From time to time, I visit sites that, while somewhat useful, are technically time-wasters for writers—toys that take away from time that could have been spent writing. Sometimes, though, those sites can actually spark ideas.
WordSift fits that description. At its core, the site is really just a diversion: you copy some text into the box, hit the “Sift” button, and you’re presented with a page of quirky info about your writing. There’s a tag cloud, a visual thesaurus (a map of your words and related words), and associated images. Useful? Maybe. Fun? Can be.
More than anything, the site can actually help you find words you overuse and better words to convey your meaning (that’s my excuse, anyway). Go ahead and slap in some text—see how strangely addictive it is to visually trace synonyms.