Posted by: ateedub | July 21, 2008

The Tag Cloud of War

War. Huh. What is it good for?

Let’s take a look at war’s tag cloud from the view of traditional publications and online social media publications. I would predict before running this analysis that the more traditional print publications would be more theoretical with big ideas, while the social media publications would focus more on today’s wars. (Note: the results from Technorati, Youtube & Google are recommended searches or tags from the search engines themselves and are not tag clouds.)

Let’s see how well my prediction works:

Mirriam Webster‘s definition of war looks like this as a tag cloud:

created at

Encyclopedia Britannica‘s tag cloud for war looks like this:

created at

When I search Technorati for blogs tagged with war, it suggests the following tags are related:

iraq politics bush terrorism israel news iran middle east military lebanon

Youtube’s search results for war recommend that I also try:

Google‘s related searches include:

vietnam war peloponnesian war war definition world war 1

According to a tagcloud from Wikipedia, war is:

created at

There are some interesting results here. The dictionary and encyclopedia provided largely expected results. Wikipedia’s also seem fairly similar, with some surprising entries. For example, “youth” is one of the key words in the cloud, perhaps reflecting more of a social commentary about war (that it’s often the young who are sent).

The other social media results come from related searches, and as such display a different kind of information. These are terms that are often associated with war by users while tagging their content or by users searching on the term “war”. Technorati’s list of related tags provides an overview recent and ongoing wars.

On the other hand, Google’s suggested searches focus on older wars. Perhaps with the plethora of information about today’s wars from news outlets and blogs, fewer people are using search to find information about contemporary wars.

Youtube has particularly interesting results in its recommended searches, and also in the videos that are returned for the search. Most of the recommended searches refer to video games and movies. Nearly all of the videos that are returned in the top 20 for this search are for video games, comedy routines, or songs. The lone exception is the following; a song that plays to images from the Iraq war:

On the other hand, searching for “Iraq” in Youtube, nearly all of the videos in the top 20 are related to the war (with the possible exception of 2 videos on Marines seeing UFOs in Iraq).

Interestingly, a search for “Iraq” in Technorati pulls up mostly posts about politics in the U.S. In fact both of the searches on “war” and “Iraq” pull up headlines from the Politics section of the site.


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