Wordle is a fascinating online service that takes a bunch of text, or an RSS feed, and then mashes it all together to create a word cloud of ideas.  Here’s the Wordle mash for the Urban Semiotic Atom feed.  It’s wild to see the words that pop out at you and, reading it semiotically to form sentences out of the cloud, I see “Twitter new know stream.” and “American religion good people.”  What semoitic sentences does your mind form in the following pareidoliac clouds?

You can tell Wordle which colors and fonts to use.  I chose the “Mostly Vertical” layout option for all the examples and then I flipped them on their sides so you can read everything here in a narrow format. 

Here’s the RSS mash for RelationShaping.  I see these pareidoliac sentence fragments popping out:  “Sergey Registration DNA.” and “New OpenID outlier.”

This is the Wordle RSS mashup for WordPunk

When I semiotically read this pareidoliac word mash, my eye forms the following sentences. 

“Just writing books.” and “New book part.” 

How perfectly pleasing on all human levels!

I was surprised the Boles University Wordle RSS mash was so barren until I realized Wordle was pulling the re-burned feed from that blog via Feedburner. 

I have that blog setup to replace the generic Atom feed with Feedburner – thanks Google! — and that’s why you see a big results for “Content” and “Summary” and “Website” and “Links” — those are options that appear on the Feedburner RSS feed.  Ugh.   

I actually made that mistake for all my blogs in this article:  I used the Feedburner RSS stream instead of the native blog feed — and that meant I had those giant, default, words over whelming every other word in my cloud mashes. 

I recreated all my blogs on Wordle using the native Atom RSS feeds and the results are much more interesting than the Boles University Feedburner re-feed.

Here’s the RSS Wordle cloud mashing for Celebrity Semiotic

My eye leaps to semiotically form “Must right God,” and “Every hatred Palin” into pareidoliac sentences and — even though they don’t make structural sense — we know what the cloud is saying to us. 

For this next Wordle mash, I copied the text for my article — Vice President Joe Six Pack and Renting the American Dream — and received this amazing cloud in return. 

Semiotic sentence finds include “Want ownership people” and “American war presidential.”  Eerie chills on the spine… 

Give Wordle a try on your blog — or with any of your writing — and let us know what pareidoliac clouds formations you find!

Post a link to the image so we can visit to see your genius in the word mash cloud!


  1. Oh what fun David !
    I like the fact that PEOPLE is/are prominent on at least two.
    PALIN removed CONTENT 🙂
    PALIN content MISSING !
    I am going to have to play now!

  2. I think it came out just right !
    I was very amused to see the cross over between my Wordle and yours – I guess that is because you comment a lot and you do inspire me too 😉

  3. “Crossover” is the perfect word four our Wordle relationship, Nicola. Totally neat! What great, warm, fun for a cold Friday on the East Coast!
    I also like how these Wordles create snapshots in time of your thoughts and processes.

  4. 🙂
    I think the snapshots of how our thought processes and our focus on certain topics change is going to be very interesting – almost worth doing one a month to track what our concerns are over a year.
    A blog in pictures ……….. very semiotic !

  5. This is incredible David! Awesome!
    For some reason it is not working in my computer, will try again and will publish the result.

  6. I wonder if it isn’t working on your end, Katha, because the Wordle site requires Java to create the cloud? If you’re using a locked-down work machine, you probably are forbidden from running Java stuff.

  7. Hi David,
    Yes, I am using my office computer but I know “Java” is installed in this laptop – might be a “version” confusion.
    Will check once I am back in town. Can’t wait!

  8. We are always busy David, who isn’t?
    You mean whether they pay for it?
    Yes, I make a travel plan, they arrange for it – I reach my destination and work – finito!

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