A Parting Glance



Did you know that this blog used to have an actual title?


I know, the URL was just my handle, and I usually only ever referred to it as "my blog" rather than by any specific name. But it did, in fact, have an actual name. Once upon a time I even had that name as its own URL.


This blog used to be called "For Certain Values of Beauty."


It was based on the final lines in Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn" that read, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty; that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."


While beauty may well be truth, and truth beauty, it is certainly NOT all ye need to know on earth in every case. Beauty is not the end-all and be-all of truth. The relentless pursuit of beauty or aesthetics or elegance in data visualization is not always the pathway to success...even though we might behave, at times, as though beauty in data visualization IS the only thing that matters.


That is why I felt that this particular bit of Keats needed a proviso, a qualifier; that beauty is only truth for certain values of beauty.



But I'm retiring this name. Or, have retired it. It was too try-hard, too clever by more than half. It required an explanation whenever I mentioned the actual name to people. This is a poor choice to make in naming a thing you want people to read, understand, and share.


Lots of people will tell you to name your business, or your product, in a way that's easy to spell, that can be said and repeated easily, that has an available URL, that is memorable, that isn't overly long...I broke almost all of those rules, including the lesser-known rule of "don't name your blog after imaginary footnotes to English poetry."


I have decided that a different name for this part of the Online Content Production Machine is in order, and so I have now refreshed my blog under the title "A Viz Apart."


Why "A Viz Apart"?


Well, it meets all the criteria above:

  • It's easy to spell.

  • It's memorable.

  • It has an available URL. (Or, it did.)

  • It can be repeated easily.

  • It isn't overly long.

  • It isn't a footnote to an English poem.

But it also refers to several ideas.

A Viz (is Just) a Part


A visualization is only a part of a complete information experience, and the beauty or elegance of an aesthetic design can only be considered as part of a successful creation.


A Viz, Apart (From Others)


Some works achieve this on every level, and that is what I aspire to create: a viz apart from the rest.

A Viz (Taken) Apart


Many times, what I write about will be from the perspective of breaking down a creation to its component parts, or identifying specific elements that make it particularly noteworthy. Taking a viz apart to see what makes it amazing.

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So, thank you for visiting A Viz Apart. Thank you for indulging me this explanation of why things look very slightly different on the site. And, thank you all for being a friend. Your hearts are true; you're pals, and you're confidantes.



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