I begin each workday with an hour of reading and research, mostly via social media. Scanning headlines, posts and images on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and my favorite blogs, I allow myself this time to chase what suits me.
Today a Tweet sent me to a blog called WordCount: Freelancing in the Digital Age. I’ll be spending more time with Michelle Rafter’s insights in the days to come. This morning she grabbed me with this headline: “Here’s what WordCount blog themes look like as a tag cloud.” A snappy visual followed, featuring bold words in various sizes, artfully arranged and popping from a black background.
You’ve seen these word clouds before. But did you know you can create your own in about two minutes?
Michelle’s post directed me to Wordle. I clicked the “create” tab, entered the URL for my own creative writing blog (bethnyland.com) and clicked “submit.” The site churned for a moment, then produced a striking rectangle of words. I played with the options—language, font, layout and color—and voila! Wordle and I gave birth to a fascinating view of the words that have the greatest frequency in my recent blog posts. I love how “continue reading” emerges as a key message:
A web site is not required to create a word cloud with Wordle. You can simply enter a block of text.
Online or in print, word clouds like these can make a bold statement to grab attention and start a useful dialogue. Picture the possibilities …
- Marketing: advantages of your product line, drawn from customer feedback
- Sales: industries your business serves
- Employee Communications: themes from your latest employee survey
- Recruiting: job titles of your recent recruits, before and/or after joining your organization
What else could you represent in a tag or word cloud? Try Wordle and send me a link. I’d love to see!