Have you ever heard of tag clouds? You’ve probably seen them on various blogs without even realizing it. Essentially, a tag cloud is a visual representation of the tags associated with some content. The bigger the tags appear, the more frequently they’re used to describe the content. Therefore, in a quick glance, you can see what kinds of topics a blogger talks about the most. A word cloud is essentially the same thing, however, in this case, it just analyzes text in general. Give Wordle a try to see how this works.

Wordle has three ways that you can create a word cloud. You can either paste in some text, provide a link to a site, or enter a del.icio.us user name. Your word cloud is created quickly, and you can change its appearance, share it in the gallery, and use it however you want. Why would you want to do this? Well, it’s fun for one thing, but I can also see this helping writers who want to see which words they use the most.



Modern search engines have made it much easier to find exactly what you’re looking for online, but when it comes to finding related recommendations, there’s more work to be done. I’ve seen personalized recommendation services succeed and fail, but when they work, it’s truly a beautiful thing. It makes your job as a Web surfer a lot less complex because related content that you should like is automatically presented to you. When this type of thing happens, you don’t even really need the assistance of a search engine. The services offered by inSuggest will help you to find what you didn’t even know you were looking for.

With inSuggest, you’ll receive personalized recommendations for Web sites and images. The Web site recommendations are made when you specify some sites that you like or when you enter your Delicious user name so that your bookmarks can be analyzed and results can be generated based on that information. The image recommendations are based on images from Flickr that you have an interest in. During my tests, these functions seemed to work very well, so try them out and see what’s recommended to you.

New Delicious Open For Business

Well there seems to have been some improvements over at delicious.com, that according to their blog, should make the site more useful and faster. The Delicious team invites everyone over for a look at their new site, and I did just thought. I like the layout and yes, it is fast. Everything so far just jumps onto the screen. The blog also states:

Over the past few days we’ve been transitioning Delicious over to our new platform, quietly starting with RSS feeds and APIs. Today we’re taking the final step and flipping the switch on the new web site: delicious.com.

The new Delicious is just like the old del.icio.us, only faster, easier to learn, and hopefully more delightful to use and to look at.  Here are the main changes:

Speed: We’ve moved to a new infrastructure that makes every page faster. This new platform will enable us to keep up with traffic growth while ensuring Delicious is responsive and reliable. You may not have noticed, but the old back-end was getting creaky under the load of five million users.

Search: We’ve completely overhauled our search engine to make it faster and more powerful. Searches used to take ages to return results; now they’re very quick. The new search engine is also smarter, and more social: you can search within one of your tags, another user’s public bookmarks, or your social network. Now it’s easier to take advantage of the expertise and interests of your friends, not to mention the Delicious community at large.

Design: Finally, we’ve updated the user interface to improve usability and add a few often-requested features (such as selectable detail levels and alphabetical sorting of bookmarks). Our goal has been to keep the new design similar in spirit to the old one, so all of you veterans should be able to jump in without any confusion. At the same time, we’re hoping that newcomers to Delicious will find it easier to learn.  Check out the What’s New page for an overview of the changes, or watch this animation that sums it up nicely:

 So far the new site looks very impressive and is a definite place to stop and take a look for yourself.

Let us know what you think.

Comments welcome.


Microsoft – Trouble In Paradise?

It makes one wonder. Should Bill Gates come back to steer the good ship Microsoft? Maybe Microsoft needs a Jerry Yang of Yahoo fame to help out. No matter what your opinion of Microsoft might be, the once mighty corporation is feeling the sting of the Microsoft – Yahoo deal gone sour. In fact we may see more employees leaving the Redmond software company as the head of Windows tries to regain its direction. A direction which includes a bigger presence on the Internet.

But can Microsoft achieve their goal, without buying a piece of Yahoo? I think Microsoft has two problems. First, without Yahoo their search hopes may be damaged and second, they need to make Windows 7 the best Windows yet. In an article from Boomtown it states:

But, most of all, it has zeroed in on Yahoo, which has a share in the mid-20s, in order to give it a better chance to compete with Google, the dominant market leader.

After first trying to buy Yahoo in a bit of a ham-handed manner, it turned to a plan to buy its search business.

That proposal has been rejected by Yahoo twice as not good enough for a variety of reasons, some better than others.

The hubbub sent Yahoo into the arms of Google, with which it struck an outsourcing ad search deal, which has attracted a lot of controversy, but will likely go forward.

Welcome to Microsoft’s nightmare!

So what do you think? Should Microsoft do what it does best and concentrate on Windows 7 development? Or do they need to diversify and catch up with Google?

Comments welcome.


Ballmer’s Memo