Sunday, January 31, 2010

We Can't Decide if This is Useful,
So We Ask Y'All to Help Us Decide

'Visuwords uses Princeton University’s WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. Combined with a visualization tool and user interface built from a combination of modern web technologies, Visuwords is available as a free resource to all patrons of the web.'
--from the Visuwords website. Thoughts, anyone?

13 Comments:

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Kim said...

I will get back to you, but my first reaction is COOL!

It seems to encompass the best of a dictionary and thesaurus. The movement & color coding is a bit distracting, but I've bookmarked it for those times when "I need a fresh way to say something familiar."

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Glad to hear it, Kim. It did also seem to me to be possibly useful at first glance, and you've convinced me to spend a few more moments with it. I was multitasking even more ferociously than usual when I first came across it.

 
At 2:32 AM, Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

It's pretty and I could waste a lot of time playing with it but I'm not sure I'd pick it in place of a thesaurus. It's a little slow and I found it hard to read without zooming in and then zooming out again.

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

That's pretty much what I concluded also after spending a few more minutes with it, Jim. But since you mentioned the thesaurus, here's a question I've been meaning to ask: am I the only one who's pretty much stopped using a hard copy thesaurus, in favor of thesaurus.com? Not sure I trust dictionary.com enough to use regularly--in fact, I don't--but its online thesaurus cousin seems to do the trick just fine for me.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

I own 27 dictionaries, John, not counting my wife's pile and yet I couldn't tell you the last time I picked one up. As a kid I'd spend hours buried in them but I really have come to depend on the Internet, probably too much.

I have no special loyalty to any one site though and a lot of the time all I need do is type a word in Google and an article will come up with the word used in context.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

A man after my own heart, Jim. I did the same with encyclopedias and almanacs also. That's the hallmark of a hungry mind. And you're certainly right about how Google sometimes takes care of the problem just fine.

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger Kass said...

Cool site. Like Kim, I think I'll use it to spark my creativity. Don't think it's succinct or simple enough to rely on for clarity.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Perhaps the beginnings of a gender trend? Thus far, two women like it, and two guys find it less than ideal from a mostly utilitarean standpoint. I suppose we need a much larger population to draw any meaningful conclusions.

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your use of "we"? What are some large think tank employing 100's of employees? Well, "we", i think Visuwords is very neat and one of the best finds that i have ever come across after reading your liberal rag blog. Most of your stuff is Rachel Maddow like,but Visuwords is very nice. By the way i still like to thumb through a hard copy Thesarus. There is still something about picking up a book and paging through it. Just like visiting an old book store.
MFH

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

As you know, I quite agree about books and bookstores. Not sure if you really like Visuwords or are just busting my chops. As for Rachel Maddow--hell, she's a pretty sharp lady (a graduate of Cambridge University in England, I believe), and quite articulate and on top of the issues. So we'll accept it as a compliment.

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really do like Visuwords, it is by far one of the coolest sites i have seen. I am not sure of how in depth it will be but from a knowledge/ intellectual standpoint but it sure is worth spending more time using it.

Mfh

 
At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Mark Keating said...

I do like Visuwords for its geek-chic appeal. But I haven't been there since I got Rodale's Synonym Finder.

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Mark, I think you've coined an interesting phrase that nicely rolls off the tongue (at least when pronounced properly): geek-chic appeal.

 

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