As part of the Developing Data Products class at Coursera, we’ve been encouraged to share our R Shiny apps on twitter using the #myDataProduct hashtag! I tweeted mine and blogged about it already. I’ve also blogged about word clouds in R. And lo and behold, someone did both! @dscorzoni combined Shiny and word clouds into a nifty little app that takes a URL and generates a word cloud from it! How cool!!

My friend recently asked me how I make word clouds for presentations. Wordle is definitely a good choice. WordPress automatically makes word clouds out of my tags in the sidebar. But sometimes you can’t or don’t want to upload your data to places like WordPress or Wordle and you just want to use R (because you use R for everything else, so why not? Or is that just me?).

In a typical word cloud, word frequency is what determines the size of the word. As of this writing, the word cloud in my side bar (over there ) has “linguistics” and “programming” as clearly the largest words. Tags like “video games,” “language,” and “education” are also pretty big. There are also really small words like “Navajo” and “handwriting.” This reflects the frequency of each tag. Bigger tags are more frequent, so I write about linguistics a lot but not so much about Navajo in particular.

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I’m not gonna lie, I’m somewhat jealous of #thegiftofdata. This couple tracked their text messages for a whole year of dating and a whole year of marriage, and got some pretty cool word clouds out of it!