Friday, April 6, 2012

Keywords and summaries are a quick test of informativeness

Visual Summary
Illustation by Stephen Doyle
Writing in the Internet age is a particular form of  communication art where informativeness - the significance of provided information - must be delivered directly and without fluff. 

Linguistic studies show that there is a direct relation between language of informativeness and success or failure in keeping the reader’s attention.

Any indulgence in verbosity dilutes the message and tires the reader.

Reading is type of filtering and sorting exercise.

While we are reading, often scanning and skimming through the text, we are looking for words that catch our attention. These keywords, and often key phrases, serve as a highly condensed summary of the text.
Key phrases are often highlighted within the body of the document to facilitate users’ fast browsing and reading.

In the academic practice for publishing papers key phrases are usually manually assigned by authors, especially for journals, conference articles or back-of-the book indexes. However, the vast majority of documents such as news, magazine articles, web pages do not provide key phrases because the manual effort of assigning key phrases is too expensive.

It stands to reason that applying intelligent automated tools for summarizing is practical and helpful in improving  communication and speed up understanding.

One of such tools is WebSummarizer. Here is a sample of WebSummarizer’s Visual Summary based in this post:


To navigate the Visual Summary:
 * click on any + or - next to a keyword in the map
 * or click on the Expand All or Collapse All buttons.   
As we can see in this example, when we condense the text to a set of keywords and summaries this will provide an important measure of informativeness. It tells the reader what are the main topics and in what context these topics are discussed. This informativeness index is like a cognitive tool helping the readers to quickly gauge their interest in the text.

Moreover, readers can easily examine each keyword and the related summaries to quickly glance the details. The visualization of information  is one of the key advantages of Visual Summary presentation.

By visual examination of the key phrases and summaries it is much easier to make decision whether to read the piece in depth or just skip it.

Practice shows that  it is useful to automatically extract key phrases from web pages to accompany the main content of the document. And with automated tools such as WebSummarizer providing summaries is very easy.
Key phrases are all about being informative! 

About WebSummarizer

WebSummarizer provides tools to VISUALIZE and SUMMARIZE web pages and documents.

The results are presented as interactive Visual SummariesTree Views and a Keyword Clouds and can be downloaded easily published in blogs and websites

The Visual Summary can be navigated in any browser on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The Keyword Cloud is linked with Wikipedia Knowledge Base. When you click on the keyword in the cloud you will be presented with an instant Visual Summary.

You can summarize text in English, French, German and Spanish.

The keywords and summaries are easily exported to other applications such as word editors, browsers, mind mapping applications like Mindjet MindManager, MindGenius, XMind, and any other mind mapping application.

FREE Trial here: WebSummarizer

No comments:

Post a Comment