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what happened to wordpress.com homepage's tag cloud

  1. John, I do see your point in the differences as to what happens when searching vesrus clicking global tags, but those are two very different functions. 'Searching' is not 'looking for related blogs'.

    When you search for 'conservation' you are looking for the appearance of the word 'conservation' in the post content of a blog on wordpress.com. That is why you get a list of results with 'conservation' highlighted.

    When you click the tag/category named 'conservation' you are looking for other blogs who also use that tag/category. The word 'conservation' may not even appear in their post, but they are using 'conservation' in their tags or categories. The list of results will be totally different, and there is no need for a search bar because you are not searching as such.

    That said, I fully agree with you on the now news-like look of the home page, which personally I think is a better design for highlighting blogs and posts on wordpress.com, but it does not tell you that wordpress.com is all about blogging and about community. That is the core business of wordpress.com and it really needs to be mentioned on the front page. I second that. That's why I alluded to http://www.typepad.com in a previous comment in this thread. At least you know the instant you read the front page there that it is about blogging. With the new wordpress.com, if I wasn't already on there, I get the feeling of a social community site at best, but not somewhere where I can make a blog.

  2. Husdal, thank you for pointing out the difference, and your comments.

    I didn't realize the difference, and like the content search better, at least based on the results that it gives. And I still like the BIG search bar on the page. So the BIG search bar is for content then, not keywords. That is good to know. Thanks.

  3. For some of you guys asking for tags, did you want them there because you enjoy reading the tags or because having the tags there drove traffic to your blog?

  4. Hi Matt...

    Since I've moved on to wp.org and no longer are on wp.com I'm probably not the right person to answer. However, I did request the tags, mainly on the non-logged-in front page, because that would be only only thing to indicate that wordpress.com is about so much more than the 11 featured blogs. On the logged-in front page they are not that important to me, but a big blank space just looks awkward IMO.

    As to traffic, that is impossible to tell with the current stats. Clicking the tags takes you to the global tags pages and from there maybe to my blog (if it makes the list). In my referrer stats it is only the global tags pages that show, and whether people got there from the wp.com front page or from a search on Google leading them to the global tags pages I don't know. Sure though is that I did get some traffic from it.

    As to the tag list on the front page itself, I only occasionally clicked them, but I enjoyed watching which topics that were currently hot and which not. At least it gave me some sort of feeling for what was going on in the wp.com blogosphere.

    BTW, what does a CBBQTT do?

  5. I like having a tag/keyword search because tags/keywords represent everything that I am interested to see.

    Panos' tips blog is very popular, useful, looks good, is highly functional, and yet it has no images, no news, no hot tags, no advertising.
    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/

  6. @matt-In entire agreement with husdal about visibility for the vast majority of WordPress.com blogs besides the 11 featured ones on the home page. Without the tags pages/tag cloud, the other blogs are entirely off the radar.

    Personally, the tag pages drive (present tense) most of the traffic on one certain topic I post about on my primary blog. I have no way of knowing by looking at the stats whether those visits are from logged in users or not.

    As a logged in user, I can, of course, subscribe to tags that interest me in the Tag Surfer. But I also like to browse them.

  7. BTW, what does a CBBQTT do?

    According to matt's profile on Automattic.com I think this stands for Chief BBQ Taste Tester.

    Cheers, Martin(IQ)

  8. Thanks, Martin, I should have checked that.

    I was thinking it could be something along the lines of
    Chief Blog Bouncer Questioning Thousands of Tags

    Must be a lot of BBQ parties at Automattic...nice place to work...

  9. The tags drove what little traffic I had to my blog. I did a new blog post yesterday and '0' views, I believe because the tag cloud is gone.

    I also browsed other blogs through the tag cloud. I thought it was a really neat application (or whatever you call it.)

  10. OK, so actually logging out and coming to WP without cookies and such, the homepage looks nice.
    But.....
    I still miss the tag cloud, because it does allow one to pick a certain favorite subject, and then see all the other (less seen) blogs that touch on that subject. The tag cloud is a great blog/friend finder.
    Looks like it's a heading in the right direction, that is, from a logged out point of view....

  11. lisajan and others: the Tag pages are still there, and aren't going away. Most of the visitors on those tag pages arrive from search engines or bookmarks, there were never that many clicking through from the front page.

    The tag cloud on the front page is the only thing that has changed. Community tag pages still work in the same way and will still deliver visitors to your blog.

