With the craziness of the stock market lately (down, up, down, up — it’s a 1980s aerobics class up in here!), there have been some nice visualizations flitting around Twitter, like this one:

The bars show the daily fluctuation as well as the day’s open/close, with the color representing the direction of change. Credit: Michael Batnick, link: Tweet link: https://twitter.com/michaelbatnick/status/1239643766191001602;

What I like about Michael Batnick’s visualization of two months of S&P 500 data is that it…


I’m working on a project experimenting with interactive audio storytelling. You can read more about what I mean here, but basically…imagine a podcast where the host asks you questions, and the content evolves based on your answers.

I grew up in the Choose Your Own Adventure Book generation. Did you?

But I don’t know what to call it yet. In my proposal, I went with Reciprocal Podcasting (pros: apt; cons: a bit dry/confusing).

But I’ve also tossed around some other options…

Choose Your Own Adventure Podcasting (pros: appeals to nostalgia, instantly conveys the idea; cons: long in the tooth, trademark violation?)

Listen Back (pros: snappy, clever; cons: could refer to just about anything)

Duplex Podcasting (pros: esoteric; cons: esoteric) — “A duplex communication system is a point-to-point system composed of two connected parties or devices that can communicate with one another in both directions.” — Wikipedia

Any other ideas?


Listening to audio is captivating and intimate. But podcasting, as it is now, is a passive experience — whereas deep learning and engagement rely on active experiences. Podcasting on sensor-laden smartphones is an untapped opportunity for truly transformative media.

But what if audiences could participate in podcasts by reacting to…


A while back, I led a data training with several of my colleagues — very smart journalists with radio, print and TV experience but very little using data to fuel their reporting. Before we dove into practical skills, I asked them to respond to three prompts (I participated, too):

  1. Data…


Sketch by Jordan Wirfs-Brock

Wile E. Coyote (Famishius famishius) is a chronic failure. He’s the patron saint of lost causes and impossible aspirations. Journalists have used his frustrated attempts to catch the Road-Runner (Super sonicus tastius) to describe everything from the Boston Red Sox (pre-2004, of course) to efforts to mitigate climate change to…


Level Up Your Data Storytelling Game

What draws me to data storytelling? The opportunity to work in the space where analysis and intuition, qualitative and qualitative, logic and emotion, overlap. In my version, data and storytelling work in concert with each other. …


Remember 2005? In the middle of a Bush presidency, Terri Schiavo and her feeding tube captured national attention, Lance Armstrong was still winning Tour de France titles, and Arianna Huffington launched a new website. …


Sunset in Fort Sumner, New Mexico

I recently had the challenge — and opportunity — of spending a month in the middle of nowhere. Sparseness is as confining as it is liberating. It takes weeks, but desert schedules loosen their grip without changing their course. 

In the morning, the rising New Mexican sun or the showers of neighboring guests in the Super 8 or the not-quite-urgent beeping of a wristwatch wake me.

In the desert, my life is mediated by schedules.

If I want free coffee, yogurt, and apples from the motel lobby, I must…


Humani Victus Instrumenta: Ars Coquinaria / Unknown Master, Italian (active 1570s)

And other lessons for living in the future — now — from cyborg anthropologist Amber Case

Amber Case, cyborg anthropologist who works at software company Esri, isn’t waiting for the future — she’s living in it.

She is surrounded by electronic devices, but those devices don’t control her: They step out of the way and let Case be a better human.

In Case’s world is the…

Jordan Wirfs-Brock

PhD student in Information Science, former data journalist covering energy, trail/relay/ultra runner, maker of maps, champion eater of ice cream and sardines.

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