Many people hold word clouds, wordle in particular, in a negative light. While I agree that, yes, sometimes word clouds can complicate things more than they clear things up and make posts look messy, if done correctly they can be quite useful.
Above is a word cloud of the short story A Scandal in Bohemia, by Arthur Conan Doyle. I used wordle to create this visual because I knew how to work it and I found it was best suited for what I wanted to do. If someone were to look at this word cloud, they would already know that the story was about Sherlock Holmes, a king, and a photograph because those are the biggest words in the cloud. The black and white color scheme makes it easier to read because the black words stand out against the white background. I enjoyed picking which font to use, though it was frustrating because a lot of them were very hard to read. I picked this font because I felt it had more of a Victorian feel than any of the others. So, right off the bat, someone would already know that this Sherlock story was about a king and a photograph, and also, if he was using his context clues, that it was written a long time ago.
I think word clouds are best left to help someone get a basic understanding of a book or of an idea, not to be used in a serious argument unless it is absolutely necessary. All and all, there is a time and a place for word clouds, and if you’re a beginner with web tools, wordle can be very useful.