A few days ago, I posted an entry called I JUST... that was about Wordle, a website where you can submit text and it creates a word cloud that hones in on the most frequently used words throughout the text and highlights those used more prominently. So today, when I came across a Pew Research Center article called The Candidates: In One Word, it caught my eye. The Center surveyed 2,509 registered voters and asked them to provide one word that best describes their impression of the presidential and vice presidential candidates. The words were then tallied to find those most commonly associated with the respective candidate. Finally, to illustrate the registered voters' impressions of John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, the words were submitted into Wordle to generate word clouds that showed the frequency and prominence of the descriptions. Click here to see the illustrations and the article. It is very fascinating and eye-opening.
For those who are interested in using Wordle to gain further insight into the current political campaign, one idea is to cut and paste the text of any given speech from any of the candidates and submit it into Wordle's Create Page and see what the word cloud generates based upon the candidate's rhetoric, which issue he/she focused on the most, etc... It could very easily give a well-rounded summary of the content of the speech. It might just be me, but I'd rather analyze the speech myself using tools like Wordle rather than listen to a bunch of biased news reporters and analysts comment on the candidates' orations. What tools or resources are you using to gain insight into the campaign?