Over the last few years, I've been assembling a set of links on a very irregular basis, loosely around the theme of "numbers and charts." My friend Martin Weigert invited me to do this for The Scope, a startup which at that time focused on having individual experts curate differently-themed boxes. Since I have a penchant for digging up graphs and studies to support my point of view in any discussion, he thought I'd be good at putting together at least a few useful-to-know links.
While I never really found a good rhythm for sharing those links, it was fun mental exercise and made me pay closer attention to the different kinds of information that flow past any denizen of the internet on a given day. I described the Numbers & Charts box as "A variety of insightful, surprising, and enlightening numbers, statistics, and data visualizations." From charts to graphs to maps to random statistics, sometimes my links were interesting and shed light on a particular issue, sometimes they were more like cocktail chatter.
If what I've dug up from my history on Scope is accurate, I curated 263 times, usually 3 links but occasionally 2 or 1.
In the last few editions, I selected items like
- Due to climate change, barley yields could fall 16% -- but don't worry, beer brewers say they have a plan
Women are just as likely to be new guitar players as men are
37% of American adults said they'd eaten fast food within the last 24 hours -- but contrary to popular perception, the higher your income, the more likely you are to eat fast food
Lots of great statistics and maps about Germany's economic prospects, with a great explanation of the regional divisions
As the painting by Banksy sold for £1m, its frame started shredding it. Now it's likely worth £2m
- Want to grow up and become a space garbage collector? Climate change is reducing the percentage of the 21,000 pieces of debris in orbit around Earth that burns up in the atmosphere.
- Beyoncé and Jay-Z's $50 million mortgage
Where did I get my numbers and charts from? Beyond the serendipitous discovery of articles on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, I did have a few go-to sources...
- Pew Research
- Max Roser's Our World in Data
- FAZ Wirtschaft in Zahlen
- Spiegel Online Datenlese
- 538's Significant Digits
- Slate Money's Numbers Round (at the end of each podcast episode)
Now if you want to see what numbers in the news I find noteworthy, you'll have to follow me on Twitter @polexa, as I've not chosen to keep publishing to my "box." Scope is going to focus more on curation for businesses doing content marketing (link is German), and I wish them the best of luck. It's been a great adventure, hunting for links to share and thinking about it means to curate for others on the platform.