EASY WEB TOOLS HELP US VISUALIZE HOW WE STACK UP
I may have flunked math in high school, but the Web is turning me into a fan of stats.
Or, rather, a fan of the graphical representation of my stats.
Graphic narcissism must be on the rise given the proliferation of Web tools that allow us to rank ourselves against our peers and even score our level influence online.
This week, I played with a few of those tools.
First I tried Many Eyes, which allows anyone, both experts and non, to easily create graphs, charts, and infographics by using data from the site or by uploading one’s own.
I opted for the latter, thinking I’d feed it some personal data to see if it could tell me something interesting about me or about my friends or, better yet, what my choice of friends says about me.
I made a list of my 329 Facebook friends (let’s save the definition of friends for another day), grouping them by country of origin and/or current residence. I then uploaded the data and chose a bubble graphic. In no time, Many Eyes gave me an interesting representation of the global diversity of my Facebook friends, each country weighted by the number of friends it represented.
LinkedIn Group Statistics Dashboard
I also looked into LinkedIn’s Group Statistics Dashboard, which is a tool that lets members visualize the demographics of the groups to which they belong or want to belong. I think this falls in the “nice-to-know” and “one-more-reason-to-generate-traffic” categories. Still, it piqued my curiosity, so I thought I’d take a look at the company I share. No surprises for me looking at the stats for some of my groups, such as BSI International, Solo PR Pros, and the Atlanta Chapter of the Social Media. But I could be a useful to research the make-up of a group I might consider joining.
Then, intrigued by a story in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, “How Google & Co. Will Rule Your Reputation,” I thought I’d look at one of the Web tools that are (gasp!) ranking our influence online. According to the story, every move we make online is being tracked by organizations that are tracing our impact in the online media scene. The story raises a number of profound questions, such as labeling and privacy, that go beyond the scope of this blog post. However, if online reputation is important, and if someone is keeping tabs on mine, I thought I’d better find out what mine is. I opted for Klout.com which, after I gave it access to my social media platforms, rewarded me with a ranking of my weight as an online influencer. Turns out I’m what Klout.com calls “A Dabbler,” with a ranking of 19 out of 100.
This is a quick look at just three of the many web tools available to stat junkies and math “flunkees” alike.
Stats’ all, Folks!