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Posts Tagged ‘infographics’

Upworthy Shares Memes That Make You Think, Not Just Laugh

There’s more to the Internet than LOLcats and dating sites. Sometimes surfing the Internet feels like swimming in an ocean of viral videos and vitriol. I’d like to say news sites are a tropical island in the middle, but too often they promote or fuel the storms. That’s why, Upworthy, seems refreshing and, well, worthy of sharing.

It’s premise? Find the things worth sharing and make those viral. The site, which David Carr of the New York Times profiled this week (Two Guys Made a Web Site, and This Is What They Got), makes no bones that it has an agenda — so while you may not lean as left as the founders appear to — the idea of making things worth knowing as shareable and visual as an Oatmeal comic, animated GIF or LOL cat is nice.

From Carr’s piece, because he explains it better than I can:

“Upworthy, a news aggregation site that began publishing on March 26, is serious news built for a spreadable age, with super clicky headlines and a visually oriented user interface. Eli Pariser, the former executive director of MoveOn.org, and Peter Koechley, a former managing editor of The Onion who also worked at MoveOn, noticed that much of the media that gets shared online is built on cute animals and dumb humans that are good for a laugh, but not much else.”

Or from UpWorthy’s site a, what else, graphical representation of what they’re trying to do:

 

By applying the same sorts of visual pow, social media acrobatics and SEO-friendly tactics news sites, and every site worth its salt online, tries to employ, the site attempts to make things that matter easy and fun to share. That gives you venn diagrams like the one above and headlines that beg to be clicked through, such as What Does Congress Spend Half Of Its Time On? (an infographic look at the fundraising necessary to run for office these days); Yes, Facebook Will Be On The Final Exam (another infographic, but about a new study on how time on Facebook doesn’t necessarily cause less study time); and Smoking Does WHAT To Your Breasts? 5 More Reasons Not To Smoke (a video describing reasons beyond the whole lung cancer thing not to light up).

It will be interesting to see how the site grows and what other innovative ways they find to promote causes or need-to-know information. Already it’s gaining followers, and judging from its Facebook wall, plenty of likes/shares. As a journalist trying to produce serious work (but with a soft spot for animal memes), I appreciate the attempt to raise the profile of stories, videos and graphics that make me think, not just laugh.

Infogr.am: Another Web-based Tool For Creating Beautiful Infographics

Last week we told you about easel.ly for creating beautiful infographics in your browser, but we had a few gripes — it didn’t let you manipulate data or change color schemes, two things that are vital to custom infographics. Infogr.am, also a tool in beta,  lets you do both of those things and more —  perfect for a journalist, blogger or social media editor on a deadline.

The tool is dead simple, and with preset fonts, colors and templates, it’s hard to make something that doesn’t look great. See my quick example below (which, by the way, doesn’t display real data on Twitter followers).

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Easel.ly Launches Browser Tool And Templates For Quick, Easy, Beautiful Infographics

Did you know that infographics are 30 to 40 times more likely to be viewed and shared vs. text? At least that’s the claim that Easel.ly makes on its homepage. The new site, a project in beta, makes it super easy to use drag-n-drop templates to create beautiful infographics for free.  A demo video is embedded below:

For newsrooms, this site poses huge opportunity in terms of shareability of information across social media. Newspapers are the worst offenders when it comes to forgetting about graphics that make sense for the web. They’ll often repurpose something that ran in print, and often that graphic isn’t compelling enough to share on social networks — a space where visuals are constantly competing for users’ attention. But easel.ly is so easy to use that resources don’t have to pulled away from graphic designers; it’s a site that social media editors can use.

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The 10 Best Cities for Social Media Job Seekers (INFOGRAPHIC)

It’s not too big of a shocker but the U.S. city with the highest volume of social media jobs is New York City.

That’s according to OnwardSearch, an Internet marketing staffing company. Just in time for Social Media Week, the company has released a social media salary guide, in the form of a lovely infographic. A section of the graphic looks at the top cities with the highest volume of social media jobs, based on Simply Hired job postings.  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.)

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