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World Wide Wordle

Posted by: | June 16, 2008 | 4 Comments |

After doing a quick post on Saturday utilizing a new-found tool (Wordle) to make my Master’s Project Proposal into a word cloud, upon checking my RSS aggregator today it seems that Wordle has taken over the universe.

While I tend not to necessarily be a big fan of the latest fad tools (I can be a bit oppositional at times), the pure ease of operation and the beauty/meaning inherent in the created word/tag clouds is quite enrapturing. Although it is extremely interesting and perhaps a big enlightening to see people’s del.icio.us tags in a beautiful cloud, perhaps the true power of this tool is to turn any text into a word cloud. The question that is most important (to me) is whether or not this is just a fun tool to perform a quick trick, or if it can be used to change the way text is interpreted. Any insights?

I did a quick perusal of backlinks and trackbacks from Wordle related posts in my reader just now. Here’s what I found:

Del.icio.us tag clouds

And I leave you with my own del.icio.us tag cloud, which I don’t feel gives you a full picture of my interests, but if you knew very little about me, it would certainly give you a little insight:

UPDATE- To emphasize the craze that Wordle has been in the last week, see the image below:

under: Fun stuff, Tech Tools
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  1. By: Tim on June 16, 2008 at 8:26 pm      

    When I saw Wordle, I thought it was a cute little tool. However, I began to realize a little of the power that comes from such a simple application when I watched my wife playing with it for several hours, coming up with some interesting, artistic designs. She’s tech savvy but not one who uses these kinds of things just for the geek of it. :-)

  2. By: Ben Wildeboer on June 16, 2008 at 9:17 pm      

    @Tim: It certainly is a fun little tool. I’m not sure if it has great instructional value, but I do enjoy playing with it.

    I actually just emailed the creator of Wordle suggesting that he start allowing people to buy prints and posters of their word clouds. I’d pay for some I’ve made (depending on the price).

  3. By: Michael McVey on June 18, 2008 at 7:26 am      

    I used Wordle recently to create the cover art for a collection of my columns I will bind as a Christmas present. I just dropped every column into the one text box – too easy.

  4. By: Ben Wildeboer on June 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm      

    @mmcvey: Did you just take a screenshot of the wordle to get it to where you could print it?

    I got an email back very quickly from Jonathon Feinburg, the creator of Wordle, about my inquiry into offering prints or posters for sale with your Wordles on them. He said it would violate the terms of his agreement with IBM to make money off of Wordle.