4 Powerful Social Media Graphs

Line graphs are amazing!  They can tell a powerful story with so little on the page.

Take this for Example…

1.  Facebook Overtakes Google

Line Graph Showing Facebook Overtaking Google in Traffic

This is a perfect example of a newsworthy hook.

There is little in the way of fancy visualisation or design, but the data and the story are very strong.  So much so, the original post on the Hitwise blog was linked to by 566 different websites.  Now, that’s a serious hook!

Next up…

2.  Foursquare Users Double After Facebook Launches Places

Line Graph Showing Foursquare Users Double After The Launch of Facebook Places

Two things stand out for me here.  The first is, I believe(?!) this backs up some basic principles in business.

The first to enter the market is often the one that remains the leader.

When a competitor enters the market, you might think the first company will lose a share of the market, but in fact, the market grows, and both gain business.

I am not an expert on this matter, but for more info, you should definitely check out the amazing (and short) book by Al Ries & Jack Trout – The 22 Irrefutable Laws of Marketing.

The second thing that struck me about this chart was the headline.  Often in infographics, the headline is a kind of lame effort, like ‘The Rise of Foursquare’ or something similar.  And the readers are left to determine what’s interesting about the graph.

But here, like any good journalist, they’ve pulled out the most surprising fact and slapped it right up front.  That’s standard practice in journalism and copywriting, but something infographics and data visualisation specialists might do well to remember.

And so to graph 3…

3.  The Android Effect on HTC

Line Graph Showing The Increase in HTC Profit After The Launch of Android

The main thing I love about this graph is the annotation.  It’s so simple, yet the inclusion of the iconic Android logo is enough to make the point.  And the way the Android is pointing upwards makes me smile too.

Simple but effective design (which is the best kind, right?!)

And finally…

4.  The Utter Collapse of Myspace

Line Graph Showing The Utter Collapse of Myspace

I was a big fan of Myspace when it first came out, and am still kind of fond of it, though I must confess I mostly only venture over there to see if my account’s still active.

What grabbed me about this visualisation is most people have heard that Myspace is plummeting, so this visualisation hardly seems like news.  But I had no idea just how badly they were heading South.  And this graph really drives it home.

So there you have it – 4 powerful stories told by a simple line graph.

Job done.

The Principle of The Flywheel

This is a slide from Will Critchlow’s presentation at the Distilled seminar in London last Friday.

Will used the slide to describe his experience of building a business, though he mentioned he thought it was applicable to many different areas.  And I agree.

The Flywheel vs Cycling Uphill Line Graph

The analogy goes as follows…

When cycling uphill, you start off with great gusto, and seem to be getting somewhere, but as you cycle further and further uphill, you get to the point where you barely feel like you’re moving.

Contrast this with the flywheel, which can take ages to get moving, but once it’s really going, you would struggle to stop it even if you wanted to.

In the example of building a business, Will discussed how the activities that bring results initially are not the same ones that will bring you long-term success.  For example, when Will first started Distilled (with Duncan Morris), they went door-to-door in the local area.  Their first client job was building a website for the local hairdresser.

However, it was stuff like blogging, tweeting, building relationships and running events that have really enabled Distilled to produce rapid growth, despite the low return of these activities for at least a year!

Anyway, I liked the metaphor (and the graph), so thought I’d share it on here with you.

Effective Use Of The Word Cloud

It’s going to be a short post today, but I just wanted to share an example of an effective word cloud with you.  Before I saw this, I hadn’t really appreciated the word cloud as a form of data visualisation.

Undoubtedly, they can be pretty, but I hadn’t necessarily seen them as useful.

The example below comes from Reevoo, a company that gather online product reviews.  In this example, they created a word cloud from the “most regularly used words in negative reviews of Android phones.”

See if you can guess what the most common complaint was about?

Reevoo Android Word Cloud

For me, this communicates a large amount of data so quickly and powerfully, it really justifies the choice of the Word Cloud on this occasion.  In my opinion, the word cloud has served its purpose here, better than any bar graph or pie chart might have hoped to achieve with the same data.

As an aside, when downloading the word cloud from the Reevoo blog, I discovered that the cloud itself was made using Wordle.

And so as not to be misleading (by taking the above visualisation out of context), I should point out the original post reveals Android phones are actually receiving more favourable reviews than iPhones.  It’s only certain models on the Android platform that are letting the side down.

9 Infographics That Made Me Smile

One of the most popular hooks for an infographic is humour.  If you can make a funny infographic, or even an amusing pie chart, it could spread far and wide across the net.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t claim the following had me laughing out loud, but they definitely raised a smile.

1.  The Shower Faucet (oh, so true!)

Have you ever had a shower that wasn’t like this?

Shower Faucet Infographic

2.  Maslow v Lennon

Differing views on essential human needs… The Psychologist vs Musician

3.  If IKEA Made Stonehenge

Speaks for itself really…

4. The Banana Timeline

Took me a second to get this at first…

Banana Timeline Infographic

5. Life is Simple

Not so much of a humorous one, but it definitely made me smile :o)

Life Is Simple Infographic

(Via Datavisualisation.ch)

Who knows, maybe it is that simple…

6.  The Nun Pie Chart

Come on! – A nun as a pie chart? – That’s some funny s***

7.  iPhone vs Android vs Blackberry

I don’t normally appreciate infographics aimed at the tech crowd, but this was too good to ignore.

8.  Mr T Pie Chart

I Pity The Fool!

Mr T Pie Chart

9. Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

All Together Now, “You Got to Know When To Hold ‘Em…”

“…Know When To Fold ‘Em,

Know When To Walk Away…”

You Know How It Goes…