If you liked tag cloud / keyword cloud concept using text, think of what can be achieved using images instead of text! That is exactly what CloudStore – Online Shopping using Image Clouds from ToCloud does. The Digital SLR Cameras Image Cloud displays all the Digital SLR Cameras from Amazon as an Image Cloud. The cameras are ordered from left-to-right and top-to-bottom using Amazon’s SalesRank while the size of the Image is set to reflect the list price of the digital cameras. So, those digital SLR cameras that are more expensive are shown big while those that are cheap are shown small. Further, the images have a border rendered with different colors. Green indicates a “too low to display” price of Amazon, orange indicates that the sales price on Amazon is less than the list price while Yellow indicates that the list and sales prices are the same.
As far as I know, this is the first instance where a Web 2.0 concept of tag clouds has been implemented for Product Catalogs. What’s cool about this is the fact that it makes use of html image maps to be able to show the user additional information about each product and clicking on a particular product takes the user to the product details page on Amazon.
I have noticed an Image Cloud from chainofthoughts.com listed at wikipedia which seems to have multiple drawbacks. They are, 1) there is no semantics to the ordering of the images 2) each image in the Image Cloud is a separate which ends up requesting several http requests. But perhaps that website is the first to come up with the concept of Image Clouds while ToCloud is perhaps the first to use Image Clouds for Product Catalogs.
What is university 2.0? This is just an idea I am mulling about. With the cost of education going up, people may not have time, money and commitment to study beyond Bachelors or Masters all the way to complete a PhD. That doesn’t mean at a later stage they can’t continue to invest time and effort in something they are passionate about. If that something is inline with the work they are doing that would be even better.
However, to do independent research, why should that be termed as University 2.0? Well, that’s where I want to explore the Web 2.0 ideas into this independent research. Perhaps, there will be open, free (or inexpensive) collaboration to do research. For example, an open source research journal, willing volunteers ready to spend time mentoring the research aspirants (this should be possible just the same way people are ready to contribute to Wikipedia) and perhaps even virtual degrees (well, those who are interested in researching on the side, perhaps don’t really care about the certificates, but hae, why not?). And as these days every social-network system seems to be interested in giving a number to everything (perhaps it all started with PageRank?), some kind of a popularity ranking to each research.
As you keep writing more and more blog articles, the older articles disappear from the main page. However, they can still be accessed, using a unique url that never changes. These are called PermaLinks and they are important from a search engine perspective.
However, I would like to see the concept of PermaPages for blogs. Presently, on WordPress for example, the previous entries are accessed using https://poeticcode.wordpress.com/page/2/ and /page/3/ etc. Instead, they should be accessed as https://poeticcode.wordpress.com/page/<n>/ /page/<n-1>/ etc.
Why is this? This way, my first 10 blog articles will always get /page/1/ and the next 10 /page/2/ and so on. The latest is always /page/n/ or simply /page/ or even more simply just the homepage of the blog. With this, each set of 10 blog articles will collectively get indexed.
So, if you are implementing a system that has a rolling log of content, try to use the above scheme to create PermaPages. This will be good especially if you have AdSense as your 10 (or X number) of articles are indexed together and remain constant.
Filed under AdSense, Web 2.0
ToCloud.com has extended the Tag Cloud mashup with Google Suggest to now support exploring Amazon Products from the Tag Cloud. This gives an opportunity for bloggers to quickly check what kind of products correspond to their blogging content. This is useful for people considering placing affiliate links to generate additional revenue.
Here is an example of Photo.net tag cloud and when you click on each link, you can choose either Google Suggest or Amazon to display the related content for each of the words in the cloud. When Amazon is chosen, it is also possible to pick the product category.
And Tag Cloud is also a Web 2.0 concept.
So, what if we combine these two together? You get Script.aculo.us effect on a Tag Cloud. That’s exactly what the ToCloud Keyword Cloud Generator has done. Here are a few examples.
Plusate Effect on My Blog
Grow Effect on Amazon Homepage
Shake Effect on MySpace.com
BlindDown Effect on Yahoo!
How about converting the news feeds into a keyword cloud? I did some research and this is already being done for quite sometime. The notable entries are
fserb.com.br/newscloud/ which creates a news cloud out of Google News.
newzingo.com is another site that’s doing news cloud not only for Goolge News, but also other sites like Slashdot.
tocloud.com also uses Google News to create the news cloud. However, only phrases are presented. The advantage with a cloud made of phrases as compared to keywords is, that the phrases give more context. This is especially important for a text source like news that keeps continuously changing and a keyword’s importance is very temporal.
What happens if a keyword cloud or a tag cloud is mixed with Google Suggest? You get a Cloud Suggest. The motivation behind this is that say you have a tag cloud of your blog. The cloud gives you and your readers a quick idea of what topics you mostly cover in your blog. But what if you or your readers want to know what are the popular searches related to those tags? That’s where you can make use of Google Suggest. ToCloud.com seems to be the first keyword cloud generator that has this Cloud Suggest idea. So, once a cloud is generated, clicking on any of the word/phrase opens a popup that fetches suggestions for that word/phrase from Google Suggest.
Creating a keyword cloud from a page shouldn’t be that hard as it just involves breaking up the text into words, then counting the frequency of the words and then finally displaying them as a cloud. That’s it. Right? Wrong!
A keyword cloud can be made more sophisticated. Some of the features to keep in mind are
1. preserving case for abbreviations. So, for example, if there is a web page about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), then when creating a cloud of that web page should not be displaying it as seo but as SEO. This is very important as people are more used to seeing any abbreviation in uppercase and not lower case.
2. displaying the keywords in the order of their occurance in the page. Wondering why this may be useful? Say you have a blog which contains the most recent blogs at the top of the page. Obviously, you then may want a cloud that provides keywords of your recent articles first and then subsequent keywords.
3. one of the most difficult parts of the keyword cloud generation is the extraction of phrases. ToCloud.com now has the capability to extract meaningful keyword phrases from a page and so my blog’s keyword cloud starts showing up keyword phrases (click the My Blog To Cloud link to see this in action).
Earlier I wrote about tocloud.com and how it converts pages to keyword clouds and tag summary pages to keyword clouds. A new tool offered by tocloud.com is skill cloud creator which takes a set of skills at differenet skill levels and converts them into a skill cloud. Will people like to put their skills as skill clouds?