Friday, November 23, 2012

A-muse-ment in Digital Form

After reading Chris Friend’s blog on alternate personas in the world of digital writing (When Writing Digitally, Nobody Knows You’re a Duck), I began to ponder what alternate persona I would assume if I were to take one on like Digi the Duck. To assume a digital persona is a bit like dressing up for Halloween, being someone you aren’t in everyday life. My first thought gravitated toward creating a new goddess, you know, all powerful but loving. More specifically, the new persona could be a Muse, breathing inspiration into writers of digital texts, including myself. She could join her nine Muse sisters including Calliope, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhnmnia, and Thalia, the other Muses associated with the craft of writing. She could not, however, become the tenth Muse because Sappho of Lesbos has already been bestowed with that honor. A more appropriate title for the Muse of digital writing would be the .5 Muse. I’ll call her Digimulios, the Muse of amusement in digital form.
I need to call on Digimulios now because I am getting way off topic. What I want to share is a word cloud of Friend’s blog shaped appropriately as a duck. I used to develop this word cloud. The site’s default shapes did not include a duck, so I imported one from PowerPoint.

Word clouds are a great way to see which (digital) words are emphasized. In seeing words sized in relation to the frequency of their use, we can see which ideas are accentuated as well. Do you think this word cloud expresses the essence of the blog entry?

 I also tried another analysis tool for digital text at This tool allows you to classify a work by Myers-Briggs categories, gender emphasis, age appropriateness, social issues, mood, tone, and many other classifications. I ran the Friend blog entry through the classics classifier, which compares the style of a work of digital text to the writing styles of classic authors. I found that the writing in this blog entry was classified as 33% similar to the writing style of Nietzsch’s works, 17% with Edgar Allen Poe, and almost 13% with Plato (a close friend to a young Digimulios most likely).
Both of these approaches can open possibilities for a variety of approaches for analyzing available digital texts, while also being an inspiration for creating new texts. I implore you, Digimulios, to sing the URLs for these tools from the heavens of cyber space. Inspire digital writers and expand our network. By the way, don’t forget to sing to me with your inspiration when you see my curser blinking on a blank Word document.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for trying out these tools and sharing the results! Once I stop playing with them, I'll let you know the results.