Mastering the “killer chart” to ‘wow’ your audience

Hans Rosling, using Gapminder to ‘wow’ audiences with his ability to cross-reference UN and similar data sources

As a practicioner of ‘due diligence’ I consider one of the key skills to be seeing through numbers/data and finding a way to present, in a very succinct manner, a key trend/issue. There are several key elements to this:

  • the ability to hypothesise the outcome, and then consequently choose and develop the appropriate data sets and presentation format (without random trial and error, which is too slow);
  • analyzing the data to determine key trends, even when the data may not appear to exhibit trends; and
  • the communication of the finding in a compelling, interesting and succinct manner.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Searching for company names/references/tweets on Twitter

I was recently interested in searching for references to the name ‘Ernst & Young‘ (the accounting firm) on Twitter (ie, within tweets). Obvious? Just type ‘Ernst & Young’ into the box on Twitter Search?  Yes, of course. … But that’s not the end of the story.

Getting the right search results on Twitter can be a little more tricky than that, but as I show below, not entirely impossible. I have set out a few hints and tips as to how to ensure you can increase your chances of finding references to any company name in Twitter.

Continue reading

“The Story Behind the Still: The Cabbie” (Vincent Laforet on Vimeo)

The Story Beyond The Still: The Cabbie from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

I’ve decided to include a post on this video that I came across on Vimeo – it intrigued me for several reasons, and as a result I’d like to help promote it:

  • The video / short film is well made and engaging, and at the end leaves you wanting more, but just a little creepy also …
  • Vincent Laforet is roughly the same age as me, but in an entirely different career, and half way round the world from me (you can read his bio here)
  • I’m also interested in DSLR photography, but only on an amateur level (sadly not having the time to let this hobby develop yet … no pun intended)
  • The video is the initial step in a social network / crowdsourcing style contest, not too dissimilar to the exercise you might have done at school, where everyone wrote a different chapter to a book in their English class … in this case Vincent has filmed the first chapter in a film and contestants will submit subsequent chapters starting where the last one finished (given the ending to “The Cabbie”, it will be interesting to see where the contestants and judges take it next)

Continue reading

How developments in social media might impact internal corporate communications

Internal corporate communications often put a positive spin on news stories, and often include only stories which portray the organization in a positive light and highlight recent success stories. Reasons for this can include thee organization’s leadership wanting to motivate staff, emphasise strategy, and direct the development of the corporate culture, as well as possibly also highlighting successful leadership.

As such, the style of presentation and choice of content can include an element of bias, and in some cases might even be factually inaccurate or misleading (eg, if the leadership feels that this can be in the best interests of the organization, or if the leadership is dictating the internal communications in order to justify it’s own existence or overstate its own performance). This is natural – in any communications or discussion, most people tend to put a positive spin on their own performance.

Recent technological developments, in particular Web2.0/Social Media, are however limiting the effectiveness of what can essentially be ‘corporate propaganda‘.

Continue reading

Thoughts on privacy versus disclosure in today’s society

It seems that the last few weeks/months a number of media stories have raised an intense discussion around public privacy and social responsibility.  Some examples include:

Such discussions, while appearing on one level to be independent, and unconnected, also appear to me, to revolve around a central theme of ‘public privacy rights and the individual’s right to choose what to disclose‘.  While the first two examples relate to high-profile individuals, the latter example, as well as similar discussions around Google’s use of internet users’ information, and other trends (such as the rapidly increasing number of bloggers), shows how the topic relates to the general public also.

Continue reading

Where next for smartphones?

Most of the discussions around the future of smartphones consist of comparisons of existing functionality on other platforms, taking the best bits of competing smartphone models, or hopes for incremental improvements in power/memory/speed. Relatively few discussions take a more creative approach to considering where the next generation of smartphones might come from.

In this post, I comment on the potential challengers to Apple’s smartphone throne and attempt to brainstorm some more creative thoughts about where smartphones might head next in the charge for market share.

Continue reading