What's a tag cloud?
The grouping of words under the Directory levels is called a "tag cloud". The cloud shows you all the tags we are using on this site.
Tags are a new style of search data that describe what each story or diary is about. The tag cloud is therefore a visual map of the content on this site. Tags that are large and bold are written about a lot, tags that are smaller have only been written about a few times. Click on a tag and you get a page showing you all the content on that topic.
Tags are a new form of information design pioneered by the most successful online organizations. They offer another way to navigate content on a site, showing patterns, the scope of content available, and how popular different keywords are.
The number connected to each tag is the number of articles (and quicklinks & diaries) which have been assigned that particular tag.
Note the colored tool bar above the tag cloud. Initially, you see a tag cloud for all content at the current directory level. You may 'narrow' the view by selecting Articles, Quicklinks or Diaries. This will show tags assigned to only Articles, Quicklinks or Diaries, respectively. For example, if you choose Quicklinks, the number on each tag will change to show only quicklinks which have been assigned that particular tag.
You can also choose to view the tag cloud by popularity, or alphabetically. (The numbers stay the same; simply the tag arrangement changes.)
Initially, you view tags "for all time" meaning all the content since the site was established. But you can also narrow the time period by choosing to view content over the last 6 months, or over the last month, or over the last week, or in the last 24 hours. Naturally, the number of articles/quicklinks/diaries will substantially change as you narrow the time.
If you've got a few moments (as it could take some time) you can click on Also Sub-Level Tags. When you do that, you'll see the cloud change as it counts the articles/quicklinks/diaries not only at the current level in the directory, but also all levels below the current level. Since the number of levels can be substantial, it may take some time for the tag cloud to appear.
By exploring tag clouds and choosing different options as described above, you get a good, overall picture of the content that has been submitted.