5 Interesting Data Articles

Inspired by Pete Warden’s Five Short Links, we decided we’d put up a post about the most interesting data articles we’ve come across in the recent months.

Data, Data Everywhere: The Economist ran a pretty comprehensive and accessible special report on data with a series of articles covering the different implications – both good and bad – of the growing amount of data in existence. Make sure you click on the links “In this special report” to read the rest of the articles.

Personal data collection
The Data-Driven Life: This New York Times article shows that even the most mundane-seeming data can be useful. Shared are stories about people who collect personal data using tools, applications and processes, bringing home the point that all this tracking isn’t merely creepy – it gathers data that can help us make better informed decisions.

Informavore: The Future of Data Privacy: Here the author explores the extent to which social network data should be private. Citing various case studies and Danah Boyd’s talk during SXSWi earlier this year, she highlights many points of debate and provides readers with some food for thought.

Data visualization
Four Ways of Looking at Twitter: Jeff Clark is a data viz enthusiast and has taken Twitter data and created four interesting visualizations. The four are just a few of the visualizations that have come about in the past few months, and are great examples of what people can do with the rich data source of social networks.

Twitter influence
On Twitter, Followers Don’t Equal Influence: This research is a great example for why Trst.me is a better measure of influence than followers count, and goes much more in-depth in explaining why. This press release from Carnegie Mellon University has some similar validations. Scientists there determined that Twitter could be as good at determining public opinion as a Gallup Poll.


  1. Matthew Cornell July 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I think this work is important, and Gary’s piece was seminal. These ideas generalize into a wider life-as-experiment perspective, and I’d like to link to my response and outline of how it all might fit together here: The Experiment-Driven Life (http://www.matthewcornell.org/2010/06/the-experiment-driven-life.html). Also, we’re working on a tool for self-experimenters, called Edison (http://edison.thinktrylearn.com/). Great stuff!

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