There is fascinating exhibit in the foyer of the Kennedy Center which uses individual grains of rice to demonstrate the significance of statistics. Each grain of rice represents a person. The pile in the foreground of this photo I took represents the number of people in the U.S. who commute to work between midnight and 5:59 a.m.
The reason this is such effective communication is because it shows viewers exactly what the statistics mean. Too often as communicators, we forget about the visual learners among us. We also tend to numb our audiences with numbers. Think about that the next time you put together a presentation or you write a speech. Helping your audience understand a statistic can be as simple as a grain of rice.
The exhibit, called “Of All the People in the World,” is part of “On the Fringe: Eye on Edinburgh”, a festival going on at the Kennedy Center which shows off some of the best performances from Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival.
Check it out if you find yourself in Washington, D.C.
When you combine politics and technology, nerds like me get excited. Today is Election Day in the U.S. and the folks at Foursquare have created a visual map of users’ check-ins at their polling place. While Foursquare users win another badge, the public (and campaigns) can watch voting unfold moment by moment with each vote cast.
For political campaigns running “Get out the vote” operations on Election Day, this is potentially a useful tool to track voting day trends. Though there doesn’t seem to be a huge level of participation, I imagine that campaigns can leverage this platform to engage the voters who always show up at the polls.