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Amber Mac Visual.ly infographic (Amber Mac)
Amber Mac Visual.ly infographic (Amber Mac)

Amber Mac

Create your own nifty infographics with Visual.ly Add to ...

Apparently I'm obsessed with cupcakes, filled with enthusiasm 2.05 per cent of the time and communicate with an unfazed expression. This is all based on a Twitter data-generated infographic called "You Are What You Tweet."

Thanks to Visual.ly, an online community for exploring, sharing, and creating infographics, you can now create data visualizations just like this for free. "Twitterizing" yourself is a cinch: just type in your Twitter username (so the tool has access to your past posts), add a few personal details and voila!

Last year I wrote about this latest fad to reel in web traffic. On Visual.ly's homepage, there are charts depicting everything from who spends the most years in retirement to information on the size of the internet. While many of these infographics were initially published by well-known content creators, one of the goals of Visual.ly is to make it easy enough for anyone to take advantage of this new storytelling medium.

The service just launched this week with limited functionality insofar as creation. While there will be an option to input your own data to create stunning charts and graphs, right now the Twitter project is the only do-it-yourself option available. Aside from visualizing your own Twitter activity you can also compare your tweeting habits to others using the micro-messaging tool. For example, if I compare myself to tech overlord Michael Arrington ( @arrington) I discover that he possesses "a rantalicious scowl" in his stream in comparison to my "unfazed expression."

If you're not keen on making your own infographic, according to TechCrunch, you will be able to subscribe to the service and use some of the visual designs for a fee - a great option for publishers. Today, one of the most compelling features on the site is the wealth of creative work already uploaded. Click on National Geographic's profile and explore graphs from tsunami travel times to the cost of health care. Each of these designs is easily shareable across multiple social media sites.

Based on Visual.ly's Twitter feed ( @visually), the service is having a good week. Despite site slowdowns now and again, they report that they experienced " an extremely large influx of visitors" on launch day. Here's hoping the company publishes a traffic-related infographic to more accurately define their early visitor success.

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Follow on Twitter: @ambermac

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