The end of “the best of…”

“Since 2010 I have compiled and published monthly collections of links to some of the best, most interesting, or thought-provoking data visualisation-related content I come across. These collections are not always published immediately after the month in question has ended, but I try to do so as soon as my workload permits!”

After 153 editions, just over 12 years after posting my first, I have decided to end my attempts to monitor and publish collections of the best visualisation content encountered each month. My latest collection for December 2021 will be my last.

There are three primary reasons for arriving at this difficult decision.

Firstly, my workload just doesn’t permit me the necessary time to continue attempting to track the latest developments and then convert saved/bookmarked items into a curated list. I need to reclaim some time to prevent any ‘proper’ work plates spinning out of control. As the field grows, the task grows. For quite a while now this task has been something of a thorn in my side, only helped by the fact there are generous people out there who kept me going with kind feedback about how much they enjoyed these postings. Ultimately, the balance of that has tipped too much in favour of stopping.

Secondly, and perhaps something I’ve only come to fully recognise in the last few months, I no longer feel sufficiently capable of being abreast of a large enough proportion of the publicly visible data visualisation content published. Whereas I used to employ a bunch of RSS feeds, browse through the monthly collections of postings, and that would represent a reliable view of the whole field, 12 years on, there are so many platforms, so many contributors, and simply too much great content. I can’t reliably maintain any notion that my collections are even remotely indicative of the genuine ‘best of’ in this prolific and increasingly diverse field. I can’t continue to rely on using my own browsing alongside an informal network of sharers and second-hand referrals from people I trust to only share good stuff.

Thirdly, I’m working on developing a new website and with that new design will come a renewed emphasis on my commercial services and offerings, alongside collections of my different type of work activities, but likely far less about it being a ‘blog’ than it has in previous iterations. Although I will continue to post, and probably find renewed energy to invest in pieces like the ‘LittleVis‘ series, the ‘best ofs’ was a time-bound posting commitment that was getting delayed ever more.

It is a difficult decision because I know that these postings do have a fairly dedicated audience and I’m always hugely thankful for people who express appreciation for their work being included in the posts, as well as those who take value from reading through to find interesting content. I will continue to amplify the best work I come across, on social media (LinkedIn and via Twitter, for now…), in my talks/presentations, through my podcasts/video series, and of course in my training materials.