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Lucky Links: Social Stories At The End Of The Rainbow

What was hot on the web this week? Get up to speed on the latest trends, news and services with some of our favorite new stories.

Visual.ly’s new service lets anyone make infographics, even if they stink at Photoshop

Infographics startup Visual.ly wants to make presenting visually stimulating data easy without the use of Photoshop or expensive designers.

Visual.ly’s service can create custom inforgraphics using information from various databases and APIs, such as those from Facebook and Twitter. Users only need to specify the kind of information they want to visually display to produce an infographic. Visual.ly demonstrated what they can do with its service with its Twitter Visualization Project in July.

Read more here.

Google gears up for March Madness with live ESPN Google+ hangouts and more

Google is getting into the March Madness mix this year with a bunch of fun initiatives, including Google+ interaction, Google Earth tours of stadiums and handy search tricks.

According to Google search volume, the winner of the tournament will be Kentucky. Google’s projection page shows which teams are Googling the most.

Additionally, ESPN will be hosting live hangouts on Google+ throughout the tournament, beginning on March 21st, with host Doug Gottlieb.

Read more here.

This clock runs on tweets about time

At any given time, at least one person writes a Tweet that includes the exact time. By tapping into this stream of wakeup times, bus schedules, ETAs and other time-related tweets, a new site called Chirpclock has created a clock that posts time using tweets.

Using the Twitter API, Chirpclock searches Twitter for whatever is the current time on the user’s computer (so users in other time zones see different clocks). The site displays one result from its queries at a time, and the time tweets flash across the screen in two-second intervals.

Read more here.

Twitter: an increasingly great platform for Instagram


Twitter has been working hard over the last year to make photo sharing a core part of its product. A nice addition to its photo-integration initiatives is mobile photo-sharing app Instagram.

New stats provided by social photo aggregator Pixable show how this trend played out at the South By Southwest conference in Austin last weekend. Pixable tracked all photos tweeted directly from Twitter or via Instagram that contained conference hashtags #SXSW or #SXSWi. It found that out of the 63,000 photos uploaded, approximately one third came from Instagram.

This statistic is surprising, since Instagram only had around 12 percent of the total market as of last November.

Read more here.

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