Links for 2008-07-31


  • PDC – $200 Early Registration Discounts ends Aug 15, 2008
    I’m intrigued with PDC. Microsoft will be presenting the future of the platform. There will be an OpenSpace. Sessions on F#, cloud services, building block services, Silverlight for Mobile, IE8 render engine, Live Platform including building Mesh Applications, RIAs in Silverlight,  Project “Astoria”, SSDS, Windows 7, and more. It’s very developer focused. But it will be interesting to hear the direction being set by Ray Ozzie and Rick Rashid.
  • 10 Amazing Visualizations of Social Networks
    SocialMediaTrader lists 10 stunning visualizations of social networks. The goal of each of the visualizations is to give users a better understanding of how social networks work. Fidgt allows you to build and visualize relationships amongst your network (seen above). These visualizations are just incredible ways to view the complex, changing relationships between data in social networks.
  • How to partner with Microsoft
    Don Dodge has a summary about how startups can begin to partner with Microsoft. The program is focused around marketing help, building a sales channel, getting software and support, and engaging you champions. The first step is to sign up as a partner.
  • Nokia To Invest $150 in Venture Arm
    Nokia Growth Partners has seen it’s fund grow by 75% (originally $200M, now $350M). It is probably not coincidence that $150M is exactly the size of the Blackberry Fund managed by JLA Ventures and RBC Venture Partners.

Johnny Bunko and comics


Dan Pink has released his latest career book, Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, it’s a manga book with all of that advice you wish someone had given you. Over a bourbon last night, Eli Singer and I were reflecting on manga, well Scott Pilgrim, and career paths. I was saying that I never imagined that I would be and “Evangelist”, this honestly wasn’t on my career career path at any point. It feels like a “career choice based on fundamental reasons”, something that I thought would be inherently valuable regardless of what it may lead to.

Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen provides a beautiful summary of Johnny Bunko. The slides have only text or photographs from It’s 6 simple lessons about building a successful career that all students should take the time to read.

Comics are a great medium for telling stories.They allow artists and authors to create compelling characters in rich, believable worlds using nothing more than pictures. Kevin Cheng has shown that comics are a great medium for convey concepts including unbuilt sofware. Scott McLeod has published a series of books on the art form of comics as a communication tool including:

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
by Scott Mccloud

Read more about this book…

Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form
by Scott Mccloud

Read more about this book…

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
by Scott Mccloud

Read more about this book…

Dan Roam‘s new book The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures has a great set of techniques and tools for those of you who can’t draw. The VizThink community is a group of visual thinks to share their philosophies, experiences and approaches for using visualization for learning and communication. (VizThink has hired Ryan Coleman as their Chief Community Evangelist. And we’re back to the career discussion, I wonder if Evangelist was on Ryan’s path). If “The MFA is the New MBA“, then the visualization and communication tools presented are the foundations for the next generation of leaders and CEOs. And your career path might not have included becoming a designer, but there is obviously some market exchanges that can happen when, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
by Dan Roam

Read more about this book…

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter)
by Garr Reynolds

Read more about this book…

Finance Innovation Contest Winners

Paul Hounshell screenshot

Daniel Chait announced the winners to the Lab49 WPF in Finance Innovation Contest. All of the finalists applications are available on his SkyDrive account and can be installed on a Windows box (running .NET 3.0).   I’m impressed with the different designs and the implementations in WPF.

I didn’t see a submission among the finalists from Oculus. Which probably means they were busy working on other things, because their financial visualizations and WPF skills are among the best in the world. Mike Peters has agreed to present at a future DemoCamp and show some of the visualizations using both DirectX or WPF.

I’d really like to see a similar contest for building visualizations and experiences in Silverlight using Deep Zoom. (Lee says that you can do the same stuff in Flash, and Lee is a rockstar and there is no reason to disagree with his assessment). I love the the resurgence of visualization methods as RIAs and their development tools are maturing. Infosthetics and the Period Table of Visualization Methods are great starting points for visualization techniques.

Deep Zoom

There’s the really interesting to create a shared community around data sets and visualizations called Many Eyes. The goal is to "democratize" visualization and to enable a new social kind of data analysis. The efforts to build a shared space and shared tools for building new visualizations. Along with the efforts from Digg Labs, Google, and Microsoft LiveLabs.

What are you’re favourite visualization?