Oh I love this! I wanted to make one of those ‘tag clouds’ as an image for a chapter in my book and wondered how to do it. But not for long, as I soon found wordle.net and was in heaven!
First let me briefly explain what a word cloud is if it’s new to you. Word or tag clouds are produced when a nifty bit of software scans a bunch of words (from a website for example) and assigns ‘importance’ based on that particular words appearance frequency. It then adds this importance to the font size; i.e. the more often a word appears, the bigger it is in relation to other less frequent words.
Why do I love it so much? Well let me post the results from popping this blogs URL into the program…..
You have to smile!
But then I realised I could make up a word cloud of my own to use as an image. Simply open up a spreadsheet and pop the words I wanted to feature into columns. Then its a simple measure of dragging (using the little cross feature in the bottom right hand corner) to repeat words down the columns. Of course the more words in the column the bigger the result for that word. Then copy all of the words and paste into wordle.net and play around with the randomization to get a cloud you like or alter the settings manually. All so easy, oh and free.
Thanks to IBM for allowing this software to ‘escape’ onto the web and for being free to use however we want. Kudos.