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You may not get out of your hovel much, but infographics are hot content marketing items right now. Wherever they make an appearance, especially good ones, they get hits.
I’d like to experiment with this, but running out of time at the moment. If you have concept, text or ideas that you’d like to express visually, well, throw them in, I’ll give it a try asap and then we’ll see if it could have some value or not.
I’m glad there’s a hint of interest.
As for what data to graph, I’d have to research it like anyone else, in which case it would be my infographic, right? I mean, I can make colored boxes and whatnot, but yeah, the data collecting and crunching is the hard part … like writing and article, and doing the necessary background work for it.
But here are some ideas I can offer…
SPECIFIC DATA vs. WIDE SCOPE
A given infographic can be focused on one particular data topic, rather than try and cover a wide scope. A few examples from WP:
Speaking for myself, while those are perfectly good data types to visualize, none of those particular WP examples are very impressive. None convey the respective information better than if it was just a sharply written article with key graphics, and they would be more accessible too. So my advice would be to really up the bar if you go down that road. The infographic should actually be a better medium for conveying information, and in that respect the data should be a bit more complicated. Just supposing.
Here’s one with a wider data scope. This one basically has two elements: historical and features. Comparatively, each feature and the historical review could be an infographic of it’s own, but combined it makes the data a bit richer and thus perhaps more suited to an infographic, rather than an article that would undoubtedly get wordy when running down Textpattern’s history and feature’s list. Again, I don’t particularly like the design of this one, but the data is getting more interesting for an infographic, and one like this would be good for Textpattern considering it doesn’t have any infographics at all. A wider scope on introductory topics might be a good first go.
Another approach would be to compare Txp with other CMSs. I can’t readily find an example of an infographic that does that, so it’s a strong idea (new), and … as I write this now, it occurs to me that the Showdown! column we’ve yet to be able to start in the magazine could be treated not as articles, per se, but infographics instead. Though that really doesn’t spare anyone the necessary research and benchmarking that would be needed to even prepare the graphic (or an article).
Still, even if not a regular Showdown! piece in the mag, a one-time comparison of Txp with another CMS would be a interesting infographic.
Further, you could combine the comparison with a data focus as suggested in the section above; i.e., you could compare one thing (e.g., historical timeline), or multiple features. Whatever. And with so many infographics out there for WP, you’d have a lot of data on that side of it already to use; you’d just need to put it together for Txp.
Here’s a crappy-looking infographic comparing Google and Facebook timelines/accomplishements
As far as infographic design goes, that’s up to you, but as editor of the magazine, I’d like to see some sharp stuff if I was to post it in there, specifically. The project should have it’s own Flickr pool, or whatever, and collect all contributions of that sort in one place.
I’m a personal fan of infographics that use traditional elements of graphing. To me that’s kind of the whole point. And I think some of the best work comes out of magazines and newspapers supporting research articles. Here’s an interesting article by the man himself, Tufte, talking about some black/white news graphics= styles
GOOD also has a nice collection of graphics, a little more modern, and with more of the graphing elements I was referring to.
And here’s an interesting collection of geography-based infographics, which brings up another interesting data type that could be mapped, that of where Txp users are located in the world by concentration. Or Txp use by language, Etc.
And let’s not rule out the possibility of interactive designs. Static images are one thing, but clever interactivity in a web-based infographic are something else. :)
No matter what you do, it’s going to take research to get a decent data set together to work with. Creating a design and trying to pour data information into it just won’t work. No more than designing a website and pouring content into it afterwards makes any sense.
I’d suggest, as a group, maybe first here and then as a new wiki project page, that people come up with some data type interests that could ultimately become infographics (come up with several types that could be mixed and matched, whatever), and then collaboratively begin doing the research, collecting lists of facts, tables of numbers, links and references, etc and so forth. Then when data starts pooling, people can go hog wild on designing around it, and I’m sure we’d see several different concepts come out of it. It would be pretty darn cool.