You’ve seen the cool word clouds on posters, web-sites, greeting cards, … but do you know how to make one? Check out Wordle.net for a quick and easy word cloud.
Paste in a bunch of text or a url. Within seconds Voilà! Your word cloud. The program automatically excludes common words like “the”, “or “, “and” etc.
Choose the number of words in your cloud by selecting “layout” and “maximum words…” You can also choose the orientation of your words and the shape of your cloud here.
Choose your font, colour and layout by clicking on the menus at the top.
The advanced feature also allows you to weight terms that are more important for you.
Here’s the wordcloud I generated by including this url a few weeks ago. What is interesting is that while I tag posts under “leadership” and “communication” I apparently don’t use those words in the text. While not designed for this purpose, Wordle.net provided instant feedback on the focus of my posts, indicating that I may be off-topic. Conversely, you could run a speech through Wordle.net to confirm that your emphasis is focused and consistent.
I wanted to test how much text Wordle.net can handle so I cut and pasted the text from my M.A. Major Research Paper. Thankfully, I was on target with that one. Here’s what it yielded (whew!). Again, it’s interesting to see at a glance which scholars I quoted most often and which themes were most prevalent.