What my most viewed viz ever taught me last week: The Internet is for Porn.

September 3, 2013

So, last week, I reached accidental internet stardom for a very silly reason. I opened up Twitter and saw this Tweet:

Pornhub’s US Average Visit Duration and Top 3 Search Terms by State http://t.co/uW25FuD7Zh via @tableau

— ALONZEAU (@ALONZEAU972) August 26, 2013

 

Which led to a viz that at the time looked like this:
Original Pornhub Viz

The original viz was created by a mysterious group (for which I have no contact information so please stop asking!) called the “Pornhub Stats Division.” What you are looking at is the average duration on the website Pornhub and the top 3 searches in each state.The data was so intriguing, but it was apparent that whoever made this was new to Tableau and was missing some of the finishing touches. I wanted to give it a quick facelift so that it the information would be more digestable, so I did. I liked what they did with the formatting of the bar chart on the original. It matched their logo and it really popped. So, I went ahead and changed the map to a dark map (From the menu: Map>Map Options>Style>Dark) and changed the dashboard formatting to a black background (Dashboard>Format>Shading>Default). I also got rid of the table at the side since I didn’t feel it added much. I used duration to color the states and had the top search display as text. I also cleaned up the tool tips a bit. If I had been feeling like spending a little more time on it, I would’ve floated Alaska and Hawaii under the U.S. so that you could easily see them too. If I had felt like spending a lot more time, I would’ve reformatted the data so that you could click on a search term and see all the states that had that in their top 3 searches. But, it felt kind of weird to have it say certain words all over my monitor at work. Anyway, this is how it turned out.

Learn About Tableau

I was really happy to see that they later made similar design changes. I still think they should change the dashboard formatting to be black though. 😉

Naturally, I posted it to Reddit. Then all hell broke loose. The viz was reposted in it’s original form across several subreddits and made a few more as a static image.

Whoa, guys, wait. Reddit likes porn?

It then made it’s way to a number of blogs, starting with Jezebel, then Gizmodo, Business Insider, a variety of local news blogs, and finally the crème de la crème of internet journalism, Cracked.com (in list form of course!)

The tweets were (and still are) pouring in. I was getting random emails from friends and colleagues about the viz. It started gaining thousands of views an hour. I permalinked the original behind mine, as to not steal the original author’s thunder. Now both vizzes are pushing 300k views. It was definitely the top viewed viz last week.

A couple of thoughts:

If I was Pornhub, this is how I would follow up:

In closing, what did last week teach us, boys and girls? As the good folks at Avenue Q so eloquently put it:

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