Everyone has tag clouds all over the web, but are they really useful? Altocumulus is an attempt to use tag clouds as a real navigational system in WordPress blogs.
Install the plugin and it will automatically put a cloud of related tags at the top of all your Category and Tag pages. Hopefully this will serve two purposes:
- Users who end up on a general category page can click through to a more specific (or more relevant) tag page, and
- It should give users a general idea of the topic of the posts on that archive page, increasing the information scent.
Next version I’ll add an options screen where you can change the number of tags, placement, etc.
Please drop me a note if you run into any bugs or are using it on your blog. Let me know if you have any ideas you’d like to see implemented, too – I am all about implementing and studying folksonomies. The more folks who are interested, the more likely I am to add features. Thanks.
Download the Plugin Here
If you’ve gone to any of my Category pages on this blog (my Academic papers, for example), you might have noticed I have a tag cloud with just the tags related to that category. After I figured out how to do it I packaged it into a WordPress Plugin, called Altocumulus.
This goes along with my research interests into folksonomies and information retrieval. I haven’t had the chance to study tag clouds empirically but my guess is that one giant tag cloud for an entire web site or blog might be more cool looking that useful for navigation. I think that making use of tag relationships a bit more might show the strength of folksonomies for navigation. So now, if you click to see my design pages, you can see the kinds of topics my designs cover.
For another example of this in action, take a look at Unsought Input, for example the Innovation page.
Go ahead and download version 0.1 now. It requires WordPress 2.3 or higher. This is my first WordPress plugin so I’m sure I’ll figure out ways to make it better over time. If you have any bugs, pointers, or suggestions please leave them in the comments below.