7 Fun, Free Tag Cloud Software Programs to Create Word Art
Tag clouds are those boxes of words that you sometimes see on blogs and social networking websites. The words are a collection of the words most commonly used in whatever parameters set forth by the tag cloud. For example, you might make a tag cloud of all of the most popular words used in your blog posts in the past month. Some of the words are shown in bigger text or different colors than the others which represents the fact that those words are used more often than the on the other words on the list.
Tag clouds are a terrific way to get information about a site. They reveal which topics are being discussed on that site most often in any given period of time. They can give you information about the types of things that you should be discussing more. They also just look kind of cool – at least they do if you’re the kind of person who is really interested in word art.
There are many different programs that you can use to create word tag clouds. Here is a look at seven of the easiest free tag cloud programs that you can start using today:
1. Tweet Cloud. If you’re a fan of Twitter then this is a really cool online program to play around with. You sign in using your Twitter account. You then choose the length of time from which you want the program to draw your words. You can choose one day, one week, one month, three months, six months or one year. Then you choose how big of a tag cloud you would like to make; the smaller the cloud, the more relevant the results. The program then generates a tag cloud for you that shows you the words that you use most often on Twitter. You can easily Tweet a link to the cloud to your followers. Lots of fun and it really shows you what you spend your time Tweeting about.
2. Facebook Status Cloud. This program was developed by the same person who developed the Tweet Cloud program. It is very similar to the program for Twitter except that this one is for Facebook. If you want to know what your usual status is on Facebook then you just need to use this application to generate a tag cloud that will easily show you the words that you most frequently use in your status updates.
3. Flickr Tag Cloud Generator. Visual people who are on Flickr will enjoy this one. You enter your Flickr account information into the tag cloud generator and then you’ll get a tag cloud showing the most common photo tags that you use. This tag cloud can then be posted to your Flickr account as a picture. Words and images together – very cool!
4. MakeCloud. Sometimes it is more fun (and useful) to create tag clouds for other people’s content than for your own. This program allows you to enter any RSS feed and to generate a tag cloud for the content of that feed. If you’re trying to figure out which feeds to follow then this can be really helpful. You can easily see from a tag cloud whether or not the feed really covers the information that you want to read.
5. ToCloud.This tag cloud generator serves a similar purpose to MakeCloud. However this one allows you to enter actual URLs rather than just RSS feeds. This means that you can create a tag cloud for pretty much any site that you’re curious about. I’ve used this to check whether my own website says the things that I want it to say as well as to check out the basic content of other sites that interest me.
6. Wordle. This program is the tag cloud program that comes closest to creating art out of words. You enter the text that you want to use in the tag cloud generator and then create various types of word-based images from the results. You can change the font and coloring etc. to make the image that you want. It’s a really fun program. It’s also a great program for generating poems and story ideas. Good stuff. You can actually also use it to generate tag clouds for URLs and RSS feeds so it’s a multi-functional program. If you’re only going to check out one of the ones on this list then it’s a good one to try.
7. Make Word Mosaic by Image Chef. This program is similar to Wordle in a lot of ways. It doesn’t quite have the same high level of functionality. However it makes really cool designs out of your words – arguably even cooler than what you can make with Wordle. This one is cool because it’s designed to work with blog and comment programs so you can paste your cool images into blog comment areas and MySpace profiles.
You can use these seven programs for a variety of different purposes. You can use them to gain information about the content quality of your own blog or website. You can use them to get quick information about the full content of other blogs that you may (or may not) have an interest in following. You can use them to summarize paragraphs of text, generate ideas for creative writing or simply make a comment of yours a little bit more interesting to read. Words are fun; play with them!