I just need to take a moment, as a professional web programmer, to express my disdain for “tag clouds”.
My disdain is very great.
Why, you ask? Let me count the ways!
- Tag clouds are ugly
- Tag clouds make it harder to find what you want
- Tag clouds allow you to see what other people care about, thus implying that I should care what other people care about
- Tag clouds facilitate herd mentality
Seriously, folks — if I see a tag cloud, all it does for me is tell me what other people are tagging. WHOOP-DE-DOO!
I mean, why do you want to know what the general populace is looking at? All you’re getting is lowest common denominator stuff. I mean, portions of the general populace are responsible for train wrecks like R&B music, pornography, and pet clothing. I don’t want to find what they like. I want to find what I like.
If there’s something that I might like, but don’t know to search for it — well, that’s where having FRIENDS comes in. I’ll take stupid email forwards over tag clouds any day of the week.
Why should it bother me? Well, because as a web developer, I’m now expected to incorporate what I consider to be an idiotic navigation tool into the sites I work on. I’m redoing Singlesaints.com — no, really, I’m gonna do it this time — and part of me worries that not having tagging mechanisms in place will make folks frown on the site.
My prediction: tag clouds will die out like frames did. Sure, there are still sites that USE frames — and I even LIKED frames in my earlier days — but by and large they’re an endangered species.
I’ve built So Long, Pluto for folks to share their favorite Pluto memories.
A list of stuff I’m dividing my free time into.
- Joe Crandall – A new video podcast starring my friend Jake as Joe Crandall, an extremely underqualified hick applying via video interviews to high-level positions. We plan to send the videos in to real positions, and hopefully respond to their rejection-emails. Should be easy to do, but we’ll need to see where the idea takes us, as so far there’s really just the premise.
- Emily On – A video podcast — animated — of conversations I have with my daughter, psuedonymmed “Emily”. Emily On Giants is the first one, and some of you have seen it. This is hit-and-miss, as you can’t will a real conversation to be funny. Unless you fart during it, but even that can be tricky to will.
- Mockentaries, for lack of a better title. Audio commentaries on films that you sync up and listen to while watching the subject movie. Like Mystery Science Theater, but with no robots.
- Singlesaints needs a major overhaul.
- D&C Comics Posters – posters of Book of Mormon (and perhaps Bible) characters in comic-book style poses and art, as if they were comic book superheroes. Still figuring out the ROI on that one.
- Screenplays – got 2 thrillers & 2 comedies floating around my hard drive.
- My Great American Novel – about a guy in the distant future trying to escape alien captors after one of them eats his arm. Move over, Catcher in the Rye.
- Stand-up comedy – I gotta get myself up to open-mic night at the nearest comedy club, which I fear is 45 minutes away.
- Movie reviewer comic strip – Two guys that write movie reviews. Like Penny Arcade, but with movies. It will hopefully be autobiographical, because I want to
- become a movie reviewer – I may have enough audience with Singlesaints.com that I could get myself (& Howard, for Schlock Mercenary) to be invited to press screenings. Free movies! W00t! I use the term “movie reviewer”, because NOBODY likes “film critics”.
Aaaaand there may be more but I can’t remember it right now.
“The police are really good at understanding someone stole my credit card and ran up a lot of money. It’s a lot harder to get them to buy into ‘someone stole my magic sword.”‘
-Microsoft security engineer Dave Weinstein, on MMORPG accounts that are hijacked by thieves who profit from selling virtual items