September 16, 2011

Cloud Illusions

As you all are aware, I have been delving heavily into what the internet has to offer me in the way of writing opportunities, and particularly into the mysterious depths of the nebulous "Blogosphere."  In so doing, I have visited A LOT of blogs recently--and I mean, A LOT--picking up tricks of the trade, tips and hints for how to make my HTML behave, and so on.  I've seen many stylistic things that I liked, storing them in my memory banks in case I'm ever lucky enough to be able to sink money into blog templates and themes.  But I am not here tonight to talk about the things that have inspired me; rather, I must vent my spleen to someone about something that really ANNOYS me.  I'd like to talk about the cloud.

For those among us who may not yet be up on the lingo, I am not now going to launch into a tribute concert to Joni Mitchell.  Though I do LOVE the song "Both Sides Now," especially now that I have seen clouds from both sides.  And I really love her song "River"; it always takes me back to the winter that Michael and I got engaged.  BUT none of that is relevant now!  Back to the rant at hand.  I am not going to talk about Joni Mitchell and her cloud illusions, nor do I wish to discuss cirrus, or cumulonimbus, or any other sort of meteorological phenomenon.  I am talking about the cloud display now being used on websites all over the world as an alternative to the simple, old-fashioned list.  Or to employ a visual aid, I am talking about THIS:

Someone please explain to me, who on earth decided that this would be a visually pleasing or useful way to arrange information?  Yes, I know; some bright spark would write me a short treatise on learning styles, on brainstorming and flowcharts and free association, to all of which I can only reply that I took that same Ed. Psych. course.  Forgive me if the prejudices of my own learning style are showing, but every time I come across one of these random hodge-podge "clouds," I suddenly start having fond visions of doing considerable violence to the screen in front of me.  There.  I have released my irrationally vitriolic feelings toward something that has no relevance to life, the human condition, or the important events of the day.  I feel better.  Thank you.

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