Back in November I did a little post about Wordling, and I even created a word cloud of the President’s acceptance speech. It was fun! Now maybe it’s just me, but other than the Sunday Whirl I don’t see a lot of word clouds out there lately, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because even though the whole thing started over half a decade ago, people are still a bit uncertain of what use word clouds can be, except perhaps as pretty pictures made of words.
Actually, they can be extremely useful, not to mention just fun for fun’s sake. You want to know what’s important to someone without reading everything in their essay or blog post, heck even their whole blog? Well, if you pump the url, or the block of text into the wordle tool on wordle.net, you will at least get a pretty good idea, just at a glance of what they write about the most. The more frequently the word is used, the larger it appears in the cloud.
Want to analyze your own writing? Or maybe trouble-shoot a speech you have to make in front of the board next week? Why not run it through wordle and see if the weight of your word choice fits what you want to get across? Back when I journaled on Journalspace.com there was a word count feature that would give you the same kind of results in word and numbers. If you were a peace guru, and you discovered that the word violence was among your most frequently used words, you might have taken that as a cue to re-evaluate what your strategy.
And besides, isn’t it just cool to see a picture of what you just said? Seriously, a visual representation of a piece of writing. That’s an incredible idea, especially for visual thinkers and learners, and I think it’s being under utilized. I bet you could think of ways you could use this tool in your company, in sales, marketing, or education. We should do this more. Mostly because, well frankly I think it’s just a lot of fun.
I do a great deal of writing about poetry here on The Dad Poet, and that seems appropriate, but I also write a good bit from time to time about the Dad part of the title, as I am very proud to be the father of three incredible young men. And since I first created this blog as a way to not only keep my writing muscles toned, but to keep my focus on the good things in my life, I write about nature and music and relationships as well. I still want to honor those beginnings of the Dad Poet, when I used writing as a tool to help keep me focused and not only floating, but swimming through some very difficult times.
On my home page at any given moment there are my seven most recent posts visible before you have to click on “previous posts,” and so I entered my front page into the wordle machine last night (You can check out the easy directions about how to do this for yourself) and below is what I came up with. Looks like I’ve been writing a lot about poetry lately. Time for a posted original poem, a proud dad post, and maybe some winter birding, just to keep me balanced.
How about you? What are you writing about? Is it what you want to be focusing on? Try it yourself. Check out the related articles below; just the headlines will give you some ideas of how you can use word clouds. Post your results and link back here. I’d like to see what you come up with, and what conclusions you might make, whether it be about your own writing or someone else’s that interests you. Most of all, have fun. It’s language It’s pictures! It’s pictorial language. Who knows, maybe it’s art?
- Wordle My Journal 2012 (gemhelen.wordpress.com)
- What’s in Your Word Cloud? (raventools.com)
- The 6 Best Word Cloud Tools for Teachers (educatorstechnology.com)
- “Wordle” or “Cloudy and Cool with a High Chance of Nifty” (everonword.wordpress.com)
- The Common Core State Standards—Wordled! (jimburke.typepad.com)
- The Quest Series goes Wordle (swlothian.wordpress.com)
- I Wordled My Novel “Queen of the Nude” | Here’s What I Got (petergalenmassey.com)
- Chapter Sixteen Wordle (faceofthesky.com)
- Wordle your thoughts to find your ideal career (halliecrawford.com)
- Using Wordle with Regional Auditions (choirteachers.blogspot.com)