The tag cloud is dead.
Cloud computing is merely a new marketing term for web services and support.
How can we simplify our web experience so that what we are paying attention to is what is important in our lives. And how do we filter out the tags (blow away the dark clouds and fog) are obscuring our goals. What exactly should we be paying attention to? It is a question we need to ask ourselves much more often these days. Or we find ourselves looking back on the day and into the night with a lot of work still to get done before we can sleep.
So one of my objectives for 2009 is to Simplify my Tag Cloud. I mean this both physically, mentally and spiritually. Because where the brain and mind are foggy so is our self, so is our core person. And by eliminating the noisy distractions of tweets, tags, feeds and emails, tv shows and advertisements for the better life, news and propaganda about global wars and warming, the better we are at eliminating the clutter of our online data stream, the more effective we will be an accomplishing our tasks and goals.
And in the long run, accomplishing more of your goals is a big deal.
So let me share my uber-tags first. These are not often written down, but in a drawing I did the other day, trying to explain what I am doing to simplify my priorities, I came up with a pretty good short list; TOP TAGS if you will.
- spiritual practice
Now let me compare that with my current "category nav" from this website.
I think I have them all pretty well slotted with my TOP TAGS. I might need to add a "husband" category of some sort, or a better title than "ho-dad parenting" to cover the entire "family" spectrum. But I pretty much leave my personal work, relationship work, out of my writing. On the blog any way. ;-) And I might add tennis as it is my main "fun" and "exercise" activity. But it is actually caught in my "about" and "contact" pages. So I need to add my top-of-the-page nav as well.
And so with these added in as cross-tag meta categories I do cover all of my TOP TAGS. But now, for comparison, let me show you some of the tag cloud structures that I have elsewhere.
And here is the larger list from delicious. The bolder tags have more pages associated with them.
And one more from delicious that I really like. On this one, you get to see my entire 560 tags (as of 3-25-09) in order of priority. And as the number of links decreases the type is not only smaller but lighter in color as well.
And of course I could not fit all 560 tags onto a single screen shot, but you get the idea. And the image links to my delicious pages so you can go see for yourself, if you are interested. Okay, so here is a cloud of my Twitter tags.
Oh boy, I need to get something to talk about besides ME! Gosh!
And last example, a random cloud from a blog I frequent.
[Okay, so now I need a big wrap.]
Clouds are dead except for specific uses. But most clouds just do not work in the business space. Because someone would need to go back and clean up the tags on a regular basis. Cause what I call "web 2.0" you call "web2" and the next guy calls "social media." And most sites, business and friendship, do not do any tag cleanup.
In our personal lives tag clean up, and refocus on the BIG TAGS is essential.
Here is something David Foster Wallace said about his writing. "I received 500,000 discrete bits of information today," he once said, "of which maybe 25 are important. My job is to make some sense of it."
And that is our task, dear reader, to filter down the noise from our lives and pay attention to the TOP TAGS. Or as Covey put it in his matrix, the Not-Urgent but Important quadrant.
See Also: Rolling Stone's bio of David Foster Wallace