The wisdom of crowds or what this blog is about

April 4th, 2008 by dario

Following up on Jose’s musings on good and bad keywords for a productivity blog, I came across an interesting tool to visualize the evolution over time of aggregated social bookmarking tags for popular websites. It is actually a pretty old project called Cloudalicious created a few years ago by Terrell Russell (of ClaimID fame).

If you are a web metrics maniac like yours truly, you won’t resist plugging this tool into your favourite websites, so here’s the graph I generated for

Tags for over time

Top tags for

The first nice fact this graph suggests is that the more bookmarks a blog accumulates over time, the more stable the overall tag distribution tends to be, i.e. popular tags tend to get stronger and less popular tags (like tags used by a single user) to be pushed down the list. Obviously, only tags for the top node are displayed in the graph, not the sum of tags for each blog post (which might produce significantly different results).

Even so, the graph reveals some interesting facts about this blog’s core business. According to our readers we are mostly a blog about productivity (103 tags), academic (56 tags) or academia (50 tags), research (50 tags) and gtd (47 tags).

Possibly the most striking feature of this graph is the dramatic drop of bookmarks marked with tag gtd, that moved from a respected 2nd position about one year ago to the current 6th position.

Is there anything we can conclude from this? Is our focus drifting away from GTD? Do our readers find this blog less GTD-centred than one year ago?

I’m not sure I have a good explanation why this happened but I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you’re intrigued by Cloudalicious, you can give it a try as well.

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4 Responses to “The wisdom of crowds or what this blog is about”

  1. Luiz AlphaNo Gravatar Says:

    I also note a variability about the keywords of my blogs. As I work with academical writing methods, there is a seasonal fluctuation of interests and also postings. For instance, as in Brazil we are at the moment in the taxes period, tributarian law articles are much more searched, and also written.

    I tend to focus my article production in what is contemporary, getting some traffic that is increasing with the months.

    Your post, more than introduce this metrics of Cloudalicious, made me think about my personal production.

  2. Terrell RussellNo Gravatar Says:

    Thanks Dario for the kind words.

    I notice that you’ve got just under 200 ‘taggings’ for this blog at This number is about twice the number where most sites I’ve investigated begin to level out. Looking at your graph above, I see the same trend (at about 100, you start to show some more stability).

    I bring this up because your observation about the ‘gtd’ tag dropping from 2nd to 6th is more a function of it being early in your tagging history when ‘gtd’ was ranked 2nd. It may have been more an artifact of when the blog first began getting bookmarked.

    I’m working on a newer bit of code that will allow a sliding window (to better investigate these short-term activities around certain tags). Please let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas around what else can be put into this tool. It’s remained as dormant as it has, because it scratched its itch pretty well pretty early.

    Again, thanks!


  3. mattNo Gravatar Says:

    Cool graph. Never knew you could do this type of metric analtyics.

    Blogs are a more to the web than meets the eye. And this post is a real eye opener!

  4. Says:

    I’d never heard of this tool before. Putting that little gem in my tool box. Terrells observation about when tagging gains stability are useful as well. Thanks!

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