Friday, February 20, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Word!

I was reading through my RSS feeds a few weeks back (Google Reader, you are so addictive) and came across a Wordle of President Obama's Inauguration speech. The word cloud shows that the words he spoke the most were "new" and "nation."

If you've never seen or heard of Wordle, it is a program that creates word clouds based on the prominence of a each word's use. It's one of those new fangled ways of reading. While I will argue that it certainly will not replace reading, it does give and interesting spin on how we can absorb the overly meaning or theme of something. These word clouds are interesting because they break an idea, webpage, or speech down into a single, textual image.

For example, the Wordle below is comprised of the text I cut and pasted from the About SLIS webpage. We are dominated by information.

Wordle: About SLIS

I suggest inputting your own information and seeing what comes out. Warning, this may be addictive.