The Nieman Journalism Lab recently featured an article investigating the meaning of “the future of journalism” from 2008-2010 using Wordle; it’s a site you can visit to create those cloud-like collages of text that are tagged in association with a specific idea or subject.
Although wordles may be one way of visually mapping a virtual dialogue around a hot topic such as the future of the ever-malleable field of journalism, the picture these word clouds present can be somewhat one-sided; In fact, wordles can often disregard other mapping variables such as location and orientation. “Wordles are driven by a single-minded fetish for filling space,” explains Geography professor André Skupin in an article for GLIMPSE’S forthcoming issue, Text.
So what’s up with wordles? Do they contribute to the development of our visual dialogue or are they simply eye candy?
Stay tuned as Skupin and other GLIMPSE contributors take a deeper look at the evolution of text this autumn.