Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Word Clouds

I discovered word clouds today.  How cool!  I've seen them before, but never really completely understood their use other than aesthetics.  Enter stage right: a junk email advertising how to maximize your use of Linked-In as a job search tool.

Well, having been a former job coach and currently looking for my next day job, I took a peek.  And what did I discover but word clouds.

You may still be wondering what a word cloud is.  Basically, you input text and the program will analyze the text and spit out the key words randomly.  However the key words are weighted by size.  The bigger the word, the more times you used it.

How does it apply to a job search?  Well, input your resume - get your word cloud visually detailing how you described yourself in your resume?  Is that the way you WANT to describe yourself?  Did you really mean to say belligerent 3 times and have it so prominent in your word cloud?  (Ha!  Just kidding.)  Now you can do the same thing with your Linked In Profile.  And then you can do the same thing with your target job description or target company.  How do they match up and what can you adjust?

So, fiddling about, I decided to try it with my blog.  Yes!  You can do it with a blog as well.  Below are my results...


word cloud of the blog and website www.theres-kay.blogspot.com in 2012


Now, as my readers, I begin to wonder if this is what you want to read about when you come to my page.  Is it?  Do you want to read about these things?  Or were you wanting to read more about photography and the creative process?  Yes, I write this blog for myself somewhat, but really, I write it for you, my audience.  So, tell me, what would you like to hear more about?

By the way, want to try creating your own word cloud?  Check out http://www.wordle.net.  It's cool and I can imagine all kinds of possibilities!  Have fun!

4 comments:

  1. I like the idea but - the words used most often might just be good connecters, or plain useful words. A really vibrant word should only be used once in a piece for maximum effectiveness, but it would be much more expressive of the whole piece than the blander word you could get away with using multiple times. I'm probably over thinking this, I like the idea & am going to try it out.

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    1. I recognized the same "weakness". But it can be quite revealing of what you are saying... or not - whether by purpose or by omission. I didn't see too many connector words, but you do have control over what you include or not in your final cloud. It should be one tool of many when analyzing your work. When I analyzed my blog, I think it only analyzed the last ten posts or so versus my entire blog. But, still revealing!

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  2. It looks really cool! I love this idea and will try it out.

    Carmen

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    1. I think this could work fantastically in the language lab! I would love to hear if you used it and how it worked for you!!

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