Words, patterns and maps
If you look at my sidebar, you'll see a new search facility, known as a swiki, that is tailored for this blog. I'm not sure how comprehensively it looks at this blog before searching elsewhere but it definitely works. So, for example, search for 'cape town' and one or more of my blog entries as well as websites linked to me will be returned at the top of the search results. According to eurekster who developed it, a swiki is 'a search engine that learns from your community'. The 'buzz cloud' of search words is updated dynamically to show which words are popular in searches using the swiki. I still need to check to what extent this is true.
(If anyone knows how to open a new window from a script in a sidebar, please let me know - I can't get my swiki to work that way.)
I find 'clouds' ('buzz clouds', 'tag clouds', 'word clouds', etc) rather visually appealing so when I saw a link on Xmichra's blog on how to create your own word cloud extracted from the words on your blog, I immediately created my own.
Even more visually appealing are maps so I was really chuffed to find the perfect site for indulging my liking of them. I lost several hours exploring the Atlas of Cyberspaces. One of the most fascinating links you'll find there is one for TextArc where you'll have access to 'an innovative way of visualising the structure of a corpus of text'.
The above image is a static one taken from TextArc's 'reading' of Alice in Wonderland. It's fascinating watching the creation of links between words as the software processes the entire book.
TextArc is a totally interactive piece of software that is linked to Project Gutenberg so you are able to 'read' thousands of a famous works.
It doesn't look as if the site has been updated for quite a while now so although it says that a facility for reading other texts such as web pages is in development, there is no indication of when it will be available. I'd love to be able to get it to read this blog.