Have you ever wondered about the myriad ways people misspell actor Jake Gyllenhaal’s name when Googling him? If you’re anything like me, the answer is a resounding “No, never. Not even once.”
But when I saw the Sankey diagram above, I found myself intrigued. Which led me to this page expanding upon that work to explore similarly confounding names like Galifianakis, Kaepernick, Palahniuk, Picabo, and Shyamalan.
That’s the power of a good data visualization. It can capture your audience in ways they might not have expected, drawing them in and engaging them.
The Gyllenhaal Experiment came from The Pudding, a digital publication that creates data-driven visual essays. While the site is not nonprofit-specific, there is a section devoted to social issues. But the whole site is worth perusing for inspiration about how your own data can be used to tell stories about your work, your mission, and your organization.
Or, frankly, just to read about “The Rise of Hyphenated Last Names in Pro Sports,” “’The Office’ Dialogue in Five Charts,” the vocabulary of rappers, or chocolate chip cookie recipes written by computers.
If you’re so inclined, there are also a number of how-to articles to get you started making your own. Data-driven essays, I mean. Not chocolate chip cookies.
Moving on, here’s the rest of this month’s (and last’s) Best of the Web.
GuideStar’s 2018 Nonprofit Compensation Report is out. “Using 160,000 observations from 113,000 nonprofit IRS filings, the 18th annual edition is robust with the latest trends and data that allows you to establish appropriate compensation and demonstrate to grantmakers, oversight agencies, and donors that the salaries and benefits you offer are justified.”
This powerful piece by Donald G. McNeil Jr., photographed by Esther Ruth Mbabazi, looks at how doctors are using a hand-held device to bring medical imaging to remote African communities, often for the first time.
In Aeon, physics professor Gene Tracy asks an intriguing question: “How much can we afford to forget if we train machines to remember?”
Technology isolates us, says Reuters. Dan Schawbel, author of Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation, offers tips on working remotely, managing technology, and building a collaborative workplace, and it sounds like we need them:
“A recent survey of more than 2,000 managers and employees in 10 different countries found that employees increasingly depend on technology to communicate with their colleagues, including email (45 percent), text messaging (15 percent) and instant messaging (12 percent). Of those who cited email, more than 40 percent said they felt lonely always or often, were not engaged and had a high need for social connection.”
Fast Company says Google gives you more control over what you share and how it gets used than you might think—if you know where to look. Follow along with this step-by-step guide to Google privacy settings you should revisit right now.
In other privacy-related news:
- Google Chrome announced it will start blocking third-party tracking. But will it block its own trackers? (If you use Chrome but want to block all tracking, a number of adds ons will help. Or you could switch to Firefox.)
- Writing in the Times, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, an investigative reporter who has delved into issues of online privacy, is “under no illusions” that protecting our digital selves is fully possible.
- Writing for Slate, Aaron Mak teaches you how to scan your Airbnb for hidden cameras. Hint: “It’s not as technically difficult as it might sound.”
- In Vanity Fair, Eric Lutz writes that “Yes, Amazon Employees Are Listening to Your Conversations with Alexa.” As we used to say in grade school, “duh.”
- Finally, does Google meet its users’ expectations around consumer privacy? News industry research says no. “A significant majority of consumers do not expect Google to track their activities across their lives, their locations, on other sites, and on other platforms,” Jason Kint argues.
In the Times, Olga Mecking argues against being busy. Wait… what?
“Being busy—if we even are busy—is rarely the status indicator we’ve come to believe it is. Nonetheless, the impact is real, and instances of burnout, anxiety disorders and stress-related diseases are on the rise, not to mention millennial burnout. There’s a way out of that madness, and it’s not more mindfulness, exercise or a healthy diet (though these things are all still important). What we’re talking about is … doing nothing.”
The line starts behind me, folks.
In this piece, one of my favorite radio shows, WNYC’s On the Media, looks at how philanthropy “lets rich people off the hook,” citing the Sackler family’s museum philanthropy with money earned by profiting off the opioid crisis, among other examples: “We’re living in a century-old bargain between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of society: the rich get rich, and the rest of us get downstream benefits. …What needs to shift if we hope to see meaningful structural solutions to society’s most pressing challenges?”
Citing Twitter’s “Cynicism, egos, unprovoked hostility, unchecked propaganda, sexism, bigotry, and outright hate,” Gizmodo offers an alternative for those of us who still want or need to monitor news and other current events and information: RSS feeds.
And finally, Gizmodo also recently offered this list of “The Best Free Apps and Software You’re Not Already Using.” The price is right. Check them out.
A big thank you to everyone who sent links. As always, if you have any you think would be a good fit, email me at email@example.com.
See you next month…