Hot Off the (Word)Presses

Three news items about WordPress together seem to justify a post, especially given my intention to increase the quantity (and yes, quality) of posts here in 2011.

The first is about WordPress.com, which hosts this and millions of other blogs. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys emailed me a summary of 2010 at Changing Way. They did the same for many others. Michael at TechCrunch and Constantine at Collateral Damage each hit the handy “Post this summary to my blog” button.

I’m wondering if every stats summary sent out showed reported that “The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.” Each of the links in the previous paragraph leads to a “Wow.” That doesn’t surprise me about TC or about CD, but it does surprise me about CW. I note that two of my five most viewed posts were about Lala, although only one of them was posted in 2010.

The other two items are about self-hosted WordPress. Version 3.1, Release Candidate 2, has just been, well, released. I should install it at one of my many blogs (how many do I have? I don’t know, but probably should) even though the new features seem more worthy than exciting.

Finally, if you’re running WordPress 3.0, you should install 3.0.4, a critical security release. Hey, that means I should go and do that very thing right now…

How to Lie With Infographics

Among the oldish books I hope I’ve kept, but I haven’t seen for a while, is How to Lie with Statistics. This misleading art has become even more important of late, with the ease of posting infographics to the web.

So I was particularly interested to see a post on Smashing about misleading infographics. The emphasis is on inadvertently misleading infographics.

If you design a visualization before correctly understanding the data on which it is based, you face the very real risk of summarizing incorrectly, producing faulty insights, or otherwise mangling the process of disseminating knowledge. If you do this to your audience, then you have violated an expectation of singular importance for any content creator: their expectation that you actually know what you’re talking about.

I’m more concerned about deliberately misleading infographics. The post does mention them, and the book does include some misleading graphs.

I see an opportunity (although not one I’ll be pursuing myself). A blog that collects misleading infographics, and may well turn into a book.