The Great Pleasure of Free Toys
Excuse my enthusiasm; it is Friday, I am seeing a Broadway show this weekend and I did have a very productive week.
Among other projects, I found myself doing manual content analysis of loads of text from survey responses. It's a trusty, reliable and decently accurate way to characterize the tenor of a large number of responses to open-ended survey questions. But I found myself wishing for a way to illustrate the truism that "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words."
So I went searching for and found a terrific, free (how do they do that?) online tool for generating so-called "word clouds," www.wordle.net/create. Just "paste in a bunch of text," the location of an RSS feed or a del.icio.us user name and generate a beautiful cloud of words. You can manipulate the content, colors, typefaces and layouts. When you're happy with the result, save it to an online gallery, print to a pdf or grab it with a screenshot.