This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Visualizing the memescape

A new visualization tool developed by a graduate student at New York University aims to help web journalists — who must produce highly clickable pop stories with hard-hitting news — reduce the time spent on “fluff” stories by pointing them to topics that will garner substantial traffic.

You can download the tool free here.

It takes a minute to understand the key, but it’s quickly addictive.

The thicker the layer, the greater the popular interest; the lighter the color, the lesser the media saturation. Where a layer appears in the stack does not matter.

Journalists seeking topics of high interest with low media coverage —  editorial “sweet spots — should look for thick, white layers. Or for a cheat sheet list of best bets for coverage, click on the eye in the upper-right corner.

The circles appearing outside of the information stream represents failed stories — those with high media coverage and low interest.

  • thumb
    Memorial Day every day
    Beyond the backyard BBQ: Honor and aid those who have served.
  • Fast and too furious?
    Can accuracy and the demand for instant information coexist in the media?
  • thumb
      Steinbeck's Salinas Valley
    John Steinbeck's hometown came to worldwide notice through the Grapes of Wrath. Not all city fathers were pleased by the portrait. Explore what has changed and what remains the same in Salinas.