Content analysis and word clouds
Content analysis is a research method to analyse and categorise all sorts of texts and images (from photos to interview transcripts to newspaper articles) with the aim of identifying trends and patterns.
This is usually a labour-intensive task but has recently been improved by smart software that appears to be getting better and better. Here is one, that I came across, Wordle, that searches through a text and gives more prominence to words appearing more frequently – and creates a “word cloud”. A simple idea that graphically can be quite revealing – here is a wordle of this very blog you are reading (click on it to see a larger version):
It’s quite interesting to see the main words that emerge; “communications”, “audience”, “survey”, “analysis” and “materials” – which for the most – are accurate descriptions of the focus of the blog.
Try creating your own word cloud on wordle>>
I discovered wordle while on the many eyes website, an interesting website about visualisation.