Happy New Year! This issue of Content, Curated will be a lengthy amalgamation of my favourite content over the last year or so, and recent content from the end of 2019.
2019 saw the rise of some interesting content formats and ideas. Some were short-lived, bagging a few quick and dirty links before they ran their course, whereas others will undoubtedly still be effective as we head into 2020.
Whatever formats or ideas you have lined up in your plans, I look forward to seeing what works well, and what completely tanks so I know what to avoid. Don’t worry if it does, it happens to the best of us (multiple times), and anyone that says otherwise is either lying, or not experimenting enough 🙃.
Made something you’re proud of? I’d love to see it! Send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org 💌
Hot Content from 2019 🔥
I’ve gone back through the last 10 issues and picked out my favourite content examples from the last year or so (caveat: newsletter only started in March.) In no particular order… 🥁
The 2080s “Past is the Future” 🕶️
Pieces like this are a good reminder that you shouldn’t always aim to create large, shiny interactives and standalone pages. Some of the best and most successful pieces (as in link numbers) that I’ve seen over the last year consist of static imagery.
Edit My Ex 💑
The brainchild of the man, the myth, the legend: Mark Rofe (as in loaf). This attracted global coverage at scale, with TV crews showing up to Mark’s house. He recently tweeted a thread of some of his past projects which is an amusing read, though some may not be safe for work 🍆 .
The Lifespan of News Stories 📰
The presentation of this piece, and the idea and data behind it is another level. It’s not exactly something that can be replicated, but there’s still lots of info that can be gleaned from it.
The Stages of Relationships 💖
FlowingData has featured regularly in the newsletter. Their data-driven pieces are always well presented, displaying information in a simple yet engaging way. This one showing the stages of relationships over time is no exception.
Best Global Brands 📊
I had to sneak in at least one bar chart race. This is the one that really kicked them off, surging in popularity on Twitter and Reddit. You don’t see them so much now, but if the data lends itself well to the format it can still work. However they seemed to be more of a social media piece, as opposed to one that can bag coverage and links.
The Evolution 🎞️
That’s How it Ends? 🎥
This is a simple idea that’s well presented, using data solely from IMDb to create stripped-back graphs, easily displaying the peaks and troughs of popular series by episode.
Toilet Study 🚽
Technically, this isn’t a piece from 2019, but it was new to me last year and it’s such a good idea I had to include it. The Toilet Study compares what men and women scrawl on the walls of public toilets. It’s simple, fascinating and also potentially NSFW.
Drowning in Plastic 🏊♂️
A really hard-hitting visualisation, that’s relevant and relatable. Reuters really succeeded in demonstrating a growing issue, with relatively simple graphics. The animated header is the cherry on top.
These examples really are just a handful of some of the amazing content pieces I’ve stumbled across or been sent over the last year. Now it’s business as usual as we look at some more recent campaigns.
Must-see Content 👀
A View on Despair 😔
The picture above looks pretty pleasant. However, the meaning behind it unfortunately isn’t. Each element within the landscape, the treas, buildings, clouds and more, represent a person who ended their life in the Netherlands during 2017. It’s a really unique and sobering way of displaying the dataset, and succeeds in raising awareness.
The Deep Sea 🐙
Neil Agarwal was featured a couple of issues ago due to his Size of Space piece, and he’s back with another great visualisation. The Deep Sea illustrates the wildlife that can be found at varying depths.
Star Wars Lightsaber Duels ⚔️
Reuters feature for a 2nd time, with their detailed look at every lightsaber duel across the 8 major Star Wars films. The level of detail is pretty stunning, and must have taken a significant amount of time to research.
Pornhub Year in Review 📈
Note: PH’s year in review is safe for work, but anything else on their domain isn’t, obviously. Not everyone has the luxury of having an abundance of data at their fingertips, but Pornhub always do a great job of picking out the interesting datapoints and displaying them effectively. Their insights section is a must read.
Discovered via Alex Blackshire 🕵️
Noisy Neighbours 📣
This is a good use of FOI requests (use them while you can, it’s only a matter of time until they start charging for them), looking at where in the UK has the most noise complaints. It would be interesting to see what impact taking into account the population of each town/city had on the results.
Discovered via Pat Langridge 🕵️
Popular Sites as Retro Video Games 🕹️
This is a great idea, and the folks at Code Computerlove clearly had a lot of fun with this one. Hopefully they put together some more examples!
Discovered via Joel Stein 🕵️
More Great Content…
- Using data to visualise the causes of homelessness 🏠 discovered via Kat Kynes 🕵️
- Then & Now: 5 Evolving Cities 🌆 discovered via Lucy Dodds 🕵️
- The Ultimate Playlist for Every Mood 🎼 discovered via Kestra Walker 🕵️
- Britain’s Tattoo Capitals 🖊️
- Dragons’ Den vs The Apprentice 🐉
- Location Tracking Smartphones 😨
The below campaigns may not have been intentional PR stunts, however they did attract substantial attention from the media.
Turkeys on Pornhub 🦃
Another Pornhub mention, though this time it’s the work of Online Doctor service Zava. To raise awareness of ED amongst men, they uploaded various videos (SFW link) of Turkey’s getting forked and carved in slow-mo with titles such as “Hot Legs and Juicy Breasts”. It’s simple but effective.
Fortnite Star Wars Event 🚀
I wanted to include this purely because it’s an example of really pushing the boundaries and trying new things within marketing. To celebrate the launch of the new Star Wars film, Epic Games teased an in-game event that turned out to be an engaging and well put together experience. A never-before-seen trailer was played in-game, a Millennium Falcon flew around fighting TIE Fighters, and an avatar version of J.J. Abrams walked around and introduced the clip. They also added lightsabers as usable weapons in the game. I think Epic are so ahead of everyone else here, and it’s just a glimpse of things to come.
Must-read Articles ☕
Below are some articles that are absolutely worthy of a read during your coffee break:
- Breaking the taboo, let’s talk about links and sex 🤫 by Thea Chippendale
- 35 of the best PR Campaigns of 2019 🗣️ by James Herring
- Pressworthiness: how to get the sixth sense of the media 📰 by Jess Hawkes
Must-follow Marketer 👑
Because I taught him everything he knows. What you should actually do is follow Oliver’s other account, Lord of The SERPs, where he shares funny and painfully relatable Lord of the Rings GIFs about SEO and more. It’s good to offset the super serious stuff with a bit of humour.
He’s also been upping his speaking game over the last year or so, and I highly recommend checking out his Brighton SEO talk on linkbait, and DMSS Bali talk on advanced uses of Screaming Frog. Content and technical SEO? What a guy.
That rounds off the first 2020 issue of Content, Curated. Thanks to everyone who sent in campaigns, it makes putting this together much easier!
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