President Assad’s Speech

I’m a huge fan of innovative ways to visualize information but I have mixed feelings on Word Clouds, also known as Wordles. On a few occasions I’ve seen them put to good use, but most of the time they seem to be used to show something without really showing anything.   Given that President Assad recently became the latest Arab autocrat to give a long-winded, out of touch speech to his people that completely missed the point of why people might hate him, I thought it would be a good time to see if a Wordle could help us understand the main points of his message.  My efforts below:

This all makes sense, and is in line with what I heard.  Dialogue, people, reform, and order all seem to be Assad’s main selling points.  To create a contrast, I made a word cloud for one of President Ben Ali’s speech, promising reforms in the face of mass protests.

Informative to a certain degree, but nothing Earth-shattering.  It does give you an easy way to identify the main points of each speech, although I don’t know if this method, while visually pleasant, is any more informative.

Posted on June 20, 2011, in Middle East. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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