Thursday, September 25, 2008

Interview about Wordle

I recently had the pleasure to do a 35 minute interview about how I came to make Wordle, and then the even greater pleasure to hear it edited down to a fairly concise 6 minutes or so. I'm pleased with it for a couple of reasons: 1) she used an excellent Church of Betty song to frame the interview, and 2) I got to speak my mind about the principles that ought to inform software design, but so rarely do.

"Can I have a Wordle with you?" (at


Michael McCafferty said...

In the interview you mention writing code with physical constraints in mind, such as bandwidth, storage, processor speeds, etc...

Because of these constraints, we have Wordle "lite", which I enjoy and appreciate for the fine work it represents.

Now, what if "the marketplace" were to determine that it wanted to pay to have some of Wordle's constraints removed?

I think you could publish a Wordle II.

The flow of feature requests you are getting is a good sign of a marketplace for a Wordle commercial product.

I also see the potential for a trademarked, patented process, to be added in to Word processing and document preparation engines, and photo and yes: video (watch the Wordle evolve, 3D, etc.)

Again... love the work!

All the best,

ps: I'd llike to see each word be a user-defined hyperlink. And also would appreciate user-defined vocabulary.

Jonathan Feinberg said...

There will eventually be a Wordle II, but its emphasis will be on providing a safe space for teachers and others for whom the main Wordle site is inappropriate.

I like the idea of making the words links. Indeed, the code has always been there. I'm not sure how to let people specify where the links should go.

Unknown said...

Nice! And thank you for a wonderful "toy". I like that you are cautious about claiming any kind of spcial value for Wordle. But I also like the "emergent meaning" that sometimes occurs from a Wordle.I'm no psychologist, but I think that stripping away the grammar and syntax from a page of words sometimes allows a deeper or more immediate or more clear meaning to "pop out". Anyway, thanks again!

Michael McCafferty said...

It might be a natural path for Wordle to create and link the community of Worlders (those who Wordle) by the similarity of their Wordles. Who else has created a Wordle substantially similar to one of mine, and what was the source of that was used to create the Wordle?

Rachel B said...

You're pretty awesome. Just, you know, in general.

Anonymous said...

An amazing piece of software, the results are breathtaking. I'm awed.