Introducing FlowingData Membership

Jan 5, 2012

It was about five years ago when I got into visualization. Before I actually made anything, I read books and guides that made suggestions and preached a handful of design principles, but when it was time to make a data graphic for publication, I didn’t know what I was doing. Theory is great. Being able to apply it to your own data is better.

Back then — which seems like forever but isn’t actually that long ago — there weren’t many practical tutorials or books on how to visualize data. Visualize This is the book I wish I had when I was starting out. A steady foundation and an introduction to what’s out there, written to my old self.

There’s still so much more to visualization though. There are different points of view to explore, new software and methods to try, and growing data sources to play with.

That’s where FlowingData memberships come in. Having great sponsors lets me write tutorials and longer articles occasionally, but memberships will allow me to write more and perhaps bring in others’ expertise from time to time.

Here’s what you get with FlowingData membership:

  • Monthly Tutorials: How to make and design publication-level data graphics.
  • Downloads: Source code and files to use with your own data.
  • Guides and Resources: Design principles and the best places to learn them.
  • Curated Links: Hand-picked links from around the Web that focus on the how of visualization.

Those who have Visualize This will recognize the style of the guides and tutorials (first members-only tutorial coming soon after this post). You can also check out past tutorials for a taste. Long-time readers will notice a new layout that’s easier to follow, and writing online lends itself better to more code-heavy projects.

All this for the introductory price of $25 per year — less than a coffee a month. I’ll also throw in a warm, fuzzy feeling from directly supporting an independent FlowingData. Your support helps ensure that the lights stay on, hopefully for years to come.

Become a member.

UPDATE: Paypal is acting up. Looking into it now.

UPDATE 2: Seems to be going okay again. It might take a couple of tries due to your awesomeness.

UPDATE 3: I think most of the kinks have been ironed out, but if you can’t log in for some reason, please email me at nathan [at] flowingdata [dot] com. Thanks for the support, everyone.


  • Hi Nathan,
    What would be independent about the site? Do you mean not relying on advertising, or getting a private web host server?

  • I received a copy of your book for Christmas. Best present. Children sucked into Legos for the day; me into graphic information, rather than writing a paper – hey, enjoying Christmas presents is more important than academics, right? :P

  • I like this idea, Nathan. Can you share what languages these tutorials will be in? You mostly use javascript plugins like D3 yeah?

  • Just signed up – love the format of the tutorials, and looking forward to getting my hands dirty! Congratulations!

  • Nathan, I’m wondering why you don’t go with a pricing model like PeepCode’s? I’m more than willing to pay $20 for each tutorial I want to purchase, and for those that want a “subscription” option, you could bundle tutorial credits.

  • Great idea. It’ll be interesting to hear how successful this is.

    @Jeffrey – its more of the pricing model.

    From the membership page: ‘Monthly tutorials on how to make and design publication-level data graphics’

    So is the idea to have a new tutorial about once a month? or are you using ‘monthly’ more generally here?

    • Yes, my comment was actually motivated by the question you pose, Jim. Couldn’t find the words at the moment.

    • Thanks, Jim. I thought about different pricing models, but this one seemed most straightforward and geared towards what I want to do in the long-run. And I’m sure things will evolve as I write more.

      By monthly tutorials, I mean at least one new tutorial per month, along with guides and/or articles and the link feed.

  • Dave Johnson January 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm


    Just joined today. I work in HR in the financial industry – leading corporate learning teams. Have always been very data driven and looking for ways to show large data sets relating to HR and business results in a meaningful way. Would love your, or anyone’s thought on how to do this.


  • What a bargain! I am excited for this, I’ve always enjoyed your tutorials.

  • Marc Garrett January 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    $25/year is a great deal and I was happy to join.

    Unfortunately I can’t access the content now that I’ve subscribed. Anyone else running into this problem? Thanks.

  • Are the curated links different from the links on this blog?

    • @Pat – Yeah, totally different

      • Patrick Yan January 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm

        Signed up, but how do I access the content? The link above works, but there isn’t a members section. Also, how can I get the content into my feed reader?

      • Thanks, Pat. The tutorial above is the first tutorial of others and guides to come (noted in post). You can access all the links via “Around the Web” in the sidebar.

        There isn’t a full RSS feed for members-only content since that makes everything public in Google Reader, but if you are subscribed to the standard RSS feed, new tutorials will show, preceded by “[Members Only]”.

  • Richard Hackathorn January 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Nathan – Go for it! Doing a super job! Eagerly joined your new membership. Charge ahead… Richard

  • Hi Nathan, The membership idea is really cool. Just a request. Could you please provide an alternative payment option to PayPal. I’d really like to keep my money out of their hands as far as possible! Thanks.

  • HI Nathan,

    I purchased your book pretty much specifically to support you. I understand your motivation to create a subscription-access set of tutorials on your site (also explains why there haven’t been as many tutorials posted as you used to), but I’m a little frustrated as a fan of your content. You should consider bundling in a free year’s subscription with book purchases.

    I’ll probably purchase a subscription, but I feel much less excitement about it now than I did about purchasing your book.

    • @David – Thanks a lot for your support, and I’ll keep this in mind moving forward. This is still new to me, so it’s going to keep evolving as I learn, but my hope is that I’ll be able to give back as much as I can to supporters like you.

  • You should consider bundling in a free year’s subscription with book purchases.