This is a “Wordle” cloud. Also known as a ‘cloud tag’, which is a way to label posts on a blog or pictures in a Flickr account and provide readers/viewers an easier way to navigate to content that matches their interest.
Wordle is a site that allows you to take your own blog, any website that has an RSS feed, or a bunch of text and create a cloud. The larger the word, the more instances of it in the blog/feed/text. They also have amassed a gallery of all the clouds that others have created. The one at the top of this post was created by an anonymous user on the term “media literacy”.
I’m fascinated by the use of these clouds. They deliver a message in a very interesting way, boiling down what someone says to content. It completely disregards context, dispatching with any notion of perspective or world view the author may have.
Does it present information in an important, revealing manner? It certainly presents it in an interesting and new way. To demonstrate this, the cloud on the left was generated when someone took Senator Barack Obama’s speech on race in Philadelphia and the one on the right was generated from the text of President George Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address. I think it’s interesting to compare the two. Eye-opening, no. But definitely a new way to engage someone in the discussion.
*due to technical difficulties, I was unable to create a wordle for The LAMP’s website – bummer!