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Interesting Comparison of Words

There is a great tool called Wordle. It allows you to input text in a variety of ways and then creates “word art” based on the repetition of words within the submitted text. The physical size of the words represent the number of times that word was said. So the word used most often in the text will be the largest, and so on down the line.

The past two weeks have given us the chance to see two men present very different visions of where they want to take the United States. I have taken the text of those two speeches, put it through Wordle, and produced the graphics below.

It’s an interesting experiment in not only what these men are saying, but how often they repeat specific words and phrases.

Click on an image to see it full size.

Obama’s Acceptance Speech.

Obama's Acceptance Speech

McCain’s Acceptance Speech.

McCain's Acceptance Speech

I find the contrast interesting.

What do you think?

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February first is around the corner

Next week the month of February will start. Other than making me realize that the end of the first month, one-third of the first quarter, is done it marks a time of transition for me and my design business.

I’ve been in business now for 19 months. I am closing in on the “24 month” threshold that is the old tale that any business that can make it past 2 years is going to last. I must admit when I started the venture of starting my own business I was unsure I would get enough clients to pay the bills. I’ve been fortunate to sustain and slowly grow my business completely through word-of-mouth.

However, now I find myself at a threshold. I spend a great deal of my time “managing” the business and work, and not doing the work itself. It’s a paradox I’m sure every person that has started out on their own has come to face.

I’ve decided to search for a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is a qualified business professional that can offer a wide variety of business support services. It really depends on what your needs are. I have gone through the process of filling out a thorough form, received inquiries from qualified candidates and then had phone interviews with four people. From those four I selected “the one.” I am starting the new phase of business this February first that will begin to allow me to focus on the things I do best (think billable!) versus the things I can do (think unbillable!).

It really is a simple solution. I find myself spending from 40-60 hours per month managing my business. If I get half of that back in billable time, my inflow will increase overall not to mention the good feeling that will come in having someone other than me invested in the success of my business.

More will come in the next few weeks as we start working together.

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Presidential Speech Tag Cloud

A very interesting project online from Chirag Mehta.

He has analyzed all state of the union addresses through a timeline/tagline based tag cloud.

A very interesting an useful implementation of tag clouds. I recommend having a look. It may inspire other ways to use this tool of information analysis.

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Helping keep things simple

This past week I made a few more desktop patterns based off of the book “The Laws of Simplicity.”

I had been waiting with anticipation for these as my plan was to have a folder complete with all of them so that they could be randomly placed on my desktop to help reiterate the laws to my conscious and subconscious mind.

Well, I went ahead and started to create some of them and I thought it would be nice to share them with the author of “Laws of Simplicity,” John Maeda. I sent an email complete with attached PNG files of the desktops I created. I received a nice reply from John a few days later thanking me for creating real simplicity by making it so he didn’t even have to think about creating them.

He was kind enough to mention it on his blog today.

I highly recommend John’s book. It has applications to all areas of life and has had an impact on mine. Thanks John!

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The iPhone Countdown

As I was reading some of my favourite blogs today I came across a funny website.

Called iphonecountdown the website has an image of an iPhone complete with days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the release of the iPhone. They even have a link to a PDF download that will let you print, cutout and hold a paper iPhone if you are jonesing for one that badly.
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