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Is TagCloud Broken?

Just a few days ago, I sat-up a TagCloud on my own personal blog, because I think TagCould is a fun feature to add to any web site. It would keep track of the keywords in your blog entries and display them in order of quantity. And that's when it became apparent that something is wrong. Even after days, the TagCloud on my personal blog is still displaying the following message:

"This cloud currently has no data. If you have just added new feeds, please allow several minutes for this cloud to be updated."

Before jumping to conclusions, I looked at the TagCloud of several other web sites that I own. It turned out that TagCloud hasn't updated the keywords for the past 13 days. The latest updates that I could see are on November 24, 2005. Thanksgiving Day!

So I sent a message to the brains behind TagCloud via their Talk to Us! online form a few days ago. I have not gotten a response yet.

Today, I did some more blog search and found a blog entry for What is TagCloud? posted on December 5, 2005. Jack Fuller, the author, also uses TagCloud on his web site. Playing with his keywords, I realized that the last index was also on November 24, 2005.

What's going on? Did the people behind TagCloud leave for vacation? Did they decide to abandon their project?

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 7 Dec 2005 17:01:02 -0800

Hi, I saw your trackback to my blog and checked it out myself. What *IS* up with TagCloud?

Fri, 16 Dec 2005 11:13:57 -0800

On 12/6/2005, I sent the following bug report to TagCloud . . .

"Is tagcloud down? I have added a tagcloud to this page a few days ago. So far, the cloud still shows no data! I noticed that tagcloud hasn't been updated on several of my sites."

Finally, I received a response from TagCloud Support today!

"Dear Chieh,

"Thank you for your interest in implementing TagCloud on your website. Due to a high increase of interest in, our feed fetcher is running about a week behind.

"We are in the process of moving our hosting infrasturcture to a new provider which will rememdy this situation. At that point, new clouds will populate within minutes.

"Thank you for your interest in!

[name withheld] @ TagCloud Support"

A week behind huh? Based on my study, it is more like a month behind. The last update is still the day after Thanksgiving.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:57:22 -0800

I see some improvement today. The TagCloud on my personal blog has been updated. But the last update is still 21 days ago. At least I can see that something is happening.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 27 Dec 2005 12:53:01 -0800


You've been doing a good job keeping us honest. Lately the TagCloud project has been pretty far behind in keeping data current. We've just aquired a lot more server resources and are planning a nice upgrade this month. You can read more here:

John Herren
Mon, 9 Jan 2006 19:46:57 -0800

I am glad John has finally responded. From State of the TagCloud - Dec 2005 on TagCloud's Yahoo! Group, I can see that they are working on improving lot of things and will have plenty of new features for us in 2006. Thanks, John.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 10 Jan 2006 10:46:28 -0800

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