I first learned of the TagCrowd application when I stumbled upon these clouds created from the April 2007 Democratic debates. While the clouds are by no means a substitute for actually listening to the debate or reading the transcripts, they provide a glimpse of the interplay between language and human values.
Recently, as part of its search to identify a new superintendent, the local school system here in Knoxville, Tennessee, released a 14-page “position specification” draft document that outlines the traits of an ideal candidate. I used this document to create a tag cloud.
A few word about how I made the cloud:
- Out of a suggested range of 10-100 tags, I specified 100 tags to show in the cloud.
- I also specified that similar words be grouped together, i.e. “learn” and “learning.”
- The generator does not count common words, such as “a” or “the.”
- I copied the text from a PDF file and pasted it into the window on the TagCrowd home page; I did not include the cover page or contact information on the last page of the PDF.
So, what do you think? What does the superintendent tag cloud reveal to you? What surprises you? What words are missing that you expected to see? What conclusions, if any, can you draw from the cloud?
created at TagCrowd.com