From my first foray into TAPoR, I was left feeling extremely discouraged and very frustrated. Being the only group member without yielding any results besides, finding a few capital letters, made me feel a bit heartbroken. I do, however, have to announce that this second go with TAPoR has been showing me positive results. I still cannot say, that TAPoR and I are on great terms but we have definitely made progress in our relationship. Instead of only getting error messages 100% of the time, I now get them about 50%. I mark that as a huge step in the right direction.
The very aesthetically pleasing word cloud and I have become fast friends. It always works without error and I can manipulate it by taking out words like: â€œtheâ€, â€œandâ€ and â€œbutâ€. The word cloud tool does exactly what it sounds. It makes a pretty colorful cloud with different sized words. The words that are most commonly used in the text are bigger then the words who were not used. This tool is definitely a tool to use as a jumping off spot at the beginning of your research. I was able to pull important words from this and then using the same words to look at a deeper meaning within the text.
This, unfortunately, is where my progress stopped since the other tools still refuse to succumb to my persistence. As I was working through my problems with the program, I have found some interesting facts of the good parts of the program and its limitations. The most important piece of information I have gathered is that TAPoR is a program that you need to use more then one of its many tools. By just looking at a word cloud, the research and information you gather is unfortunately useless, unless you utilize the other tools. Concordance, and collocates are tools (if they would cooperate) I would use next to continue on my research path. I have yet to get them to cooperate but I am sure that they will cave eventually.
From working within my group another piece of information I have gathered. That is, no matter who, when and how, it is hard to get the same results as your team member. Matt and I noticed that we had different findings using the caps finder. Even though we both used the same version of Hamlet (the URL from the Hamlet blog) we ended up having different results. Being curious, we decided to do a group caps finder. We used the same tool, at the same time, with the same URL, to see what results we will gather. Not only did our computers lag but, only 2 out of 5 group members gathered the same results. Thus being said, I only found this a small frustration then my initial run of the program last week.
Besides the caps finder giving us different results, I find TAPoR starting to work well with digitally analyzing text for us, beginner digital humanist. This as a good method to quickly pull out quantitative results without having to slave over an act; saving us time without the need of our trusty highlighter, highlighting the all common themes and words. Who knew a computer program can do that for you in a blink of an eye? However, this tool, to me, is still only a supplement that can help your research NOT the substitute to the actual text.
For now, I believe I am on the right track and I am finding some results. Questions are definitely being answered and work is moving in the right direction. Feeling more confident then before, I see the light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.
Some comedic relief for the computer discouraged, here are some error messages I have received since my last post. Enjoy 🙂