How Do Tag Clouds Work?

Library Journal interviewed Tim Spalding, creator of LibraryThing, for the January 15th edition. The interview includes Tim’s explanation of how tag clouds work. Tim talks about the relative size and bold-ness of the tags and how the software figures out what to display in very non-technical terms. It’s really interesting. He also tells about LT plans for the next few months.

Passing Time with the AADL Catalog

I’m in the Atlanta airport for a good while, waiting for my flight to San Antonio for Open Repositories, so I shelled out for wifi access. And now that I have, I’m going to find things to do online until the last possible minute or until my battery dies!

One good way to pass time online today is to head over to the Ann Arbor District Library’s fabulous catalog, which is newly enhanced with the ability to tag, review, and more. John Blyberg describes his work on the development here. Be sure to look at the catalog cards, too, if you haven’t yet, and at their website in general, which won LAMA’s 2006 Best in Show award for library websites in its budget category.

NYT Site Search

At least library catalogs aren’t the only search tools with problems:

When I search for “A Food Website Spiced with Attitude”, the NYT’s search engine should take a wild, off-the-wall guess about what article I might be looking for, and not return zero results.

At This is Broken

An interesting discussion ensues concerning what search engines should and shouldn’t be expected to do.