The Boston Globe did a ‘Wordpile’ analysis of both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama’s websites and generated some fascinating graphics. Check out the original here. There’s lots one could say about these graphics — the Globe only highlights a few of the fascinating terms, and I’d want to try to chase down the context of a few that show up prominently because they look pretty ambiguous — but some factors stand out clear as day. The most obvious is that ‘Obama’ is the most mentioned word on both blogs. ‘Veeeery inturusting…’
The reason I bring this visual up though is that I found it a fascinating, graphically powerful way to present a basic qualitative-quantitative bit of research. Although I’m intrigued by research tools like nVivo and Atlas.ti, I sometimes wish that there were richer ways to present the data. This ‘Wordpile’ output is rich enough to put on a t-shirt! I’ll have to find some way to integrate it into my seminars on hybrid research methods.
And if anyone knows where I can lay my hands on the software or script to generate this sort of thing, please send along the link. A quick search didn’t give me anything, and I don’t want to sit in my office all Friday obsessing about this.