The many uses of Wordle

Not long ago some folks at my office got excited about Wordle, a tool for making word clouds. You put in the text. Out comes a word cloud.

One smarty pants at work used it to analyze her own writing for bullshit corporate words. You know, “utilize," “collaborate," “synergies." Damn words. They creep into my diary, my thoughts, my dreams.

Another person used it to analyze card sort results, actually. Very clever. We had a client who kept arguing for “professional" sounding labels rather than intuitive ones. Wordle demonstrated rather irrefutably that the professional labels were not obvious choices for people.

And here, in this Pew Research Center survey on words used to describe the U.S. presidential candidates, clearly Wordle works its magic again.

Wordle word cloud

Except this time it sorta makes me sad. I don’t want the biggest word next to Barack Obama to be “inexperienced."  “Change," “intelligent," “hope," those words are pretty alright.  Real small, in blue, on the right, I see “socialist."  What the hell?