I like tag clouds. I like eBay. So when I find out about a site that lets you look at eBay as a tag cloud, I like that too. Auction Cloud is available at http://www.auctioncloud.com/ .
The front page shows a tag cloud for a single category (I think the category is random.) Click on a tag to get a list of auctions for that keyword. You can also browse the entire list of categories and subcategories.
I must confess I was kinda surprised at what some of these clouds looked like. For example, I looked at the video game category cloud, expected to see a giant wii tag. Nope, the giant tags were psp and xbox. So maybe it’s just the systems auctions, I thought, and looked up the systems category. Nope, that one has psp and xbox 360 as the hot tags.
Looking at the about page I see that the clouds are not actually for the listings, but for searches performed on eBay. That’s interesting too. What would be really interesting would be some kind of way to do on-the-fly comparisons between the popularity of a certain keyword as a search term and as a keyword in auctions. So you might find that Wii has x percent prevalence as a search term, and y number of listings associated with it.
Meanwhile you might find that another keyword has extensive prevalence as a search term, but almost no listings — a demand gap that you could rush to fill, you wily ol’ entrepreneur you. (By the way, what’s it called when you build a cloud based on both keyword frequency and comparison with another data point? Intersect Cloud? Quant Cloud? Something else?)
Quick loading and it’s fun to browse through the categories. If you’re interested in eBay this is worth a look.