I had some fun with Wordle, a website that allows you to create word clouds – either from a URL or from text that you supply. I tried it both ways. Here are the results:
Wordle produced this cloud from my blog’s URL. I hadn’t played with all the formatting options – font, layout, color scheme – but I liked the result and saved it.
For my second attempt, I submitted key surnames in my family research, plus three geographic locations. In my submitted text, I varied the number of times a surname was included, so as to allow the names to show in font sizes that represent their relative prominence — Brenner, Deeter, Weaver, and Gregg are my children’s four grandparent surames; Mieding, Smith, Hill, and Spitzer are added as great-grandparent surnames; and so forth. I like this one enough to include in as a regular part of the sidebar.