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Archives: September 2011

5 Things You Need to Know This Week: Amazon’s iPad, Putin’s Pecs, and Romney’s E. Coli Problem

In this week’s episode of “5 Things You Need to Know This Week,” we unveil our new tablet device (which many of my roommates are calling an “iPad killer”) and discuss the future presidents of Russia and the U.S., among other things.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV


The Top 5 ONA11 Takeaways

After this weekend’s 2011 Online News Association Conference in Boston, I thought I would share some of the big takeaways I had from the conference.

1. What a difference a year makes!

During last year’s conference, in Washington, the two biggest pieces of buzz were TBD and Patch. That was certainly not the case this year, since TBD now exists only in a scaled-back form with almost none of its original staff. Patch is still expanding, but after reports of AOL’s hyperlocal brand losing millions of dollars surfaced, conference-goers seemed to be less interested. Read more

Infographic Overload?

Source: Indexed

Who doesn’t love a good infographic?

When done well, they concisely present information in a way no narrative story could, helping you see comparison and draw conclusions you wouldn’t be able to pinpoint on your own. But when they’re done poorly, or worse unnecessarily, they muddle information for the sake of being an infographic.

The goal of a designer is to make information more accessible and readable, whether it’s by choosing the perfect font to convey a mood, layout to draw readers through, or graph to show off data as only graphs can do. But when unprecedented amounts of data and graphics software fall into the hands of the masses, color and quantity sometimes trump care and quality.

Grace Dobush at HOW Interactive Design is on a campaign to stop the madness. In her post, Quit it With All the Infographics Already, she points out several good reasons to think before inking an infographic, including:

     

  • Most infographics aren’t accessible for the visually impaired.
  • Most infographics aren’t search-engine optimized.
  • Those super-long infographics are practically useless on a mobile device.
  • Of all online infographics, 89% contain statistics of dubious veracity. (Err, percentage is madeup, which is sort of her point.)
  • Many infographics are just plain bad.

That’s not to say there aren’t reasons to use graphics. There are plenty of awesome graphical stories on news sites and blogs today. 10,000 Words highlights them often. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you need to go graphic goofy.

You should go read the rest of the post to get more background on those valid points, and to get HOW Magazine’s pointers on how to avoid falling into the infographic trap and responsibly create them.

(The image on this post, by the way, comes from Indexed, a comic of sorts drawn on index cards and using only charts. I’m not saying the charts are bad, but I’ll admit I’ve scratched my head in confusion at a few of them.)

The Art of Hiring Social Media Vendors

Sometimes you need to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

The same goes in life and card games as it does for the vendors who are assisting in your company’s social media marketing and content development.

The prevailing sentiment is that any customer-facing social media activity should be done by the in-house marketing team.

While that is great on paper – and desirable for a lot of reasons – it’s not a very realistic world view for a large company that is just getting started in social media and online communities.

With that in mind, selecting the vendor who will be interacting with your customers, and creating content on your behalf, that your customers will be reading, becomes a very important decision.

Read more

Is OnlyMeWorld The Anti-Facebook?

A new social network has entered the (increasingly crowded) market and claims to offer its users the one thing Facebook cannot/will not: Absolute privacy.

OnlyMeWorld.com has many of the same features as Facebook and Google+, such as video chatting, the ability to share photos and the goal of connecting people, but with one huge difference. Not only does the site, which launched its beta version in April and officially went live last week, not require users to submit their real names or email addresses, it strongly encourages them not to.

Read more

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