Stop Using Word Clouds

Word clouds suck. On a surface level, they are nothing more than a quantification of buzzwords, and thus represent yet another failure of sales marketing goons to think about any concept independent of commodification. As such, a certain amount of dubiousness is baked in to the concept, and therefore any attempt at analysis of their, uh…”data” is doomed to result in some truly specious-ass conclusions. This, I suppose, is fine, because I’ve never looked at a word cloud and had the slightest fucking clue what it’s supposed to teach me, or what I’m supposed to have gained from the experience.

Furthermore, they suck to look at. Even if everything I said in the previous paragraph is demonstrably false (and I doubt it is), it would not change the fact that to look at a word cloud is to be stabbed in the cornea via incorporeal means. What the fuck are these? Why are some words arranged horizontally and others vertically? What principles of good visual design are being applied here? Who asked for this? What is elucidated by any of this shit? How did we let word clouds come to prominence, and why do we stand for them?

In conclusion, word clouds suck and are less useful that a gif of a bonobo jacking off. If you’re considering using one for any reason, use anything else.

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