Well, it finally happened. I got too lazy to comb through the relationships in the taxonomy I've been using on this site over the years and I've decided to stop creating parent/child relationships. So now I only have the tag clouds. I still separate the facets for subject and people.
I believe taxonomy and thesauri to be useful when describing content for the purposes of browsing, especially to first time users of a system. It makes sense when classifying content in business information systems, reference or documentation content, newspaper and magazine sites, etc. It's useful for CMS with granular levels description. But the level of effort to maintain it over time is significant, and I never really know what the right methods are in Drupal to do things like show links to related tags when browsing taxonomy, or show related links on nodes in this site.
As I see it, I've got 2 problems:
- Creation Issue: I want to continue to organically tag as I create nodes. But I also want to create the relationships for each tag I create while I'm creating the tag in Node>Add mode, rather than having to go find it afterward in my non-searchable taxonomy controls.
- Relationship Display Issues: I want to better show relationships on both taxonomy pages (see also: synonyms, navigate to: parents) and in nodes (more entries like this, i.e. an algorithmically generated list of nodes weighted to show those containing most of the terms used in this entry).
The relationship creation is painful, though, because by freetagging, I put off the task until some later time--which seems to never come. I don't yet know how I'm going to deal with this growing problem. I've just decided to stop caring for this blog. I'm sure others could care less, but I used to use the hierarchical list of my taxonomies occasionally to survey what I've been writing about. I just haven't found the proper way to what I want in Drupal yet.
For now, all I know is that I have this big-ass tag cloud that becomes more and more difficult to maintain and explore in a meaningful way. I'm not sure how to make better of use of it, without knowing what Drupal modules work best for my needs. It's been a while since I've looked at the contributed taxonomy modules. This might be the kick in the pants I need to go see what good stuff people have come up with for problems like mine.