Word clouds are fun for a visual person like me. Flickr uses them to instantly display which are the most popular tags for the photos hosted on their site. I scan the tags to see what is unexpectedly popular (geotagged for example is popular – who’d have thunk?) which takes me in unexpected directions. That one caught by eye because I read an article last week about confluence hunting.
Anyway, back on topic. Academhack pointed me toward this word cloud site. You can either cut and paste text, or you can upload a .txt file (remember, .txt good, .doc, limiting!). If I were writing my thesis, I’d use this to see what I was really talking about. You could use it to view online discussion postings in a new way, or to review your paper (maybe you really do use the word hegemony too much). Overall what it does is gets you to look at all those words in a new way, and maybe adds a little serindipity to your life.