Where did tag clouds come from?
Lots of bloggers have seen tag clouds and similar displays. Here's another from this weblog; the size of each word is proportional to the number of notes in which the word appears.
Where do tag clouds come from? Someone made them. Wikipedia credits Jim Flanagan. The underlying idea -- displaying lots of words and using many different font sizes and weights -- is associated in my mind with Cranbrook in the early 1990's, but probably derives from vernacular posters of the 1980's. But there's more to this story.
J. Nathan Matias likes TextArc, a dense alternative format that's marred by a patent claim.