Five short links

Photo by Wink

Tribalytic – My friends Alex and Tim have been doing some fascinating work applying statistical analysis to Twitter conversations. Their 'space shuttle control panel' interface can be a bit off-putting, but if you dig down you can see insights into the Chirp talks that prompted the most traffic and spot Binh from Klout looking forward to the after-party.

Breadcrumbs – Kate McKinley's created a great demonstration of how many different ways there are to store data about a user, so advertisers can identify them as they move around the web. She's also produced a good paper covering the details, which reminds me of Arvind's work on 'super-cookies'.

Spinn3r have announced in their email newsletter that they're now crawling public Facebook pages and making the results available as a feed for their commercial subscribers. "We're indexing all Facebook public pages, which do not require login, including public fan pages and their wall posts, videos, albums and pictures. We also index Facebook public groups including topics and the comments responding to these topics. The current volume is in excess of 50k permalinks and 30k comments per hour."

Sendgrid have received $5m in VC funding. I went through Techstars this summer with Isaac and Jose, and loved their quiet focus on solving a vital problem, helping companies reach their email subscribers without ending up in the spam box. They have been kicking ass and earning revenue, and this injection of cash will help them reach even higher.

"Plates of Spaghetti" graphs – Almost all visualizations are terrible at communicating information, but are often fantastic marketing devices, drawing people into looking into the source data. I like the quote "The “data visualizations of the year” really are impressive if you think
of them as super-cool illustrations (replacements for the usual photos
or drawings that might accompany a newspaper or magazine article) rather
than as visual displays of quantitative information
". I've long been mulling a post entitled "Most visualizations are useless" (including mine!)

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