Have you ever heard of the term word cloud? I only found out the proper name for it over the weekend during a marathon drive with my girlfriend, obviously she knew what it was. A word cloud is a depiction of a variety of words, with the size of the word corresponding to its importance, based on usage. I had seen word clouds in various context, sometimes with the color of the word depicting the sentiment (e.g., red word is bad, green is good).
But now that I know these graphical word depictions have a name, I was interested to discover that making a word cloud was relatively simple. A quick Internet search for word cloud returned an outstanding site called Wordle. The site provides a variety of tools to create, modify and perfect your word cloud with options to save and share.
Wordle has options to analyze a URL/Blogs, as well as a free form window where you can paste text. I took the text from a series of articles I have been writing on HP’s global cards and payments solutions and created my own word cloud (see graphic in this blog or URL for a more colorful rendition).
What I find interesting is how word cloud summarizes your thoughts and pictorially highlights their respective priority based on usage. My word cloud was what I would have expected with an emphasis on payments, value, information, transaction, data and consumer. That is the essence of the whole consumer intimacy strategy HP has been pursuing with global cards and payments. Linking the mobile phone to the payment instrument has been an area of more recent focus.
What did surprise me was the minimal use of the word 'secure.' I would have thought that 'secure' would have been at least the size of 'cloud.' At first I thought maybe I am not writing as much about security and the need for secure cloud computing. But then I remembered that I write a lot about HP's secure payment and tokenization services but not yet for the target of my current articles. So this word cloud is a subset of my total universe of thoughts.
Which got me thinking. What if I had a word cloud turned onto everything I did? Where I go, what I search for, what I read, purchase, text, blog, tweet, etc. That would really be an insightful thing, or so I thought. But over the weekend I described such an approach, even before I knew the real name of word cloud, to a colleague who responded, 'who would want to do that?‘
How about you? Would you want to track your activities? Try making your own word cloud. What are your thoughts on the process and what the cloud says about you?
To learn more about HP’s global cards and payments solutions, please check out these resources.