Over the past five months, we've switched the theme of the Tableau Public blog to coincide with key events on the calendar:
- In August, we focused on DATA as we expanded Tableau Public to one million rows.
- Then, in September, we switched to SOCIAL content as we co-sponsored Social Data Week and added Twitter summary cards to all viz tweets.
- October was our most popular theme to date - DESIGN, featuring amazing guest posts from our talented authors.
- In November, we shined the spotlight on STATS as we launched Tableau Public 8.1 with a host of new statistical features.
- And then last month we took the opportunity to consider the YEAR IN REVIEW, showcasing the best vizzes, profile pages and guest blog posts of 2013.
Well we're dedicating this month, being the first month of the new year, to DATA BLOGGING, and to all the bloggers that make Tableau Public what it is - a vibrant community of data visualization enthusiasts. Here at Tableau, we're excited about the blog content this month, which will feature:
- Practical tips for people getting started with data blogging
- How to use social media like Facebook Pages and Twitter to make your blog a vibrant community
- An opportunity to vote for the seminal data blog posts that have had the biggest impact on you
- A spotlight on new data blogs out there and an opportunity to get yours on the radar
- And the "main event" - a Google Hangout session on January 28th with some of the world's top Tableau data bloggers
On a personal note, I'm a huge fan of data blogging. I started reading popular data blogs like Nathan Yau's FlowingData and Robert Kosara's eagereyes years before I finally launched my own data blog DataRemixed in 2011. I was on the fence for a long time, and incredibly nervous when I published my "Hello, world" post on the evening of August the 26th - a tribute to my childhood hero, Wayne Gretzky. After 29 months and 74 blog posts, I can say that it has been incredibly rewarding, and it has literally changed my life.
It's not for everyone - you need to have time and energy to commit to the task, and you need to have something to say, not to mention a few extra dollars for coffee to fuel the late nights. But you get something you just can't get with 140 characters or a few inches on someone's news feed - you get a platform to say what you really want to say, and enough breathing room to do it. And thanks to the worldwide Open Data movement along with incredible tools like Tableau Public, it's easier than ever to embed interactive data dashboards on your own corner of the web for thousands and thousands of people from dozens and dozens of countries to see.
Was that ever possible before now, on that scale? I think not, so don't leave your amazing analytics and visualization skills at the office when you can apply them to a whole host of personal interests and worthwhile causes and connect with others doing the same thing.
To close, I'd like to thank all the data bloggers out there who have already taken the bold step of sharing their thoughts and creations with us on the web. You're the reason the dataviz community exists.
If you already have a data blog using Tableau, whether it's topical or general, brand new or years old, personal or corporate, please take a minute to add it to our list using the form below. Since we love making vizzes so much, we'll publish a fancy world map later this month showing all the blogs out there for you to check out.