On maps, tweets and tablets…

A few days ago Hubspot published a simple choropleth map visualization of Twitter usage per capita across the United States. The map assigns a percentage value above or below the national average tweet-rate to each state.

Edward Tufte would be quick to point out that neither the visualization nor its corresponding blog post contain two bits of concrete information: The actual national average tweet-rate, and how it compares to previous years. Without these vital metrics, the conclusion (“…Twitter will be an especially important tool if you are trying to grow your business…”) is a bit suspect, though the $150M (projected) they made in 2010 tells me they’re doing OK.

That minor quibble notwithstanding, the map does call out a few surprising conclusions (Massachusetts is one of the top three? Really?). I’d really love a time-series of these maps over the last four years, just to see how much things have grown and changed.

Speaking of Twitter, it dawned on me today that my own decline in Twitter usage links directly back to the acquisition of my iPad. Lets look at the crucial facts:

* App-switching was non-existent for a good while post-launch.
* The iPad features a terrible, awful, horrible (sorry…) keyboard.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are thousands of happy iPad tweeters in the world, but I’m not one of them. Sadly though, because the Flipboard app integrates with Twitter I *do* still post retweets and article links pretty regularly. Unwittingly I am a cog in the information proliferation machine.