• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

You Are What You Tweet

#bbpBox_120981079736848385 a { text-decoration:none; color:#FF3300; }#bbpBox_120981079736848385 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; }http://a1.twimg.com/profile_background_images/141301544/Guy_Profile_2010...); background-repeat:no-repeat'>Just spent an entire day buried in analytics for four sites. Notably, Twitter's "t.co" doubled its referrals across the board.about 11 hours ago via HootSuiteReplyRetweetFavorite@glecharlesGuy L. Gonzalez
[cue movie announcer voice]
In a world awash in Big Data, a single picture can be worth A MILLION WORDS!
I love data, but the more complex it becomes, the less effective spreadsheets and Powerpoint charts are at presenting it. Enter infographics and the growing field of data visualization, perhaps best personified by Facebook’s hiring of personal infographics guru Nick Felton to work on the visual elements of their new Timeline feature.
One of my favorite examples can be seen in Hans Rosling’s “200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats,” an amazing visualization that plots life expectancy against income for every country since 1810. (Go, watch it!)
So, of course, I was intrigued when I saw Visual.ly, an interesting service David Lee King posted about that creates an infographic based on a reading of your Twitter feed, and even more so when I realized it’s a smart viral campaign to promote a new platform that’s focused on “building a tool that will allow everyone to quickly and easily create professional quality designs with their own data.”
At Forbes back in April, Ed Zitron described it as “DeviantArt specifically for infographics,” which seems apt, and Fast Company describes the business model like so:
[I]nfographics are a serious–and growing–business opportunity. Increasingly, companies see them as a way to create effective viral marketing, and some pay up to $30,000 for a single graphic, according to Langille. Instead, Visual.ly wants to offer its services up in a subscription model, providing its team to clients as needed for a monthly retainer fee.
Intriguing.
Here’s the solographic their “Twitterize Yourself” service created from my personal Twitter account:

Most of the data seems straightforward, though if I’m what qualifies as a Techie, I’d hate to see how they characterize the people who regularly engage in some of Twitter’s typically lowbrow trending topics. It’s also not clear how they’re measuring Chattiness, Enthusiasm, or Interestingness, and I’m pretty sure Mike Cane would agree with me that we don’t exactly have the strongest connection!
The topics are kind of random, too, but they seem  to be digging deep into my archives as “fbcc10″ was the Firebrand Community Conference I attended in September 2010. How it picked that up and not “dbw” or even “cmonson” is bizarre; and WTF is “thereaposs”?
All in all, while its analytical abilities are questionable — and arguably another example of why there will always be a need for a human touch to calibrate bloodless algorithms — it certainly does a good job of fulfilling its primary use case: creating a compelling infographic.
I smell another rabbit hole…

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. "
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • Aura Xilonen’s The Gringo Champion, translated by Andrea Rosenberg and out this month from Europa Editions, in narrated by Liborio, a young man who illegally immigrates to the United States from Mexico in search of a better life. The excerpt below alternates between Liborio’s flashbacks (italicized) of his experience in a border town shortly after his crossing of the Rio Bravo, and his present life in the city where he is trying to reinvent himself—and where, after he is...
  • Sylvia Townsend Warner’s novel The Corner That Held Them (which I love with a passion – though it does divide opinion, as Bookfox Simon will attest) is set in the … Continue reading →
  • We hear and read the term creative writing all the time, but what is it, and what's all the fuss about? Are these stories about making money from creative writing true, or are they just scams? Can anyone get involved in creative writing...
  • Steve Kemper’s history of the epic explorations of Heinrich Barth in central Africa in the 1850s will please many people. I’d guess that armchair Africanists will enjoy it for its comprehensive narrative of Barth’s journeys, filling the gap between Mungo Park and David Livingstone, among the many other European explorers who attempted to find a way through this unknown territory. The inhabitants, historians and politicians of Mali, Niger, and Burkino Faso will find this modern rendering of Barth’s journeys intriguing for his voluminous records of the civilisations and sophisticated culture in...
  • I have once again been looking around and realizing I have WAY too much stuff in my house. So for this week’s Jungle Madness giveaway, I am going to share a big mystery box with the winner. I can tell you it will contain books–paperbacks and hard-covers, romance and non, my books and other people’s. It will also contain monkey stuff, funny stuff, maybe a little bit of naughty stuff. Not really sure yet. Brave enough to enter? Just leave a comment… Happy Friday!

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Fast fact about writing

Recently, the writer and neurologist Alice W. Flaherty has argued that literary creativity is a function of specific areas of the brain, and that writer's block may be the result of brain activity being disrupted in those areas.