How to create word clouds using Wordle
This Article's Word Cloud
Discover the power of Words
Being a writer, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the domination of images and video on the web. We are in an age of multimedia, for sure so when I discover tools around the internet that helps push the power of words to the foreground, I like to let other writers know. One such tool is a site called Wordle that you should check out. From their intro page, this simple but powerful tool is all about "generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text."
Just provide the URL for any blog or RSS feed and this program creates marvelous word clouds that you can custom format for font, alignment and color and then display for others to enjoy. Alternatively, you can paste text into an entry box and generate a cloud just based on that content. The word cloud at the top of this hub is from the text in this first capsule!
Please note that all word clouds in this article were generated using Wordle.net
Wikipedia blog word cloud
Effective Word Cloud Usage
Word Clouds can be effective ways to communicate the main topics of a blog, or to test just how many themes you have going on at once, as the tool sorts words according to the frequency of usage. However, there is the danger of making the cloud a useless and confusing jumble of disjointed and unrelated words and ideas.
The other option is to select words and paste them into the Wordle box, rather than letting the tool sort out a RSS feed. This allows you to selectively create a more consumable word of graphic design, based on the content of a key article or other similar source. It is up to you to use this tool as a effective way to communicate.
To save your cloud, just use a screen capture to save your design as a graphic. You can also post your cloud on Wordle, print or share for all the world to see. As for rights to the word clouds, here is the guidance from the Wordle FAQ on ownership:
"Yes, you may make money off of Wordle - You may take a Wordle, put it on your book cover, Your T-shirt, your campaign poster, what have you..."
Business Insider's Word Cloud
My writer's blog site word cloud
Links to word clouds
- Wordle - Beautiful Word Clouds
- Business Insider
- Craig Forgrave's Writer's Blog | Just another WordPress.com site
My personal writer's site, showcasing my fiction and non-fiction books about movies, money and mysteries.
- Marketbob's Blog | Thoughts on writing, movies, money and stuff
My movie reviews and how they make you feel which influences your decisions about life, money and how you view the future
- Blog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- The Onion - America's Finest News Source
The Onion, America's Finest News Source, is an award-winning publication covering world, national, and * local issues. It is updated daily online and distributed weekly in select American cities.
The Onion Word Cloud
MarketBOB movie review site
Word Cloud Final Thoughts
So, there you have some examples and an idea of "how to" get started. You are only limited by your imagination and the ideas you create as you link words together. In our multimedia world, words are taking a back seat to images, but this is one way to reclaim the visual power of words to speak directly to us in an immediate and compelling way.
Try it. You may be surprised at the results.