    The tag cloud still exists here.

  12. OK-so let's back up for a minute.

    Who are the people who land on the front page of WordPress.com? Why are they there? Obviously to find out what WordPress.com is all about and hopefully to sign up.

    Even if the majority of traffic from the tag pages are from search engines or bookmarks, the tag cloud still serves as a kind of "zeitgeist" of what is happening right now on WordPress.com, certainly something that prospective signees would be interested in. At the moment they can't see that; all they can see are the 11 featured blogs. But I just realized I'm repeating myself
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/what-happened-to-wordpresscom-homepages-tag-cloud/page/2?replies=71#post-369600

    Cheers!

  13. I'm 100% with you, Jennifer

    My guess is that someone at WPHQ ran some fancy stats algorithms, discovering that hardly any front page visitor ever clicked the front page tags and/or that of those who did click hardly anyone signed up for wordpress.com in the second place, so why have a tag cloud when it is just taking up space?

    That said, the current sidebar is perhaps even more 'just taking up space'.

    I rest my case.

  14. So why isn't the link to the tag cloud easily findble on the home page now? Blogging is what WordPress is all about and the old display style, of being able to select a topic of interest and then see all the recent blogs listed, to browse and view, was so much better than the current set up. It said to people, "hey you can have a blog here too". The current home page style just says - "here are a few blogs by a handful of people". Nothing much else.

    Come on guys - why take this step back?? At least bring the tag cloud back to where it can be easily seen!

  15. I see they have added a new feature to the home page when your logged in the home page now displays your blogs as well as a link to the Tag cloud widget here is a screen shot

  16. Hi guys—thanks for all the feedback. While I don't have much time to participate on the forums, I always check them out to see how the decisions we make in design affect our users. We've been busy engaging in lively debate amongst ourselves at Automattic, too. Our goal for the home page is twofold: to feature great content (and to make it look hot), and to make it faster and easier for you to sign in and manage your own content. It's a work in progress; I'll ask your forgiveness for not applying the "BETA" badge, but we've got a pet peeve about those. :)

    There are a lot of people passing by each day, so we aim to please as many of you as humanly possible. Keep letting us know how we're doing (particularly through the survey—because we know we won't miss your comments if you leave them there) and we'll keep working... fortunately I haven't lost my job over this redesign—yet. :)

  17. A note for everyone. Go to http://wordpress.com while logged in and take a look at the new "member" page that comes up for you. Your blogs are listed big and bold and you can head off to specific areas from the links below the blog name.

    Also note that at the top of your blog listings, there are three tabs: My Blogs, Freshly Pressed, and Tags. Freshly pressed takes you to the main wordpress.com page with the featured material that you typically see when you are logged OUT of wordpress and the tags tab takes you to the global tags cloud page.

    There still isn't a link to the tags cloud page on the main page you get while not logged in, but I expect there will be soon.

  18. @ianmattthomas, personally (and I know I risk having rocks thrown at me) I really like the new home page and especially what you have done with the "my blogs" tab you get when you are logged in. It's clean and fresh.

  19. I agree with thesacredpath. Nice! Now, if there were a 'preference' settings where one could decide which tab to display by default, that would be perfect.

  20. How difficult would it be to make a tag cloud in an underbar, rather than a sidebar, rather like Hemingway? I NEVER get traffic from tags on any of my blogs, but I do occasionally surf them and a tag cloud is a great way to take the editorial temperature of a blog site for casual passers-by. It's an opportunity to advertise the depth of content here that i don't think WP should pass up.

  21. Curious if any of the folks here who are passionate about tags use the tag surfer?

  22. Yes! But with so many blogs using the tag I surf ("knit" and I can hear Mark snickering-jk) I opted to keep it at the one tag or risk spending the day waiting for the page to load. :)

    Just one more reason I like browsing the tag page/cloud.

  23. Thanks 'older Matt' for the link to the top and growing blogs at the moment.
    and
    to the 'younger Matt' I do use the tag surfer BUT I'm not passionate about it.

  24. Ok just looking at my stats, it apparently I'm getting a lot of hits from the tag surfer not the cloud, so I may not be passionate about the surfer but a lot of ppl finding my blog are. So dear gosh don't get rid of the surfer.

  25. Hey, I'm not that much older than Matt M. Around Automattic, they call me "MT." :)

  26. LOL gotch ya ;)

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