After much investigation and even hiring someone who couldn't do the job - I found an easy way to make a tag cloud for any Ning! Go here to see Classroom 2.0's Here it is as a list:

classroom tag cloud bookstore blogging calendars books gaming software bookmarking teaching policy future telephony documents socialnetworking videoconferencing video virtualworlds webmail wikis art bilingual biology chemistry efl esl english science socialstudies administration assessment safety middle parents pedagogy prek pd secondary gifted specialneeds reviews bullying screencasting presentation meetings rss podcasting photos elementary technology website help conference resources children

I've made several for my own ning. Videos / Resources and you can make a cloud for your own too.

1. Open Notepad and make a generic html page using the main tags of your ning network. Just make a list of those words. Make sure each tag is ONE word or if two, separated_by and underscore (this is how you should put multiple word tags into Ning or with "professional development" quotes which gets translated into professional_development. Save. Put this webpage onto a server or host.

2. Go to this NEW site for generating tag clouds (actually not new but just recently they added this new ability that suits Ning of allowing hyperlinks to a secondary url) Enter the url for the above webpage and also the url root for your tags (for example for Classroom 2.0 it is http://www.classroom20.com/forum/topic/listForTag?tag= for the forum - you'll have to make a different cloud for videos/photos/ blogs etc... . Make sure to put "1" into the minimum word count and 99 into the maximum word count.

4. Press convert now and download the zip file to your computer. Host on your server and serve up the tagcloud.swf file as your url. There, you have a tag cloud!

I haven't been sharing much here lately but I hope this makes up for it a bit.... If you want to do me a favor in return, go to my new site especially designed to help teachers and leave a teaching recipe :)
http://teachingrecipes.com

Cheers,
David
http://eflclassroom.com

Tags: resources, tagcloud, technology, tips, websites

Views: 709

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What do you use tag clouds for?
Shirley,

A tag cloud is a very attractive and interactive way to display content from a website that has a lot of "information". Classroom 2.0 fits that bill. I find that we need more ways to "stumble" upon ideas rather than get them straight up. It is always this kind of discovered stuff that really, truly makes a difference. Many people fear the internet is taking that away. I think a tag cloud helps in that somewhat ..... we just don't read/get what we want but can be a hunter and "stumble upon" great eating.

David
http://eflclassroom.com
Hey David,
Thanks for this idea and the instructions. This is pretty neat. Do you know if there is a way to view or auto-generate a list of tags from a ning, so as to avoid having to type them all out (as per Step 1 above)?
thanks!
Demetri
http://isenet.ning.com
Demetri,

Unfortunately, Ning doesn't even allow access by webdav anymore and even then, only in the beginning was access granted to those files for tabs. I really think that from the beginning Ning didn't set up its tag system properly and now we have this multiple system of tags across videos / forums / photos / pages etc...

So in short, no. You have to go through your community and see what are the tags which generate the most interest / hits / lists. Compile and make the page as in Step 1.

Maybe someone else knows a way - hopefully they will speak up. I don't.

It looks like a lot of work but it is worth it if you have a lot of content. I put up a SEARCH tab on EFL Classroom 2.0 and under that, all the various clouds plus Adv. Member Search and our map. A nice addition to the network because the regular Ning search function is really really spotty.

Cheers,

David
http://eflclassroom.com
I'll be sharing shortly - a neat trick for consolidating these tags into one nice "search" feature. Then, you can instantly just type in a tag and it will pull up everything across your whole ning community.

Stay tuned...

David
http://eflclassroom.com
Wow! This is great! I could use this in my Camiguin Island ning site! Thanks for sharing this.
Okay,

So I'm finally there... Here's a public version for demonstration, of how the search for tags / tag consolidation thingee I've described above works.

Searches all your tags in your Ning community.

You can also, create a database of tags - these will appear when the user types, to give them some selection and add a little serendipity and guidance.

This can be fully changed through css and also resized (works perfectly on EFL Classroom 2.0 on an extra 2/3 page.).

I'm presently making a nice "search bar only" that a network can put into a textbox. When the user searches, it will send the user to the larger page where results appear.

Getting there slow but sure. Just want to know - what do you think? Is this of value of other networks?
I've put A LOT of hours/days into making this. It is solid and won't be affected by any changes on Ning. So I'll be offering this for download and installation by Ning networks in a few weeks.

How much do you think I should charge? Any place to promote?

I'm an educator - doing this because Ning just wouldn't come up with a solution. I'm not trying to make a profit but also want to recoup my time/$$$

Looking forward to your responses/comments.

David
http://eflclassroom.com
looking good! here are a few suggestions FWIW...

1. would be nice to see highlighted search term (tag) in context, or some kind of header on the search results page "all discussions/blog posts/etc. tagged 'xx'"
1a. might be nice to have results grouped by type (discussion, blog, group, etc.)

2. would be nice if items titled by that tag/term appeared at the top of search results (on the theory that they may be more relevant)

3. would be nice to see a synopsis of all search results above the fold. scrolling through the page of results is a bit too much. hard to tell what is of relevance.

thanks,
d
Demetri,

I'm trying to get there and working on things. But there are limitations because of the "clay" and "chains" we are working with. Ning makes it very difficult and I think I'm the only nut who has cracked this nut.

1. would be nice to see highlighted search term (tag) in context, or some kind of header on the search results page "all discussions/blog posts/etc. tagged 'xx'"
1a. might be nice to have results grouped by type (discussion, blog, group, etc.)


-- working on it and doable I believe - but not so easy as seems. I need to make a separate parser to do this and it might slow down things.

2. would be nice if items titled by that tag/term appeared at the top of search results (on the theory that they may be more relevant)

This already happens. The results that come up are ONLY what has been tagged with that term. If a creator really wanted to get into this -- they could also specify and restrict which tags could be searched.
But the problem of "relevance" is just too large for this app to handle (google I'm not). Plus this is done through rss - so Ning can't touch it or destroy/block it. The nature of rss means that it is almost impossible to rank.

3. would be nice to see a synopsis of all search results above the fold. scrolling through the page of results is a bit too much. hard to tell what is of relevance.

Again, hard to do or actually impossible with rss. However, I will put up below the search bar - a display of the most recent searches. I think that would be handy. If I really get motivated, it would be nice to have a get lucky appear in the search bar. Click and get a random tag..

Slow but sure..... but works well for my community. Teachers can get exactly what they want. The Ning search just sucks big time.

DD
http://eflclassroom.com
Well,

I haven't got much further with things but trying my best and spending hours...

However, if your network/community is tagged well, this reliably pulls all those tags from across the network. You can work with the css to format as you wish. See the example from my network which pulls up content from across the various sections of ning - forum/blogs/photos/videos/2nd forum etc...
http://eflclassroom.com/searchning Fits nice on a secondary page and also adaptable through css for the main page.

The basic example doesn't come with the drop down menus but read the documentation and if you know a little, just put in two pieces of code and make a database and you can select the preferred tags for members to appear. So you can have either.

Ning I like in so many ways but the search for a content rich site sucks! I'm going to give this away to anyone interested that is an educational (non profit) for free. (just message me or leave a message on my page with an email address. I'll send a download link upon verification ASAP. Otherwise, just $25 until I recoup my $500 investment (not counting time).

Go HERE.

This is truly an example of David finding a way to defeat this Goliath.

Cheers,

David
http://eflclassroom.ning.com

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