding of a given set of data. A tag cloud allows for easier understanding and makes for quicker, more well-informed decisions. Can you think of situations in which quicker, more well-informed decisions might be useful?

If you remember, back in December Abu mentioned the new functionality of tag clouds in Ennect Survey. Abu uses the example of a survey for the non-profit market – can you imagine that “Driving Attendance” might be more important to the admissions staff at your local university than “volunteer recruitment”?

What phrases or terms can you imagine filtering to the surface following a survey sent to your constituents? I can imagine in Pittsburgh and Baltimore the terms that might filter to the top as we head into a football finals weekend: “Go Steelers” or “Go Ravens” might show as more frequent terms than “Just Ducky Tours” or “Northshore Connector”. Just a hunch.


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