Over the past few decades, digital technologies have dramatically increased ourability to store, organize, and access information. Today, I can instantly answer allkinds of questions that would have stumped me 20 years ago, and I have access toa wealth of words, sounds, and images—far more than I have the intellectualcapacity to consume. You could say we're in the midst of an informationexplosion, but I like to think we're being served an information cornucopia.
The abundance of this information is ever increasing, and the user interfaces webuilt ten years ago to access and organize it are starting to show signs of strain andwear, like a rickety folding table supporting the weight of a thousand pies.
Tag clouds are just one of a new crop of interfaces that aim to ease this strain.There are others, which succeed to greater and lesser degrees, and there will bebetter ones to come. I hope to have a part in making some of them, and I hope youdo too.