April 28, 2007 by Colin
Tag clouds. There’s your next content analysis tool. With Tagcrowd‘s “Alpha” service, you can easily analyze any text for recurring words and concepts. Obviously, tag clouds work best when applied to a large database: either a long speech or a quantity of smaller pieces.
It’s a useful tool to generate a first impression of a text or a presentation, but there are both advantages and drawbacks:
- favours messaging over content
- truly only measures repetition, not value, of words
- overlooks key phrases and themes
- doesn’t reflect logical or rhetorical progression of the text
- doesn’t provide clues about context or how the text was received
- shines a light on underlying tone (positive, negative, inspirational)
- helps you understand the emotion being communicated (strong, responsive, dedicated, things like that)
- provides a 50 word impression of the text and the intentions of its authors
- much cheaper than contracted media analysis, with a similar level of accuracy
Tag clouds are also helpful in comparing texts. Over at pollster.com, you can see an analysis of the speeches delivered by the Democratic presidential candidates on Thursday night.
The breakthrough of TagCrowd is the easy capability to develop a tag cloud from any text – online or off line. This is a practical application of 2.0 technology to our everyday work as communicators and marketers.
As more web apps and mashups can be applied to offline tasks, these forms of technology will be integrated into the everyday work of all communicators and marketers – not just by early adopters and the technically saavy.
[tags] tag could, textual analysis, media analysis, word association [/tags]