I was reading a piece in the New York Times about goings-on at Gawker when I came across this quote from Choire Sicha (the outgoing managing editor as far as I can tell):
“I don’t want to write a top 10 list in my life, ever. I don’t want to construct a charticle.”
I’m not really that bothered about the rumour-mill at Gawker.
However, I do care about is the Charticle!!!
I’d never come across the term ‘charticle’ before. And I can’t be the only one as it’s not even included in Wikipedia (yet). I thought that might mean that it didn’t actually exist?!?
But with some digging around it appears that the charticle is real. This discussion featuring lots of people who work in newspapers seem to generally be cool with charticles. It basically seems to be like a hybrid between an article and an infographic.
Here’s one that Google Images threw up:
And here’s a much simpler one from oregonrepublic’s photostream on Flickr:
There’s really not that much info on charticles online – a few people claim it’s a Tufte thing, but I reckon if it was one of his there’d be much more mention of it on the internet. Plus I’ve had a flick through my Tufte books and can’t find anything.
I did find another use of it on Technorati, ironically it was in an article written at Gawker by the aforementioned Choire Sicha…
Forbes.com is pleased to announce their most transparent and value-free bit of traffic-grabbing web content to date—a list of America’s Most Lustful Cities! It’s like—what is it even like? It’s like intellectual impoverishment in charticle form. I’m almost proud of them!
I wonder how simple a charticle can get before it becomes simply an article? I guess my question is: “is a list a charticle”? Choire seems to think so.
Any charticle experts out there? What do you think?