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WordPress Tip: Rotating Flash Tag Clouds

Feb 19, 2009 • blogging, general, wordpress

The rotating flash tag cloud provides a curious approach to tags, no doubt more novel than useful, but still interesting and somewhat worthwhile. The flash cloud shows only 80 tags (any more and it's unreadable).

A rotating WordPress tag cloud
My rotating WordPress tag cloud (click to view the flash version)

You can also create a comprehensive set of tags that function as an index. Both arrangements lack usability. I'm never quite sure what to do with tags. My approach has been to treat them like index keywords, so I often tag each post with a handful of freeform tags that come to mind.

However you approach the organization of your content, making 697 posts (the number of posts on my blog) findable on a website that people don't spend more than 5 minutes browsing is a formidable challenge. Common organization schemes, beyond tag clouds (whether "cumulus" or flat, list or other), include category lists, date-based archives, related posts, random posts, most popular posts, most popular posts by category, indexes, category indexes, top 10, article series links, manual arrangements of links, and a search box.

Despite all of these methods, none seems to be especially compelling. Ninety percent of users arrive at the from search or feed, scan the posts on the home page, perhaps the related links on the post they landed on, and then click away. They see less than 5% of the total site content. What do you feel is the best method for organizing blog content?

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.