Try it: 3 ways to use your Twitter archive


In the past 7.5 years Twitter has gone from novelty to newsmaker. Today, Twitter boasts 200M monthly users and over 170B tweets sent with particularly strong growth in the coveted 18-29 demographic. If you’re a Twitter user and curious to delve into your past (even though you may regret some of what you’ve shared), Twitter allows users to download all past tweets. To access your own...

Try it: News visualized with Topicly


As Flipboard collects another $50M on a $800M valuation, traditional news publishers are experimenting with more visual displays of the news. The Washington Post’s Topicly is largely algorithm-driven, full-bleed display of news stories by volume. Editors plan to incorporate more social media from the web as well as from the Post’s own journalists. A few observations: This is a good...

Try it: Google define


Language is always changing, but the arrival of consumer technology over the past 25 years has meant a sharp uptick in our new day-to-day jargon. Terms like modem, pager, or smartphone enter and exit the common usage with remarkable frequency. FlowingData this week pointed out how Google’s “define: <word>” feature now displays word etymology via flowchart and graphs word...

Try it: Make the movie of your personal data


We’re all posting, tweeting, and sharing more than ever. How might all this micro-content we publish on the social web be boiled up into a story? I came across two interesting services that make a movie from your shared content: Vizify for Twitter, and Foursquare time machine. First, Vizify for Twitter lets you create what they’re calling an animated portrait of your Twitter activity...

Try it: 3 ways to tell a story online


Compelling content is a differentiator in a world where everyone is an online publisher. That content can take entirely new forms: data visualization (like this recurring developments site from Beutler Ink) or inspired curation (like Brainpickings by Maria Popova). And of course multimedia plays an ever larger role in online storytelling. Last year’s groundbreaking New York Times feature on...

Try it: Graph your Facebook friends


Last week, Stephen Wolfram released a long and interesting analysis of aggregated and anonymized Facebook user data from his Data Donor program. He offers some observations about how Facebook behaviors illustrate the trajectories of people’s lives — how many people they friend, where they settle, and how clusters of friends reflect communities (school, friend, neighborhood). In...

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