@jrus and others, for fun and thought (i hope it is read as such), some reactions:
(1) Add paid features to tailor the platform for classroom use, and try to get adoption from teachers of statistics, math, computing, GIS, etc. classes.
I appreciate how monetization of niche learning materials would be interesting (as there’s an entire publishing industry to potentially displace), but I also very much appreciate the the way that Observable emphasizes education and treats users equally. It is amazing that recent features like URL renaming have not been monetized or linked only to Teams accounts. Thank you.
(1b) Figure out how to publish (free and/or paid) online textbooks for a variety of subjects that students can deeply interact with.
This is my dream, and not just for textbooks: for everything. It’s amazing when people can think through scenarios based on data, forecasting, modeling, and facts. It’s amazing when people can see things. The notebooks can be used like this now, but one has to know to name every cell so it can be imported / embedded, and one really does need to give some thought to the organization of content as notebook chapters (in Observable, huge flexibility here as never before; thank you!). Advancements like nested collections are huge here.
(2) Help companies streamline visualization of internal non-public data; start by creating a bunch of examples matching people’s existing data shapes so that they can hook a simple prototype up in a few minutes.
YES. For me and my tiny world, yes. But it goes beyond visualization to the very core: data management, editing, linkages, and synthesis. Give me 5 inputs, let me compare and annotate, and mutate with beautiful JS functions so I can see insights in the browser… but also let me audit and save my synthesis, corrections, findings, etc. Let me write back and save my results. (By the way - this is already an Observable strength, as all the download options on visualizations are amazing! Thank you!). But I’d love to go a step further…
(3) Make deals with governments (or other kinds of organizations) to help them publish their data online in an easily consumable way. All of the Microsoft BI / Tableau widgets popping up around the web are ugly, horribly laggy, and a pain to interact with in this reader’s opinion.
(4) Partner with newspapers and other informational websites to host data visualizations and models, perhaps aiming particularly for those who don’t have the independent budget to do fancy work like e.g. the NYT can do.
Seems like newspapers are among the leading users! Thanks to all you smart people for sharing your work.
(5) Look for grants from governments or funding agencies to do UI / visualization research.
I wish this were more in jest, but probably not grants Would be nice, but I don’t know how likely you would be to beat 10.5 million in venture capital looking to the US government (or any foreign government).
(6) Build some tools specific for publication of interactive computing API documentation.
This sounds very fancy and I do not know what it means, but I am sure I support it! I am trying to figure out what I would need to do in terms of writing AWS Lambda functions so that the browser and AWS APIs could securely authenticate and transmit information to a serverless data store. I am looking for something interactive like a well written terminal application, but from within Observable. I am lucky that most of this is documented for AWS, but a recent blog post from Tom reminds me to look into other alternatives… but slow to work through all the configurations. Would love help to really connect visualization to data clean-up and persistent data storage.
Thanks for these conversations!