Do you Wordle?
Now you and your buddies can make free and pretty word clouds with a quick ctrl+c and ctrl+v. Paste the text of your choice into Wordle, and boom! you've got a cool and customizable word cloud.
Here's a cloud I made from the words on this very blog:
Tip: if you're a mac user, use the selection tool in Grab to make a quick .tiff of your word cloud. You can do something similar with Print Screen on a PC, but be prepared to do some editing in PhotoShop or the like. Instead, you might try SnagIt.
I used Wordle for my M.L.S. portfolio, to showcase how my school projects match up my school's MLS outcomes and professional values statements. At Douglas County Libraries, we also plan to use it to map patron opinion. For example, what would you learn if you asked patrons to tell you what "library" means to them, and then mapped their responses in Wordle? What would emerge if you wordled recent keyword searches?
We're currently using FaceBook, Twitter and email to poll patrons about their individual understanding of the word "literacy." I can't wait to see what emerges from the cloud of words.