Having highlighted Stephen Few's blog yesterday, an ex-BBC colleague, the super smart Lulu Pinney, pointed me to this discussion, where Few is manning the barricades,Rourkes Drift-like, against thousands of oncoming David McCandless fans as they rush screaming towards him.
He seems to deal with them pretty well (and for any 2000AD/Slaine fans it seems "he didn't think it too many")
Lots of metaphors there.
But the main thing is that Visualisation is firmly climbing the hypecurve. It takes public figures like David, (who I like and respect) to bring a new popular way to the table (not just Doing the work but Publicising it too - which he does very well). Without this approach and work, there would be no hype. Hype needs a product, a face and point of view, an idea that is spreadable if tangible or not.
What happens next is that professionals like Few (or Nielsen/ Norman, before) (who are often more versed in reasoned debate rather than design-blog/ you tube emotionalism ) then point out that this stuff could benefit from some other (user) perspective. Their tone often rallies their opposite numbers who see thhem as aloof and outmoded.
Then there is a scrap that goes on for years. And it is a fight invisible to the general public.
The design press/blogs then move on to something else and declare "x is rubbish, as the plane loaded with all the counter arguments crashes groundwards.
Then nothing. Well, not nothing, just a period of no hype, heat debate, just lots of doing and practice, as people influenced by all camps - and others too set about their careers and making.
A few yesrs later, the industry has assimilated all the arguments at a wiser level and can draw on ideas of utility as well as engagement.
Absorbing new and counter-intuitive ideas takes time and it is natural to argue/ disagree at first, but just you wait. Soon we'll have fantastic data apps as common place just as we have largely good and usable websites as standard where we didn't ten years ago.
And it is all down to these different voices entering the debate, their messages gradually being absorbed and digested into something good. Long may it continue. And it will.