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Worth a thousand words
July 17, 2011 6:18 AM   Subscribe, the most daring start-up in visualization after the previous demise of Swivel and other "social visualization" ventures.(*) has infographics which explain typography, dollar bills. and evolution of the geek.
posted by twoleftfeet (20 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Not sure how they make money but the start up is a fun one. Also:
posted by specialk420 at 6:31 AM on July 17, 2011

Visualizations are powerful, but they’ve required time and hard work to create -- until now. You no longer need expensive software, extensive design skills, or number crunching ability. We’re building a tool that will allow everyone to quickly and easily create professional quality designs with their own data.
Speaking as one of the people who regularly puts in the time and hard work to create these things, I am not sure how I feel about this tool. I guess the phrase "vaguely threatened" is about right.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:43 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

What is that typography one supposed to be?
posted by empath at 6:55 AM on July 17, 2011

This is a start-up? Maybe an interesting project, but a start-up?

Also: Let's be clear. Most of those graphics *aren't* visualizations in any interesting sense of the world. They're diagrams, maybe, or just bright and easily-digestible chunks of written content. Infosthetics seems to deal with interesting and illuminating visualizations.


Following Twitter

Finally! Where do we as a community stand on sites that just completely rip off content? Seems like doesn't just excerpt and link -- they just copy in the entire graphic and display it. Is that just the nature of these sorts of graphics? Is this different from the sorts of maximal quoting that sites like The Huffington Post get shit about?

posted by chasing at 7:29 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

That typography one seems to exemplify a lot of what passes for hip inforgraphics these days...A lot of unnecessary and overwrought graphic prettiness overwhelming an already thin story. I mean, take away the faux ven diagram graphics (which have nothing to do whatsoever with the subject) and you reduce the clutter by 80%, and re-set focus on the subject.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:31 AM on July 17, 2011 [6 favorites]

And their promotional video is nifty, too.
posted by bz at 8:11 AM on July 17, 2011

New Rule: If an infographic can't be explained without words, then go away.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:32 AM on July 17, 2011

All very nice, but if it's a start-up, how defensible is it? Where's the ongoing income stream? Where's the growth potential? If it's a software tool by a company, and the company is the start-up with more tools to come, I might be interested.

But then a small bank loan, two or three people in the team, steady income for a few years, a lot of people would be quite happy with that instead of a 5% shot at a big exit.
posted by ewan at 8:38 AM on July 17, 2011

No self-respecting theater geek would wear a shirt that says "I <3 Cats" and I will butcher anyone who says otherwise and put them into a meat pie.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:42 AM on July 17, 2011

The typography one is... Not very good.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:03 AM on July 17, 2011

“These selected results come from well founded sources and highlight different issues and themes related to design, providing a categorical description of design through entries in menus, tags and sections in the websites.”

“Social media has revolutionized the way in which we as humans communicate with each other but how do you know when enough is enough?”

“Just like Hollywood’s wildest celebrities, internet web browsers seem to each have a personality and temper of their own. While Safari can act up like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, Firefox has a more Morgan Freeman approach to life.”

“If social media sites were students in high schools, what award would they get in the yearbook? This hilarious infographic puts each site into a high school group - from class gossip to the class nerd.”
posted by migurski at 11:53 AM on July 17, 2011

“Factors such as interestingness, integrity, function and form all intersect to make a successful information design. Other components to a successful design include meaningfulness, consistency, structure and usability. Check out the graph to see all of the important elements to a good information design and graphic.”

“If you were asked to name the two biggest companies in the digital age, you would likely name Apple Computers and Google. Both have made massive strives in the mobile Web and have been neck and neck all the while.”

“Social media burst onto the media scene and in a rather short period of time has managed to change the way we live forever. At first many questioned social media's longevity and practicality but now with the plethora of social mediums available it appears the debate is over.”
posted by migurski at 11:59 AM on July 17, 2011

I'm a great fan of info graphics, but many of these seem to actually confuse, rather than aid. I thought the aim was to create something that actually clarified data?
posted by greenhornet at 12:59 PM on July 17, 2011

tastes like oatmeal
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:19 PM on July 17, 2011

USA Today, you have so much to answer for.
posted by xil at 3:05 PM on July 17, 2011
posted by Sys Rq at 3:42 PM on July 17, 2011

GrammarMoses, your job is safe.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:32 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the reassurance, benito. I suspect you're right.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:53 AM on July 18, 2011

I'm a great fan of info graphics, but many of these seem to actually confuse, rather than aid. I thought the aim was to create something that actually clarified data?
It is.
This is, however, the salient point that seems to escape so many of the "hipsters armed with Illustrator" crowd of diy designers.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:15 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, what's with the "Evolution of the Geek"? I'm into the idea of an attempt to document the history of geekiness, or to try and catalog some of the subcultures within the broader "geek" label, but that graphic missed the mark. "World of Warcraft Geek" includes "Starcraft geeks" and "SIMS geeks"? And WoW geeks are "sibling" geeks to "Video Game Geeks", but somehow parents to "D&D geeks"? I call bullshit.

Also, they spelled "savvy" with one v.
posted by aaronbeekay at 8:42 PM on July 19, 2011

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