20 June 2010

Auto-Tune the Chart

Curious, I decided to plot the popularity of Gregory Brothers You-Tube videos (specifically, their Auto-Tune the News series) against their release date. (There was a real point to doing this; I wanted to learn how to make charts like this one.)

Doing so ended up taking about an hour, during which I learned:
  • that Excel can automatically calculate the difference between two dates
  • that the Mac version of Excel is really, truly awful, but not much worse than the PC version of Excel. Its guesses about what I wanted to be in the X axis and what I wanted to be in the Y axis were almost terrible, and I only later learned that I needed a "Scatter" plot, a type of chart that, to judge by its near-inaccessibility, Microsoft is ashamed of; and
  • that although OmniGraph Sketcher does only one thing, it does that extremely well. Creating the image below took approximately 2 minutes, which is less time than I spent fruitlessly googling for help on Excel commands.
Here, then, is the chart. There's not enough data available to support any sort of really cool analysis, but the later videos do seem to be on a steeper slope than the earlier ones, except for the mysteriously popular Episode 2. Hopefully, this is consistent with the hypothesis that the band is being rewarded for doing better work.

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