I’m a freelance British data journalist who uses novel data sets to explore provocative subjects.
I’ve been a freelance writer since 2002, when—aged 16—I bluffed my way into producing self-help guides on quite saucy subjects. Six years and half a million words later, I’d had enough of inventing pen names for ‘information products’ that had by then become a bit of a cliché. I shifted my attention to graphic design before returning to writing in 2011 with this blog: a place to explore the curious corners of society and psychology, with a special focus on the primal aspects of human nature.
Over the past four years, and thanks especially to my study of 10,000 porn stars, I’ve been able to concentrate exclusively on data-driven projects both for myself (published on this site) and corporate clients, including eBay, Walmart, Genting Casinos, Lovehoney, and The Economist.
Other freelance data journalism pieces I’ve produced include Drugs on Campus and Busted: Analyzing America’s Most Recent Drug Hauls (for Recovery Brands), and Unmasked: What 10 Million Passwords Reveal About the People Who Chose them (for WP Engine). My findings and visuals for Busted were recently adapted and featured in National Geographic’s debut episode of their new data-focused show The Big Picture, for which I was a data consultant. An excerpt from the show, featuring results from Busted, can be seen on the Press page.
Findings from my analyses of escort reviews and adult performers are discussed in Professor David Spieglhalter’s new book Sex by Numbers and showcased in Phillipe Thureau-Dangin’s lovely visual compendium Atlas de L’amour (Atlas of Love)—both available at fine bookstores everywhere. Other coverage of my work can be seen on the press page.
Occasionally Asked Questions
I sure do. I’m pretty busy at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to work on an idea for (or with) you. I’m most interested in topics that could potentially be illuminated in really interesting ways using the right data. And if the subject is a little risqué, offbeat, or just downright criminal, I’m even more interested. If you’d like to hire me, or if you have access to a really juicy data set/source you’d be happy to share, please get in touch.
For the last couple of years, projects for this blog have been published quite infrequently (every 6 months to a year), because I’ve been doing freelance data-driven projects for corporate clients. I intend to publish new articles more often here from now on though–there are too many ideas I’m dying to explore.
I use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to create all the graphics you see in the articles. My loose rule is that I only use photographs that are a direct part of the data I’m analyzing, which is why I tend to create a lot of collages.
I usually scrape the data myself from websites/databases, which is mostly okay but occasionally against terms of service. For that reason, I can’t always share the data sets I create, as they are copyrighted. But please send me a message
and I’ll let you know.
I receive one or two requests a month from guys (and it’s only guys) who have read Deep Inside and feel they want to become porn stars. Unfortunately I can’t help. What I do know is that the best way to get your foot in the door, so to speak, is to find a woman who will do a scene with you (and only you). Then approach agencies or studios as a couple. If you can perform well, they might hire you again. Before you know it, you’re Ron Jeremy. And for that, I cannot be held liable.
Me too, but I think advertising almost always ruins sites–especially long form blogs. For the time being I don’t plan on using any advertising. I might occasionally include affiliate links to sites like Amazon, but only when it’s completely relevant to the content.