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Re: Wordle worthwhile to accessify?

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 12:40:42 -0400
Message-Id: <p06240805c51bc96696eb@[]>
To: Peter Thiessen <peter.thiessen@primalfusion.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

I think Jonathan of Wordle is missing the power of his own tool.

It's NOT just placing random words in a picture, but extracting words 
from a text and presenting an informational visualization. It's 
telling the user which words are the most frequently used on a Web 
page or text (because bigger = more frequently used) as well as a 
list of key words.

For instance, I did a Wordle on an educational technology site and 
discovered that the top word used was "students" and that 
"technology" was a 3rd tier word at best. I think that any user would 
be interested in this (in fact I myself wouldn't mind seeing a 
cleaned up text based version of this list).

FYI - I just found an option which shows a pop-up list of the words 
in alphabetical order and the word count.  I think this IS the 
alternative information. I would recommend a simple non-Java link to 
this list (possibly even an option for sorting by frequency). I think 
all users would be interested and would benefit.

I think the "eye candy" part (e.g. colors, fonts, layout) may be 
irrelevant, but definitely not the frequency list.


>Great points, especially exposing semantics to search engines etc.
>I argued point 5 with Jonathan and this proved hard to convince him of. His
>argument was: Wordle is not about trivial activities such as counting or
>words but all about visually representing words - its all about the visual
>eye candy. He then pointed me to a few text analysis tools:
>Perhaps these would be more along the lines you're thinking of?
>One response might be that video on the net is all about the eye candy. The
>audio is important but not nearly as important. People still find value in
>adding captions that help describe the visual content. I caught myself on
>this argument though, how the hell would you "caption" a Wordle and get
>those funky text effects meaningfully described?

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building  (formerly Rider II)
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819
Received on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 16:42:23 UTC

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