This charming little time-waster is brought to you by Newsweek, with data piped in from my LinkedIn profile. I suppose it isn't super useful, but it lends the impression that I haven't spent the last few years just writing piles of blogs and spewing social media platitudes; I've been constructing something tangible. A tree.
Data visualisation is still a niche in its pulpy, experimental stages: we're just discovering what we can do with data and how we can play with it, make it tell a story - illustrate a manifesto, even - without forcing us to slouch forward and squint.
Using its capabilities to organise our own information, make sense of the vast archives comprising our lives, is at worst an evolved form of compulsive survey-taking. But at best it can rekindle purpose.
In the context of a moment we can forget that we had goals once, and a strategy for getting somewhere. We get lost. But now you can take your data and, I don't know, turn it into a tree. In the near future you'll probably be able to see how all the elements of your career are connected, how you've strengthened one side of yourself and are beginning to expand and flex another. It's tangible evidence of what you've brought to the table, what you bring to the world.
...Speaking of all that, check out InMaps, a tool LinkedIn's launched that enables you to visualise your professional network:
Look how pretty mine is! (It does an OK job of clustering people, too. Just OK, though. I would not sell my firstborn for that algo.)
Too much cleverness for one day! I can't breathe.