Tag: data visualization

Yet one more use for Word Clouds: job descriptions

I recently was using Wordle.net’s word cloud generator in my Early American Literature class as a demonstration of different ways of looking at text. They make it very easy to create and share.You can either click the “Create” link or tab, paste in your text, and hit “Go”. And then presto! They give you a number of layout and color schemes to work with. I suggest clicking around, trying them all out. I prefer the “mostly horizontal” layout and less cartoony colors. They also give you a number of ways to share it–creating a public link (and deleting it) is just as easy as creating the word cloud itself. Here’s an example Wordle of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The Poet”  I used for the class (forgive the color settings–I went with the default).

I must have still had Wordles on the brain, because as I was looking at a new digital humanities job posting that was forwarded my way, I started to wonder what word clouds of two different job descriptions might show:

The first posting:


The second posting:

Although they are not the same sorts of positions overall, they have fairly similar general duties. Now, I would not want to make too much of this analytically; however, it’s still interesting to see the different emphases that the word clouds reveal.


What’s in a word?

Apparently that depends on whether you spoke the word or heard it.

Dan Amira posted this word cloud comparison on New York Magazine’s website of President Obama’s State of the Union speech vs. one created by NPR, based on a request of its listeners to describe the speech in three words. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. But it does highlight the power of word clouds. I hope more people and events are subjected to this type of tool. But the usual precautions should be taken when citing such information’s accuracy and context…