Wiki feature: Tag cloud

One of my favorite wiki features is the tag cloud that Maria, one of our wiki editors, recently implemented. You’ll see this cloud of popular tags in the right-hand column of every wiki page.

As you probably know, tagging is an information retrieval system used to group webpages with content on similar topics. Just as computer folders contain multiple files, tags group multiple webpages together. For example, when you click on the Medical tag, the wiki will retrieve profiles for the Journal of the Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), Journal of eScience Librarianship (JeSLIB), and other publications that relate to medical libraries, collections, or services. As you can see, tags are useful when your website has multiple webpages on a single topic; if your website only has one webpage about virtual communities, for instance, there’s no need to create a tag for this topic (unless your website will soon feature more content on virtual communities).

The enhanced search functionality is arguably tagging’s most useful feature. It’s especially helpful when you aren’t sure which term(s) to type into a website’s search bar. For example, if you’re conducting a broad search on LIS technologies and aren’t sure how to narrow your search, clicking on the Technology tag would allow you to quickly scan through the wiki to see if there’s an article, journal profile, or publisher that catches your eye.

Tag clouds take tagging to the next level, as they offer a visually striking representation of the most and least common types of articles. Indeed, part of the reason we decided to implement a tagging cloud for the wiki in the first place is because we already had a tagging system set up, but it wasn’t visually prominent. This tagging system is accessible from the main menu under the Help tab and includes a complete list of available tags.

The wiki tag cloud, on the other hand, lists the wiki’s most popular tags. You’ll notice that the more common tags in the cloud have a larger font size than the less common tags, making it easy for you to quickly see which topics receive the most coverage on our wiki. For example, some of the most common tags in our tagging cloud include “Book reviews,” “International scope,” “Management and leadership,” “Opinion,” “Public libraries,” and “Technology.” Some of our less common tags include “Architecture,” “Distance learning,” and “Privacy and security.”

Our tag cloud will continue to morph as new publications are added to the wiki. We hope you’ll find it helpful!


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