I’ve recently discovered Wordle. Which is what, you ask?
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. 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. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.
You’ve seen things like this before, the most common application being tag clouds. The Web-based Wordle app, though, lets you do it with pretty much any text at all.
For fun, I Wordled my dissertation, which looks like this:
Next time somebody asks what my diss was about, maybe I’ll just show them this. In most cases, I suspect it would be about as effective as boring their socks off trying to explain it in the traditional fashion…