Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Words to the Wise

I don’t remember who turned me on to the Web site Wordle, but for somebody as interested as I am in graphic design, it’s a great deal of fun. As the site explains:
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.
This morning I applied the Wordle technology to The Rap Sheet’s front page, with the following result:

(Click on this or any other images here for an enlargement.)

Then I decided to use this same software on some other crime-fiction Web sites I frequent. First up was Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine:

(By the way, today marks not only Crider’s own birthday, but the eighth birthday of his ever-delightful blog. Send him some love here.)

Next I fed in the URL for Steve Lewis’ Mystery*File Blog:

From there, it was on to British author Martin’s Edwards’ ‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’:

Once I was on a roll, I had to find out what would come from Irish novelist Declan Burke’s Crime Always Pays:

I was interested to see that when I plugged in the URL for our sister site, January Magazine, there were fewer enlarged words shown, suggesting less concentrated coverage of a few subjects:

Finally, because Bouchercon 2010 begins in San Francisco in less than three months, I applied the Wordle software to Rae Helmsworth’s Bouchercon blog. It’s no surprise to see which word dominates:

If you’d like to sample your own blog in this way, just go to Wordle and click on the “Create” tab at the top of the page.


Byron said...

As a teacher of young writers, I can't begin to tell you how helpful and fun this tool will be. Thank you.

Martin Edwards said...

Wow. Fascinating, utterly fascinating....