You know those tag and word clouds that people post to their blogs, to let everyone know their most commonly used words and therefore give some sense of their values and priorities? Well, now The Economist has a similar feature on its Web site, called the “Conversation Cloud.” The cloud (pictured) plucks conversation topics from the site’s blogs, articles and debates and packages them together in a neat little rectangle.
“Making The Economist Online more social is part of the site’s transformation into the global hub for intelligent debate and discussion,” said Economist vice president of product and community development Ron Diorio in a statement. “Readers from all parts of the world regularly come together on The Economist Online to have their horizons stretched and their thinking sharpened. The Economist ignites their thinking.”
Capitalizing on an engaged audience sounds like a smart move to us, especially since the magazine says it accrues around 25,000 comments every
day Correction: month. Right now, however, the feature is not very prominent. Readers have to click the “Comment” button at the top right of an article page to access the cloud. In any case, the instrument provides a handy measure of what readers care about and could bolster the Web site’s user-engagement levels.