Yahoo! recently debuted an interactive visualization website to show off its fancy new content-tailoring software, and it's so beautiful and fascinating that we played with it for about 10 minutes (which, if we're being honest, is longer than we've spent on a Yahoo! site in ages).
The software, called C.O.R.E. (Content Optimization and Relevance Engine), is used to tailor home page content for each of Yahoo!'s 700 million users. But just as fascinating as the results produced by C.O.R.E. is the data gathered and analyzed in the process. That's where the visualization comes in.
By going to this website, you can see tons of data about the articles hundreds of millions of readers are interested in and interacting with in real time. It's all presented in a kind of mesmerizing swirl of dots and images created using HTML 5.
Each one of a galaxy of rotating dots at the center of the page represents a different article on Yahoo! right at that moment. Click it and find out how many page views its received, how many of the viewers were men or women, and which one of five different age groups they fall into.
You can organize the whole site around demographic data like this. In a moment we found out that women were most interested in an article about the upcoming Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum romantic drama The Vow, while men were fixated on a litany of sports stories.
Yahoo! has been through some rough times in recent months (and years), but innovative tools like this serve as a much-needed reminder of why the world is better off with the company in it.