Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fun Toy Flursday

Thursday is the new Friday, so here's a fun gadget to while away your afternoon. There's a website called Wordle that will make a "word cloud" of another website or piece of text that you give it. From Wordle: "The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes." For someone (like me) who loves to play with the autosummarize feature in Word, and who frequently uses it as a form of divination, or a diagnostic/psychotherapeutic tool, this is crazy fun. And the result is pretty.

Here's the dissertation chapter I'm working on (click to embiggen):

And here is this blog:

My most prominent word is "really." Maybe I really should work on that.

Here's Matt's development blog,

Go there, try it, no big whoop.

Edited to add: I figured out a cool thing you can do with this that will tickle your inner post-postmodern poet (oh, you have one). Let's do a bunch of these and put those flarf people to shame. When you put a poem in the wordle creator, the result still reminds you a whole lot of the poem, but it is nicely visual, and you can enjoy all kinds of fresh associations among the jumbled and recombined words. I just tried two of my favorite short poems that came to mind. If you are into modern poetry, you can tell what these are without the titles.

Keats's "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer"

. . .and Wallace Stevens (you can tell the poem title just from the thumbnail pic):

Playing around with this makes you realize how distinct a poet's vocabulary and register really is. Fun. If you could get these to print nicely, or if you used one of the countless websites that print photos and make things out of them, like Zazzle or Snapfish, these would be fun postcards or something for your wordy friends. Or arty objets to hang in your bathroom.


Amy said...

that is so stinkin cool! wow. very arty!

Amy said...

i just tried it with our latest newsletter (the easiest doc at my reach). god bless the internets!

i am trying to paste a link but can't figure it out...

Becky said...

I don't think you can link to an image in these comments, but just make a new blog post at the top and paste that link thingie from the wordle page into it.

TLC said...

Just stumbled across your blog today and must say like your style! Have a great weekend!

Becky said...

Thanks, tlc! Come by anytime!

The Stiletto Mom said...

Yours is classier than mine. Shocking :)