Friday, April 30, 2010

If I Was a Word Cloud: Creating Your Visual Biography

We often get asked to introduce ourselves at the onset of a workshop or meeting, or at the beginning of a presentation. We may say a few words, or cram our entire CV on a PPT slide. What are some other, more creative ways to introduce ourselves?

If you want to give an impression of your experience in an interesting way, I really like the Wordle option. Go to Now take a Word version of your Curriculum Vitae. Select all and copy your entire CV. Paste it into the box on Wordle, and in 1 minute you have a beautiful word cloud that you can screen shot and paste into a PPT slide. The word cloud emphasizes key words that are more frequently used, so you get a quick snapshot of who you are and what you do.

I heard about another cool tool last night called Personas, a data mining site created by the MIT Media Lab that is a part of the Metropathologies exhibit. It says it "scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person". It produces an interesting visual and a final continuum with key words that best describe you (you have to try it to get the gist - it takes literally 2 minutes). This screen shot can be captured and popped into a PPT slide. Both of these are licensed under the Creative Commons licenses so can be shared, and used with attibution (so put the URL on your slide too).

Two interesting ways to give people insight into the innovative you.