Instagram has reinvigorated many artistic endeavors: social photo-sharing, old-timey photographic styling, and foodie dining excitement, to name a few. But none more so than the art of time-wasting. With their noses buried in their smartphones, you can bet most people are up to one thing—Instagramming. Last fall, information from Comscore even reported that users were spending nearly 1.5 times the amount of time on Instagram as they were on Twitter. And just today, Instagram announced it has reached 90 million total users, proving the app isn’t disappearing from peoples’ fingertips any time soon. If you’re wondering how on earth so much time is spent on Instagram, our Visual Storytelling pie chart breaks it down for you.
Data visualization has long been an important part of content distribution and interaction. As the Web evolves, its visual storytelling abilities continue to trend toward social, and so do the technologies that run alongside it.
In our latest technological data visualization project, we integrated the two in what we’re calling a Socially Generative Visualization, or SGV. An SGV is essentially a living, evolving graphic. Imagine a malleable infographic that you log into with your social credentials, contribute your own data to help populate alongside the data being gathered from other live respondents, and receive a visual experience that is essentially never the same twice. (more…)
An ongoing discussion at Column Five HQ is ”What if social media manifested itself in real life?” It’s a question that addresses much of our personal and professional lives and can be characterized as constant noise, new trends, and the occasionally absurd, among other things. And while most of our commentary tends to evolve into abstract tangents, we decided to focus on one application of the hypothesis. We settled on the idea of “What if you lived in an apartment building with social media?”, but that proved to be a mouthful. So we simplified this title to “What if social media sites were your neighbors?” Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.
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In their 1991 Pulitzer-winning book The Ants, E.O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler described an ant colony as a super-organism – a vast social network. The ants in the colony communicate with each other by following chemical trails left by other ants. As we browse the web today, we are provided with social proof of quality by sites that let us know what our trusted friends have liked or shared recently.
When we made some of our first forays into the social web, in an attempt to promote a now defunct blog, we did what most anyone did in 2007 – we tried to figure out how to leave enough bread crumbs around to entice people who we certainly don’t consider to be ants to actually come to our site and then share with their friends to point the way back to the content, and all signs pointed to one place. We heard exciting mythical tales of a beastly site known to send enough traffic to wreak havoc on servers (which sounded like fun for some reason). Back then, if you figured out what worked on the mysterious creature known as Digg, you were able to send your content for a cascading ride to linkbait glory.
Twitter adoption among U.S. Internet users has increased by leaps and bounds. A recent Pew Survey of 2,277 adult internet users reveals exactly who is tweeting.