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SparkBlocks [datacollective.org] is a web-based tool that generates small and concise sparkline representations from a row of numerical data. Its unique feature is that the resulting graphs can be copied and pasted in Twitter messages, finally making 140-character real-time social visualizations (#sparktweets?) possible for all.

Alternatively, one can download SparkBars! [datadrivenconsulting.com], which is an Excel workbook that achieves the same result.

Recent examples of sparkline-enhanced tweets include the Wall Street Journal communicating 12 months worth of unemployment data, the use of a sparkline as an elaborate line graph, some infographic exaggeration or humorist comparison.

Via Kottke.


Funny how a quick 20 minute project has another twitter resurgence. I like them as a way to draw peoples' attention to a tweet - I don't think they are massively useful as an information delivery tool, but you are a little limited with Twitter...

They work best when you add a range and time span: page views 7 days ▁▂▁▁▂▂█ (160-3500)

Sat 14 May 2011 at 1:43 AM

The idea of textual plots is very sexy in terms of portability but, given the aspect ratio they use, these sparkblocks are totally unreadable, I wonder what ET would make of them...

Sat 14 May 2011 at 4:07 PM
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