We worked with MTV on a series of live visualizations of realtime Twitter data. The effort started with the 2009 Video Music Awards, and was extended to multiple other simultaneous TV/Internet coverage of popular culture, including a realtime online conversation with Barack Obama in 2010.

One of the more interesting parts of the project was  its use not only as a browser-based experienced to be viewed on a computer, but also as part of the live TV experience. The two environments are radically different: the internet screen is all about engagement, trying to make something lovely that pulls people in and rewards interaction and increased engagement, whereas the TV experience (especially on MTV) is all about the quick hit, the soundbyte, the “here’s what’s happening right now,” and you have a maximum of 2 minutes to communicate something quite complex. The challenges involved everything from the size of the type (it has to be bigger on TV) to the aspect ratio (on the web it’s dynamic, on TV there’s a safe zone) to the quickly-changing demands of a live television broadcast. But it’s a good challenge to have, especially when the payoff is a live Stamen visualization on top of the marquee at Radio City Music Hall.