I know that anything I write is already art and pretty hard to improve on, but I found this interesting nonetheless. I picked up a couple of clever little webby toys over at the Blurred Lines blog, and this one is my favourite. It takes any body of text (including an RSS feed) and creates a word cloud. You can customise the word cloud for font, colour, layout and so on. The more instances of a word in the source text, the bigger that word appears in the cloud. This is a cloud from this here website:
Here’s another version of the same cloud. I find this one more aesthetically pleasing:
I must say that I’m very pleased, as a writer, that “books” is very prominent. Given the way I’m prone to rant about things, “idiot” could easily have outshone every other word there. Also in that second one are some entertaining phrases, caused by the random placement of the words. So far I’ve been amused by:
ADULT CHUCKY MAGAZINE
FANTASY SIGNS LORD
I’m so easily amused. Although there does seem to be a slight glitch with it, as the words “idiot” and “idiots” don’t appear at all, which I find hard to believe. You can find this funky thing at wordle.net.
Another little toy posted with the word cloud was one that figures out your blog’s reading level. This app apparently works out what level of education is required to understand any given blog. In my case:
I’m not entirely sure what to make of that.
Lastly there’s the typealyzer, which uses a Briggs-Myer style breakdown to figure out a personality from a writing style. According to this test I’m a ISTJ (which stands for Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) or a Duty Fulfiller:
The responsible and hardworking type. They are especially attuned to the details of life and are careful about getting the facts right. Conservative by nature they are often reluctant to take any risks whatsoever.
The Duty Fulfillers are happy to be let alone and to be able to work int heir own pace. They know what they have to do and how to do it.
Fortunately, it also says:
Note: writing style on a blog may have little or nothing to do with a person´s self-percieved personality.
I would change that to say “Note: writing style on a blog may have little or nothing to do with a person´s actual personality.” But there you go. It does suggest on the wikipedia page about ISTJs that fictional ISTJ characters include Bruce Wayne (Batman), so that’s no bad thing. Then again, it also says Darth Vader.
It even claims to know what parts of my brain were active while writing:
Right. I wonder what I would come out as if I actually took the test in person. I did it once years ago in high school, but I can’t remember my type then.
I think I’ll stick with the word clouds.