Word Clouds: The Mullets of the Internet
Jacob Harris has a piece on the non-utility of word clouds over at the Nieman Journalism Lab.
Word clouds are basically a lazy way to inject a graphic and superficial analysis into a story. There are times when they can be useful, but as Harris points out, there is almost always a better way to visualize textual data.
Be sure to click on the links in Harris’s story for the examples of good and bad data visualization.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton