Write for the Data Visualization Society

As data grows more central to our personal and professional lives, the practice of data visualization becomes ever more important. The Data Visualization Society (DVS) aims to collect and establish best practices, as well as to foster a community which supports its members as they develop their data visualization skills.

At the moment, the DVS dialogue predominantly takes place in a free and open to join Slack workspace, with channels covering a wide range of topics. This Medium publication is an important part of our mission to share those conversations more broadly and provide a place for our members to discuss a range of topics in data visualization in greater depth. We highly encourage any of our members to use this platform to further their ideas and spark discussion both within the Data Visualization Society and outside it among the general community of practitioners.

What you should write about

Honestly, that’s up to you! You could summarize a topic that comes up on the DVS Slack channel, write a response to an article or social media post, or you could share your working method on a new skill you’ve learned. Our publication will grow and expand as our writers submit articles on various topics, so please consider our publication a platform for any subject that you have in mind.

How to get started

If you are interested in writing for us, just drop any of the editors a message on he DVS Slack or email us at admin@datavisualizationsociety.com in order to be added to our writer’s list. Please note that we are happy to publish articles written in multiple languages, but may not be able to provide editorial support at this time for certain languages. Once you’ve been made a writer, just submit your draft to us when you’re ready and we’ll take it from there.

If you would like to join the Editorial Staff to help us reach a larger audience via translation, please reach out via Slack or email!

And, if you’re not already a member, you can join the Data Visualization Society for free! Please sign up at datavisualizationsociety.com/join

Before submitting, please consider the following:

We are here to support you

We read all articles before publishing and try to help each one succeed by providing some editorial support. Please still proofread your articles several times before submitting, but you should also expect that we’ll likely suggest some edits to your work before publishing. We will only leave private notes to suggest changes — rather than making any direct changes ourselves — and hope they spark a dialogue to take your piece to the next level.

We work in a visual medium so more pictures = more good

Medium is a digital-native image + text platform, so we highly encourage you to add images (with captions), screen grabs or visualizations of any kind (as long as you have permission to use them, of course). We really want to provide the most beautiful articles that we can publish, so please consider the images to be an integral part of your story. If for some reason you’re having a hard time, you can always look at the free-image services like Pixabay or Unsplash.

Please add no more than 4 tags

Tags allow Medium to route your article to readers who might be interested in your subject matter. Medium allows for 5 tags, but in order to organize our articles, we need to use one of them, so if you include 5, we might need to change one to get it to appear in the right section.

Just be cool to everyone

We’re nice, friendly people. Your article should represent your own voice and consider the reader to be an informed friend. Feel free to get very detailed and speak to an informed community, but please make sure your language is inclusive and respectful.

Give your colleagues a voice

Always give credit where credit is due to other members for their ideas. It’s important to realize that some members may not want their names or direct quotes to appear in a Medium article or even online. So make sure to reach out to members before quoting them or naming them and make sure you have their permission. If not, then paraphrase their points and make it clear that those points are not your own.

Here’s an evolving list of good ideas to follow:

  • Have something new to say. Make sure your article has a point, with a beginning middle and end.
  • Tell a story. It’s more fun to write and more fun to read.
  • Think big or think small. We want to help you communicate your big ideas and we’re also interested in your hyper-granular, laser-focused articles too. Basically, have a point and stay focused.
  • Be sure to give the “so what.” You need to tell people why your ideas matter to them. After all, this is a platform for discussion.
  • Make it something people want to share. If your work is inspiring or informative people will want to share it. Consider this before you start writing the piece.
  • Only include what is necessary. We all have a lot to read so try to streamline your language and focus on what’s needed for your central point/argument. If you have a lot to cover, that’s cool, but you can also break it up into a series.

Special thanks to Amy Cesal for the illustrations!