Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Social Network for Wordies

A Social Network for Wordies

I have a love-hate relationship with writing. Clearly, it's intimately tied to what I do. But sometimes it's also a fear that grips me. I struggle to find the right words, which result in my re-using the same ones over and over again (doh - like the word "over.")

Hacks and tools help clear my thinking so I can write. This is why I am a fan of Mindmanager and WriteRoom (Mac/iPhone) and WriteMonkey (for Windows). But I haven't found a tool yet until now that can replace a good thesaurus - every writer's best friend - by taking a new approach.  

Enter Wordnik, a great reference I just stumbled on. It's for people who love or (at least need to live with) words. Unlike a static reference, Wordnik is made for the real-time web. Each word page of course offers the usual in the way of definitions, but Wordnik goes a step further by pulling in images from Flickr and the latest tweets. 

Here's the most interesting part, though. Wordnik is also a social network for words. If you login with Facebook Connect you can favorite words, comment on them and more. I have no idea what the business model is but Wordnik raised $3.7M in financing - even during the Great Recession. The site's approach has me hooked so I am rooting for them to grow so that they can become a more comprehensive resource.

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