Almost only counts in hand grenades and nuclear bombs. Not Fantasy Football live drafts. Hasn’t Yahoo heard the news? …lots of problems today across the board – not just me. The message boards and (ironically) Yahoo Answers were lit up with complaints and rants about how poorly prepared they were this season to handle demand. I immediately rallied my team to switch to ESPN. And so goes the invisible hand of the market…
While checking out Info Aesthetics this morning I read a piece on datamasher.org, a visualization site that combines data feeds from data.gov to provide insights into underlying data relationships.
This makes me think of a concept I had a while back called “Know Your Vote”. It’s purpose was to cull and parse congressional vote data to make sense of how our representatives were REALLY voting on issues. By cross-referencing different voting sessions we could determine when our representatives were saying one thing and doing another and get a better sense of how they felt about issues (just think of Obama during the campaign implying he would take up liberal causes, and now while in office he’s MUCH more of a corpratist that we had realized).
datamasher.org triggered the memory of the old concept because I think it would be incredibly valuable for citizens (and congressional staff) to begin to use data insights to catalyze action on particular issues that may have been hard to visualize previously. Access to this kind of data and corresponding tools to visualize it also provides an avenue to hold our representative’s feet to the flames further downstream of a news item’s public-eye lifecycle.
Either way, it’s great to see access being granted to goverental raw data for us to sift through and find meaning in.
I saw this demoed at Adobe Max and was blown away. The experience they’re creating in AIR makes you want to read the newspaper. After seeing the demo I wanted to run out and subscribe. But some time has passed and the newness/hotness/gotta-have-it-ness of the application has worn off a bit and I’m left wondering, “Why would I pay $3.50 per week for content I can get completely free?’ Is the recreation of the newspaper-reading experience so good as to warrant a $3.50/wk expenditure?
The problem with this application strategy is that it hitches it’s wagons too heavily to the Newspaper Experience – not the content experience. Meaning that, is a dual-column, page-turning format the best for absorbing the content? Is it best for exploring content/concepts/archives/photos giving you related content, taking advantage of hyperlinks and rich media?
It may be an exact replica of the newspaper experience, but is that what customers really want? Mother economics will ultimately be the judge.