Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Me too

I'm such a follower sometimes. A lot of people have been posting a word cloud created by wordle which allegedly shows the most popular words used on a web site. I say allegedly as I'm suspicious about how accurate it really is.

First I changed my blogger settings so that all of my blog posts, since the beginning, were shown. I wanted to get a complete picture of my entire blog, not just what shows up on the first page. It resulted in the following word cloud


I immediately grew suspicious as the word "skepticism" was so prominent. I really don't use that word all that much (3 times - I counted). It just happens that I've used it in the last couple of blog posts. This made me suspect that, even though I had changed settings to show all blog posts, wordle was only looking at the most recent.

Next I copied all of my blog posts to the clipboard and pasted them into the text box on the wordle page rather than providing a URL. This resulted in the following word cloud


Finally, I edited the text I had copied from my blog posts to eliminate commonly repeated phrases like "Posted by Abelard Enigma", "witty parleys" and "Links to this post". This resulted in this final word cloud which I believe to be fairly accurate.


Examining the most commonly used words in my blog yields: church people think just like gay one or gay people think just like church one.

Hmmm, I don't know what this means - and I'm spending way too much time analyzing this. In any case, my blog is kinda gay.

3 comments:

A.J. said...

Why do I think the last one would look awesome on a t shirt?

slp said...

I have been using Wordle for months. It is fun to use to create a graphic with different colors. I made one for my classroom blog that says "Math is the great equalizer". It turned out very cool. :)

Speaking of math, how is your search coming along for a math job?

And, how was your Thanksgiving with the In-laws? Hope all turned out well for you and for the dish you had to take. :)

J G-W said...

I love Wordle. I could play with it for hours and never get bored. I don't know why I'm so fascinated by it. I guess because I'm fascinated by words and language. I'm fascinated by how we use language, so the idea of having some kind of graphic depicting how frequently we use certain words fascinates me.

It reminds me of some research done years ago by some BYU professors, who analyzed books in the Book of Mormon by doing word counts. They argued that every writer has a distinctive "word thumb print," and that you could actually use this kind of statistical analysis to successfully detect who was the author of a certain text. They used their research to show that the Book of Mormon was authored by several different authors, and that Joseph Smith was not one of those authors. Fascinating!!

Anyway, I love your wordles.