Friday, November 25, 2011

Reaction: Tag Clouds and the Case for Vernacular Visualization

This paper shows how tag clouds have evolved over the time and found their way into social media and Web 2.0. I totally agree with the authors point that a tag cloud is truly a “vernacular” technique, i.e. visualization that does not come from visualization community, for example tag clouds. The paper shows the usage of tag clouds and how it is very popular and useful because of its manner of making things so visual, engaging, flexible and easy to read.

The paper cites all the instances when tags proved to be useful from Jim Flanagan usage of tags to show the popular search terms that led people to his website to Flickr showing tagged images to psychological experiments. Since then many sites have followed this idea like and Technorati. It also says that collection of tags is not the only use of tag clouds rather it is also used these days for analytical tasks, which forms word cloud. Overall this paper is short and to the point.