With an increasing number of profit-seeking publishers concluding that the unlimited free distribution of original web journalism won't be a sustainable business, it has cleared the path for more simplistic ways to relay stories, without the same demand on audience attention.
Infographics are increasingly being seen as a content genre all their own — while apparently riding the coattails of the movement to urge the public sector to open their data to the dabbling of developers. Naturally, media and marketing types have also seen the appeal, since any information capable of going viral beats the alternative.
With these developments has come an emerging sentiment that data visualizations created as social media bait are better off being ignored because the trend is going to fade.
For now, though, a slick user-generated infographic can still draw attention for its own sake — in the same way that chatrooms or blogs once turned heads on novelty value along. But an infographic slapped together out of self-interest isn't quite worth the scrutiny of a cave painting. Yet, some kind of filter could help draw attention to the data worth a look.