I hate to run away from Wordle because I love Wordle, but Tagxedo offers better options for individualizing a word cloud. Then, when using as a project to discuss character, setting, or any of the other literary elements we're asked to discuss, students can also justify why they chose a specific shape for their word. Tagxedo also offers the ability to customize the shape of the cloud.
In playing with the app I took a paper from my RDG 617: Media Literacy class on how the show Boondocks examines stereotypes within the African-American community, uploaded it and a outlined picture of the main character, Huey Freeman. This is what was created, which I think is pretty neat.
Another nice aspect of Tagxedo is that on my slow computer at home, the app runs quickly. I don't have to spend as much time waiting for a render as I do with Wordle. Tagxedo is also set up so word clouds can be saved. If I wanted to save a Wordle, I saved it to the public gallery to come back to later, or I opened it on my Mac, selected "Print" and then clicked the PDF button.
The kicker will be this: will Tagxedo work at school when Wordle doesn't? (It was unblocked but the computers in my classroom are a little out of date.