Since I’ve discovered the website called Information is Beautiful, I’m afraid that all my available free time for at least the next year or so will be consumed by pouring over this fascinating time-sucker of a site. The book of the same name has been published across the world in nine languages. All of it was conceived and designed by David McCandless, a London-based author, information designer and data journalist. As he explains:
“I’m into anything strange and interesting. A passion of mine is visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words. Love pie – hate pie-charts.” Continue reading
UPDATE: This guest post by the late Dr. Jessie Gruman was originally published on the Center for Advancing Health’s (now gone) Prepared Patient blog in February, 2013. CFAH was founded by Dr. Gruman, the author of AfterShock, a book that helps patients navigate their way through the health care system following a serious or life-threatening diagnosis.
As a patient, writer and respected advocate, she sent this open letter to the tech hypemeisters of Silicon Valley.
I hope they’re paying attention.
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Pity the poor marketer. As reported in Forbes earlier this year, a lot of us simply do not trust advertising. For example, a study called ‘Does It Really Ad Up’ from Lab 42, a Chicago-based research firm, revealed:
- 76% of respondents said ads in general were either “very exaggerated” or “somewhat exaggerated”
- 87% think half or more cleaning ads are photoshopped
- 96% think half or more weight loss ads are photoshopped
- 81% feel beauty ads are exaggerated (although – alarmingly! – 77% of men believe beauty ads are “very accurate”)
And that pervasive sense of mistrust (except for those guys watching beauty ads) helps to explain why industry has jumped all over the advertising concept called “branded content”. Continue reading
The pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars each year on handing out free samples of their expensive brand name drugs to physicians, who in turn hand them out to their patients. As I’ve written about here and here, the obvious marketing truth is that no company would be doing this unless the strategy resulted in a significant increase in sales of those drugs. When you’re looking at a global market for pharmaceuticals expected to top $1.1 trillion by next year, that’s a substantial incentive to keep up this practice. Still, very few physicians believe that doctors accepting billions of dollars in free drug samples annually has the slightest bit of influence on the way they practice medicine. Except, of course, when it’s those other docs out there who are accepting the freebies. Continue reading