Bas Broekhuizen

Why a blog about interactives?

2010-09-17 | Visualisatie

Congratulations, you’ve found it! You really must have put in some effort to reach this site, considering it has only just been launched. Of course there’s good chance you drop by accidentally. In both cases you may be wondering why somebody starts a blog about interactive infographics. Actually there are three reasons. But before I explain, let me introduce myself. My name is Bas Broekhuizen. I’m a teacher and a researcher at Leiden University in The Netherlands. I work for two departments: Journalism & New Media and Science, Communication & Society. Before, I was a journalist at de Volkskrant, a daily Dutch newspaper.

The first purpose of this blog is to collect interactive infographics, or interactives as they are also called. When I started as a web editor in 1999, interactives were one of the promises of the web. Although I’m neither a designer nor a trained programmer I did some experiments myself and I firmly believed interactives would soon be ubiquitous on the web. But now, more then ten years later, they are still a bit rare. There are some very good websites that showcase infographics and examples of information visualization (Infosthetics, Eagereyes, Flowingdata and Visualcomplexity to name just a few), but I’ve not yet found one that focuses specifically on the aspect of interactivity (and if I overlooked one, please let me know). So I’ve decided to create one myself.

The second reason I started this site has to do with my research. Two years ago I left the newspaper and started to teach courses on online journalism at university. I’m still interested in interactives, but from a different perspective. Now I try to look at them as a scholar, and ask questions about the effectiveness of interactivity in infographics. Actually I’m writing a PhD thesis on this very subject, but I’m afraid it will take some time before that will be fit to print. On this blog I hope to share some of my thought on interactivity and information visualization along the way.

The final reason has to do with you. Trough this blog I hope to meet other people interested in interactivity and visual communication. People who like to help finding good or bad examples of interactives, who can shoot holes in my ideas or share some of their own. So please don’t hesitate to comment. After all, it’s all about interactivity…