Why scan when you can wordle?

I'm fascinated by visualisation.  Anything that helps you to see something a different way.  I'll be very up front and say that I got this from Read Write Web.  I was reading one of their articles which had an illustration visualising all the words in a press release they had received.  More regular words were bigger and less regular were smaller.  I thought that this was a fantastic way to quickly get an idea what any article is about.  A great way to scan the text and get the key themes without having to read the whole lot.  It could be a press release, a blog post, a news article, a book.  Anything written in text really.

Here's an example I did of Senator Conroy's speech in 2009 on Internet filtering. Topical at the moment:



See anything interesting?  Let's leave the politics shall we?

Here's another one I did of Banjo Patterson's The Man from Snowy River:

I didn't realise it - Man Mountain!


So how do I do it you may ask?  I used a web-based tool called Wordle.  I have seen Wordle before but hadn't really though of practical applications for it's use.  It definitely makes sense.

Head over there and click create to try it out for yourself.  Fun?  Yes, but also functional.