COVID Odyssey: Spring Spruce up 34 ~ Post#917: NZ Delta COVID-19~ Are Word Clouds harmful?

Are Word Clouds harmful? See:

Word clouds considered harmful

From the above website ‘Word Clouds first originated online in the 1990s as tag clouds (famously described as “the mullets of the Internet“).’

In a previous post there was no obvious suitable image for our post:

COVID Odyssey: Spring Spruce up 32 ~ Post#915: NZ Delta COVID-19~ The Disinformation project

Disinformation about COVID-19 is far more harmful!

We decided to include a Word Cloud (aka Tag Cloud). We came across this article:

Word clouds considered harmful

However all existing Word Clouds were definitely copyrighted for the key word Disinformation for this post:

COVID Odyssey: Spring Spruce up 32 ~ Post#915: NZ Delta COVID-19~ The Disinformation project

We decided to use an existing Word Cloud creator to create a Word Cloud.

We tried several online and liked the presentation of this one the best (but see below):
https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/

We could not resist creating a Word Cloud for the text in the Nieman Lab post above:

NL

The Word Cloud was created by copying and pasting text from the post into:
https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/

The Nieman Lab post may have been derived from an historical 1968 letter from E. W. Dijkstra (in the Communications of the ACM Volume 11, Issue 3) where Go To statements were considered harmful:

Click to access Dijkstra68.pdf

https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/362929.362947
Also see:
https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.5555/1241515.1241518

Click to access EWD215.PDF

For more examples of Word Clouds, see:

COVID Odyssey: Spring Spruce up 32 ~ Post#915: NZ Delta COVID-19~ The Disinformation project

Most online Word Cloud creators did not have the angled words that I was looking for.

They also did not usually allow for an input of words and frequencies.

We therefore chose words and created an Excel spreadsheet to generate copies of the words to use as input. For some words we just typed in the frequency (number of times) desired. For most word we just got Excel to choose a random number of times using the RANDBETWEEN function. e.g. RANDBETWEEN(1;20).

We used the Excel REPT function to generate the required number of repetitions of each word, putting a space between. e.g. for a word in column A3 in cell C3 we would put =REPT(A3&” “;B3):

ExcelWordCloudText

Thereafter it was we only needed to copy column C and paste it into the Word Cloud creator.

In the first column, phrases such as “Fake News” and “social media” required an addition of a non-breaking space between the words so they were not treated as two distinct words.

This can be found under Insert,  Symbol (right hand end), Special characters:

NonBreaking

We also changed the 250 word limit to 300.

Below are more examples of Word Clouds we generated:

DisinformationTag5

DisinformationTag4

DisinformationTag3

The Word Cloud looks pretty.

However not all words were included in each cloud.

Each time we clicked on Go!, a new Cloud was created.

Even with just the text below it took many attempts (every time) to get all of the words in the Word Cloud:

Disinformation Disinformation Disinformation Disinformation Disinformation Disinformation Disinformation
Social Media Social Media Social Media Social Media Social Media Social Media Social Media
Fake News Fake News Fake News Fake News Fake News
Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook

This means the basic concept of a Word Cloud is not fulfilled.

We used the Snipping Tool in Windows Accessories to save the image created.

I appreciate Jason’s help getting this sorted out. However apart from an initial email, I have not heard from Jason.

https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/

https://aaamazingphoenix.wordpress.com/?s=Spring+Spruce+up

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