You might recall the annual Web Trends info-map that imposes the most notable names on the Web onto the Tokyo Metro map. Information Architects, the data visualizers responsible have a new offering that focuses solely on one singular sliver of the Intertubes. The Cosmic 140 beautifully maps the 140 most influential people on Twitter, measured by metrics like number of followers and tweet frequency.
Perhaps the most entertaining feature of the map is the inclusion of each Cosmic entity's inaugural tweet, which range from the inane (Michael Jordan: "drinking oj and mountain dew") to the humorous (Conan O'Brien: "Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.") to the outright boring (John McCain: "I am working in my office on Capitol Hill today.").
IA will sell you a huge print – 33" X 47" – for $99, though we feel obliged to point out one glaring omission: A hundred bucks and there's no Justin Bieber? You can also get a free PDF here.
Perhaps they could make a digital graph like this that changes by using information flows in real time to act like a NYSE of popularity or something like that. Though whether that would be a good thing is another matter.
If they did that I would imagine that the influence of most people would have massive fluctuations – that’s probably closer to reality than a single poster. Lest we forget that popularity is a very perishable commodity.