Gotta love those visualisations

Sometimes things come in twos, threes or even more. This is why I occasionally grab interesting stuff from the web and chuck it into my Google Notes as future collateral for this blog, and then eventually notice I’ve got enough for a (half) decent post.

This time, it’s visualisation. Diagrams. Infomatics. Pictures.

There have been several doing the rounds recently. Now, I know people say “Oh, I’m very visual, me” and that this is usually tacit code for admitting to a child’s attention span and difficulty reading, but Visuals Can Be Fun.

First up is Gartner’s Hype Cycle which shows how technologies are faring according to expectation. Techcrunch explains the Gartner Hype Cycle best:

New technologies tend to follow different trajectories of hype, hope, and despair as they are discovered by different groups of people and finally adopted (or ignored) by consumers. Gartner actually goes ahead and charts this hype cycle for different technologies… According to Gartner’s view of the world, the visibility of new technologies peaks early as initial excitement gains steam. This phase is followed by a “trough of disillusionment” in which inflated expectations hit reality. But as technologies prove themselves, their visibility begins to grow again at a more measured pace.

The ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ strikes me as akin to the ‘chasm’ that high-tech companies need to cross between early and mass adoption, that is, everything is in its right place but someone somewhere needs to find a killer use for it, whether through canny marketing on the behalf of the company, or clever-dickery on the part of a user.

Anyway, enough of my yakkin’, here’s the diagram/infomatic/picture:

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Technologies

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Technologies


Some of this I can absolutely relate to. I dipped a toe into Second Life when it was hitting the headlines, even considered it for some campaigns, but it wasn’t until seeing this diagram that I thought “Whatever happened to public virtual worlds.” You can go back four or so years to when I first came across wikis, and they’re just about crawling out of the trough. And I’m fairly certain they’re right about cloud computing. As per my previous post, I’m not sure cloud computing is quite there yet and I foresee a particularly long, deep trough ahead of it.

Now, two diagrams courtesy of Brian Solis. First the ‘Social Media Starfish’ from Scoble and Barefoot:

The Social Media Starfish

The Social Media Starfish

This is a fairly neat way of showing the major platforms and tools that enable them. OK, so it’s a list, but I like the slightly oddball way they choose to call it a starfish. Personally I think they could have gone further and christened it The Gliding – Not Actually Flying – Hogfish of Online Conversation.

However, Solis has himself produced a neat graphic called the Conversation Prism:

The Conversation Prism

The Conversation Prism

This does something similar, I guess. But it’s more detailed, has nice colours, and somehow reminds me of the bp logo.

What I’d like to see is a combination of the Conversation Prism, the Brown Starfish and the Gartner Hype Cycle. That is, a little fractal zoom-in for social media alone, showing how each of the social media platforms are doing along the cycle. Perhaps I should do this one day.

Finally, two graphics that are just a bit of fun. If you’ve ever been a web designer, spoken to one, or kind of lived a liminal life between being and not_being, then you’ll like this from buzzfeed:

Small talk with a web designer

Small talk with a web designer

And, last but not least, in case you were wondering, this is what Web 2.0 is all about, according to Jessica Hagy:

This is what Web 2.0 means

This is what Web 2.0 means

You know she’s right.

3 thoughts on “Gotta love those visualisations

  1. Although posting as someone who probably does have the attention span of a child and difficulty in reading, I’m glad I’m not alone in liking a visual route in explaining things. Something that I always enjoy when presenting visuals is spotting which people in the room repsond to different types of visual – it can immediately mapped to personality type. I guess what I’m saying is that if there legislation for everybody to submit a Myers Briggs test and you could access everyones information via a huge repository, you could always pick the right graphic to excite and engage your audience. Actually, reading that back, all I’m saying is that understanding your audience is paramount when using images which is pretty obvious and if I hadn’t typed so much. I wouldn’t post this. What the hell – I like the idea of one central resource to check individual personality types so will leave it.

  2. Visuals can indeed be fun, and am glad that somone else shares my love of the Gartner Hype curve, I managed to find a few older versions and its interesting to see what has followed time predictions, what’s slipped and what’s disappeared altogether – have a peek here to see what I mean

  3. @Eddie You’re right, of course – it’s down to what’s the best way to represent the data. My comment about “I’m very visual” was decidedly tongue-in-cheek.

    @KerryMG No link! Would love to see more.

    The more I think about it the more I’d love to see a hype cycle for social media and look! There’s one on the Gartner website. But I need to buy it. Bleh.

    Still, not to worry, someone else has published it. And there’s a slide of it here, from Slideshare. A bit naughty but there you go.

    Gartner publishes a very brief summary as:

    On the Rise

    Alumni Community Management
    Enterprise Internet Reputation Management
    HCM and Social Software
    Social Networks for Sales
    Social Learning Platform
    Social Mining and Social Intelligence
    Social Data Portability
    Activity Streams
    Idea Marketplaces
    Private Virtual Worlds
    Ubiquitous Collaboration
    Community Marketing
    Social Networks: Customer Service
    Social Software Suites

    At the Peak

    Unified Communications and Collaboration
    Mobile Social Networks
    Social Search
    Expertise Location and Management
    Prediction Markets
    Social Computing Platforms

    Sliding Into the Trough

    Social Bookmarking
    Open-Source Social Software
    Public Virtual Worlds
    Immersive Learning Environments
    Folksonomies/Social Tagging
    Corporate Blogging
    Idea Management
    RSS in the Enterprise
    Social Network Analysis

    Climbing the Slope

    Entering the Plateau
    Hype Cycle Phases, Benefit Ratings and Maturity Levels

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