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February 2009
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Both sides now: the joy of clouds

w00tonomy cloudMoons and Junes and Ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way you feel and so on and so forth. Clouds, we love ‘em. We are not here speaking of  thecumulonimbus aggregations of water molecules that are such a feature of Scottish skies but rather the images used to display key terms on a site (or indeed any other collections of words). We like them because navigation is the key challenge online – and it’s mostly not a challenge that is satisfactorily met by IT taxonomies or rigid hierarchies of data. Clouds tend to reflect how humans or content behave – either by showing the most popular pieces of content or the most numerous or the most searched for. They present the results in a user-friendly attractive way. Your browser may not support display of this image.All of which means we’re thrilled to have discovered Wordle . It allows you to create your own clouds, based on text you enter or its search of key terms on a website of your choosing. You can then play around with how the words are displayed: horizontal, jangled up, black and white, coloured. It’s a great way of getting to grips with what clouds are.Your browser may not support display of this image.
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