I wrote a post the other day about thinking beyond text and images with online journalism. Looking back, I sound a little bit grandiose while talking about something that some newspapers are already excelling at.
The New York Times‘ rent or buy real estate calculator is one example that I’ve been aware of for some time.
Right now, there’s an interactive graphic on the New York Times home page that elegantly displays the breakdown of various voter blocks in the democratic primary. Want to know how women in their 30′s voted by state? Click. Cool.
What I should be able to do is treat that graphic like a YouTube video, and embed it on my site. That way anyone who comes through here can play with the Times‘ brand, data, and journalism, and cool graphics can spread virally across the internet.
You could embed a directory of related graphics, so that people can play with a series of connected pieces. They could click through to nytimes.com for associated articles or more detailed explanations.
As it is, I can’t even figure out how to find a permalink to the graphic they have up right now. The best I can do is show you a picture (top of the post). Once they move it from the home page, it is lost.
Step one is creating really cool interactive content. Step two is leveraging the viral power of the internet to build your audience and get your content everywhere.