11 January 2010

My Birthday Tag Cloud Card

If you're like me, you've got an email folder labeled "NICE!" in your inbox where you store personal and professional notes of praise and appreciation that can be easily accessed in the event of a rainy-day-major-disaster-freak-out.

Photo by @photo and posted on

As a birthday present, I received something even better from my friend and former colleague, Bret Clement.

He sent me a tag cloud e-card that incorporates nice comments about me from old emails that is pasted over one of my favorite recent party photos (me pictured with Christine Ngo and a cardboard cutout of an Intel bunnyman*.)

What a nice DIY treat to brighten my day! Bret's birthday tag cloud reminded me how effective this medium can be for highlighting major topical trends in any given piece of content. I often use the tag cloud feature of Radian6 to help decipher what words are most commonly associated with a specific topic, brand or service.

If you have specific articles or text sources you'd like to analyze via tag clouds, here are a couple online tools you can use to create your own:

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. 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.

TagCrowd is a Web application for visualizing word frequencies in any user-supplied text by creating what is popularly known as a tag cloud or text cloud. It was created by Daniel Steinbock, a doctoral student in Design and Education at Stanford University.

For blog plug-ins and more technical tag cloud generators, Technacular has listed a pretty good round up of resources.

What tag clouds are you creating?

*NOTE: Intel is a client of Ogilvy Public Relations, but this blog in no way represents the opinions of Intel Corporation.


Lauren Vargas said...

Word clouds are a fun and useful tool to get the big picture visually. Using for a card is super cute!

Lauren Vargas
Community Manager at Radian6


Hi Lauren,

Thanks for your comment. I love the look of Radian's tag clouds!