Here is some information about a cool new tool that I just learned about called Wordle. Wordle creates “word clouds” — you can copy the body of text (a memo, an essay, a strategic plan, etc.), paste it into Wordle, and you get word clouds. According to Wordle:
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.
My strategic plan team co-leader and I copied a draft of our “Mission” team’s draft strategic plan into Wordle and got a lovely cloud that emphasizes what Marylhurst is about. It helped us to see particular themes that emerged from our 8-page document and to consider how to finalize our plan. Here’s what one version of ours looked like (click on the image to see it in the large format):
- Copy one of your essays into it to see what words you are using frequently (maybe too frequently). Use the results to help you revise accordingly. (If my money is right, I suspect that the word “very” might be very prominent, for example.)
- Copy your resume into it to help you see if you are using the language of specific careers or industries effectively. Analyze your resume with the results accordingly. See an example of a before and after resume HERE (scroll down to #3: How Others Do It: Elon University Repurposes Online “Toy” to Help Students Improve Resumes)
- Likewise, copy a cover letter into it.
- Copy your business plan into it.
- Use it to turn a love letter to your significant other into a lovely piece of word art.
I think the other reason I like this tool is that it helps us see differently; we don’t get enough opportunities in our lives to do so.