I’m not sure how I stumbled across it, but I’m sure glad I did. At the end of January, YouTube released some pretty mind-boggling stats around popularity and upload rate. But they celebrated it with a wonderfully immersive microsite.
Every second, one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube. That’s 24 hours every 24 seconds… or a decade every single day. Discover more time-bending stats at http://www.onehourpersecond.com.
The problem with statistics like this lies in its stickiness and comprehensibility factor. (Yes, I made that last term up.) Just reading the rate above as text, anyone would have hard time wrapping his mind around what ‘24hrs of uploaded video every 24 seconds’ really means. Is that a lot? It sounds like a lot, right? Luckily, Google (and lots of other smart companies) are starting to leverage the powers of HTML5 and CSS to create sites that go well beyond that of a boring stat or embedded video.
Give a look at the One Hour Per Second site and you’ll see what I mean. They coupled a strong artistic representation and mental extension of this rate applied to other (somewhat) tangible things that help you draw comparisons to comprehending this data:
- “In 1.5 seconds of uploads to YouTube, the International Space Station completes one orbit of the earth. [1.5 seconds of uploads =] 91 minutes of video”
- “In 36 seconds of uploads to YouTube, the Byrd Glacier in Antarctica moves 14.76 feet. 36hrs of video”
- “In 1 minute 36 seconds of uploads to YouTube, the Sahara Desert expands by 500 feet. 4 days of video”
You get the idea. But it’s this light interaction and seamless transition between animated elements and an almost a cappella soundtrack that creates a joyous interactive experience. It’s really the audio that does it for me. It’s like the teacher in Charlie Brown meets a beatbox extraordinaire.
Want some other neat examples I’ve seen recently? Check out Google’s Zeitgeist 2011, a beautiful HTML5 representation of their popular search data. Really, it’s gorgeous. (But keep in mind that it’s basically a Keynote presentation of data made interactive and exciting.) Or even check out Kickstarter’s Annual Report / Year in Review. Stats, popular videos, and project recaps have never been so interesting. Do sexy infographics make your pulse quicken? GOOD is for you.