I don’t think I can classify Wordle as a game but to a geek like me it can be lots of fun and bring you hours of enjoyment. I apologize in advance if I kill your productivity today.
Wordle is a unique web application that lets you specify a RSS feed or a specific block of text. Wordle then uses that information to create a word cloud. Don’t know what a word cloud is?
A tag cloud or word cloud (or weighted list in visual design) is a visual depiction of user-generated tags, or simply the word content of a site, used typically to describe the content of web sites. Tags are usually single words and are typically listed alphabetically, and the importance of a tag is shown with font size or color. Thus both finding a tag by alphabet and by popularity is possible. The tags are usually hyperlinks that lead to a collection of items that are associated with a tag.
I am sure you have see them before. These clouds are usually on blogs, they show that sites tags, allowing you to click on them and see that specific topic.
Here is a quick one I generated from my site’s feed.
No big deal, pretty ordinary right? Now here is where Wordle comes in. I put the same AskTheAdmin.com feed into Wordle and it generated this:
I know, I know… You are saying to yourself
“Sure it looks cool but how the hell am I going to get addicted to that?”
Maybe if all Wordle could do was RSS feeds it wouldn’t be so cool in my book (Yeah it would!) but here is where we can make it fun for anyone. First you should ask yourself “what do I like?”. Do you like music? So then lets throw some song lyrics in there. Let’s use everyone’s Rick-Rolling favorite jam… Never going to give you up by the legendary Rick Astley.
Not doing it for ya? How about a little Sir-Mix-A-Lot and baby got back?
Are you feeling it now? There are lots of customizable options like color, font and my personal favorite Randomize. Now how could I do a MakeUseOf article without including the Make Use Of wordle?
I couldn’t! So here it is:
The possibilities are endless! But beware before you know it hours will be gone and you will find yourself inputting stuff from the strangest places. You can find any song lyrics by Googling the song name + lyrics, you can find the text from many books online on Google as well and of course Wordle takes any URL and will search for its RSS or Atom feed. Bigger feeds take longer to process and the outcome is always pretty fricking sweet!
Want to do something artsy fartsy?
Print out your Wordle and you have an instant collage! Make one for that special geek in your life. You know she will treasure it. (As long as the subject is something that she digs and you don’t pick say a Midget Tossing Website!)