Posts Tagged ‘visualizing information’

Searching for What’s Next in Digital

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Flickr: Crystl

Flickr: Crystl

What will be the next big “game changer” for communicators?  And, how do we use it and interact with it correctly? These a few other questions were on the minds of the attendees to the first xPotomac conference on February 25.

Several presenters discussed Google and the newly announced Google Glass, and how the innovation will allow users to get their heads up. Keynote Vanessa Fox, CEO Nine by Blue, started the discussion with our habit of using Google, and how hard habits are to break. Geoff Livingston, author, marketer and xPotomac founder, along with Patrick Ashamalla, founder, A Brand New Way, said we are getting better at our Google habit. They noted one trick for Google Plus is to put your head-up to engage it. But, it will need to get smarter and begin to understand context to be truly useful. The more things are digitized, the less we are thinking. Display ads will be problematic, and the current model will need to change, especially as voice search expands.

There’s a flaw in our logic in asking Google the best way to drive traffic, because they say, “use Google.” What if Google is not the answer? Ken Yarmosh, CEO, Savvy Apps, says this came out of asking about using Bloggr vs  other sites, and agrees attention + influence is what’s next . He believes the looking at other traffic over the speed of indexing is more important.

Dino Dogan, founder, Triberr, believes the next big problem is the getting distribution power away from the big media outlets like the Huffington Post. There is a movement to take back the conversation. What’s next?  Dogan says it is attention + influence. He says the ground swell of peer to peer influence is taking hold.  He says the noise is not coming from us; it’s coming from the big media companies.

Moving into the visual revolution, Jenifer Consalvo, co-founder and COO, TechCocktail, discussed the use of the new Twitter video service, Vine, and how many companies are actually showing some restraint and waiting for a strategy before using it.  She encouraged us to look at the many how-to videos available and think of new ways to use the service. But, she reminded us to have a consistent message across all platforms. Visuals, in general, gain more engagement. Imagery is one of the biggest drivers of numbers for many platforms.

What do you think is the next big think in digital? Are you using any new technologies you can share with the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers?

Visual Display of Data is an Art

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

by Jeffrey Barrett*
Last week, a colleague attended a talk, on presenting data and information, by Edward Tufte, Professor Emeritus at Yale University and author of works on analytical design. I was jealous of my colleague, as I have been a long-time consumer of Tufte’s (and not incidentally his wife’s) works.

Although I have not heard him speak in a good ten years or so, listening to the rehash of his lecture resulted in a rainy Sunday exploring different people’s efforts with visualizing information – from fonts to social graphs.


I found the above display of Twitter statistics rather interesting. It puts a real focus on two sets of five people: those following (listening) and those talking on Twitter. One could take this picture as an illustration of a simple fact; the majority of Twitter is worth ignoring as a consumer (follower).

However, I thought to myself, “What would Tufte say about this graphic?” and I think he would be dismayed. The graphic fails to tackle time and the change in its surroundings. What makes Twitter interesting is not how it looks when “static,” but instead how it appears in “motion” when different influencers come into play. Immediately my thoughts go to this fantastic representation of Napoleon’s March to Moscow. It shows, with such depth, the story of Napoleon’s army during the War of 1812.

Indeed, there is a wealth of data at hand, a plethora of free tools with which to understand it visually, and more of both on the way. I so look forward to the near future when my colleagues at BurrellesLuce and I get to move beyond the foundational work of our systems and go after the challenges of creating great graphical representations of our data and the world that surrounds it.

*Bio: Currently I am the chief architect of BurrellesLuce 2.0, the portal used by thousands of PR professionals to monitor, share, organize, and measure online and print news. I started as a web developer for Merck & Company and I am an accomplished technologist with a focus on large scale system architecture and implementation. With over ten years of experience designing and deploying technical solutions for a wide range of companies, I most recently managed web projects for NBC Universal, where I delivered social networking applications and supported high traffic applications. Prior to that, I served as director of technology for Silver Carrot, a marketing firm, creating and delivering the technology that powered high-performance online campaigns. In my spare time, I enjoy reading about economics and anything that has to do with modeling social interaction and social media. LinkedIn: Jeffrey Barrett; Twitter: @BurrellesLuce; Facebook: BurrellesLuce