Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Module 4: Writing for Social Media


Activities/Assignments
      Add a comment to Module 4’s blog post with your reaction to infographics. Are you a staunch supporter of their engaging presentation of information or do you abhor their excessive inclusion of unnecessary design elements?
      Tweet @JessL with two Twitter can sharpen your writing.



Image via EduTechChick.

9 comments:

  1. I've always liked comic books, so pictures and words working together have never bothered me. It may be why I tend to enjoy more linear storytelling and more realistic, as opposed to abstract, art. Not exclusively, but I do find that because of reading comics when I was younger - pictures have been a narrative, linear tool and I think that bleeds into my adulthood reading/viewing habits too. I want my pictures to tell a story. I also feel that the elements of a good story and fairly universal - as much fun, freedom and creativity you can have in the digital world, if the story is boring no one will care.

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  2. Hi -- a comment on a few digital fictions that we "read" this week (as per Module 3 activities). I viewed "Redridinghood" and "24 Hours." Both have an older vibe (2001 and 1996 respectively), although Redridinghood clearly demonstrated some advancements in technology (animation, game-like qualities such as edgy art, soundtrack). Both game readers the option of choosing their path, although Redridinghood was much more linear than 24 hours, which offered more "choose your own adventure" opportunities. 24 Hours still relied heavily on text, while Redridinghood primarily used visuals to communicate. I also appreciated the photography in 24 (helped to establish the era), but the quality was so poor that I stopped paying much attention after awhile. I enjoyed the art in Redridinghood but was put off by the story -- though I doubt the author would particularly care!

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  3. ...also, on the subject of infographics, I feel like there's a fine line between using them to convey data brilliantly and using them just to look clever and trendy. I can say this with confidence because I once tried to create one using...canva? Something like that and the end result was godawful and didn't remotely communicate anything of importance. So, way to go graphic artists and marketing gurus who can somehow blend their crafts -- it's harder than it looks!

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  5. Infographics -- yay*! I like pretty things and infographics tend to fall into the "pretty" category. I've created an infographic before and it's a lot more difficult than it might appear to tell a story with the barest of words. Mixing text and graphics can create a more engaging and entertaining way to share information as an individual picture can convey more than a single word.

    And I get it, people have different learning styles. Some people learn better by reading, others by listening, others by doing or seeing picture -- why not incorporate both text and pictures when you need to share information in a concise and engaging manner. But the text and images need to support each other and further the story that you're telling!

    As Few's blog post points out, Weatherford did an atrocious job at creating an infographic and they really should feel bad about their attempt. Honestly, a basket of kittens would have been a much better (and cuter!) option.

    A writer who creates really great infographics is The Oatmeal. Perhaps you've seen his delightful infographic 'Cats Actually Kill' (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/cats_actually_kill)? Minimal text, engaging drawings that support the text and tell their own story wrap together to present an infographic that keeps me reading, entertained AND learning!

    As with any communication method, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

    * As long as the graphics and text support each other to tell a story or explain a concept.

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  6. Infographics are awful when they are crowded with unneccessary graphics and too much information. The same goes with readings that have too much information. However, when done right, they are great!

    My time and attention are valuable so I appreciate infographics that are useful, visually appealing, and get to the point.
    If it is appropriate for an individual, idea, or company then I think being strategic, critical, and purposeful will reduce the chances of infographics being used simply for entertainment.

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  7. Infographics use visual representation that which words cannot explain. They are intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. Like with all things that matter, it must be done right to get the point across. Over using pictures or images with no relation to the topic, gives no value and the text gets lost. As mentioned from one of the readings, poor images are “empty calories” on infographics.

    When done correctly, Infographics are great in my opinion. They can:
    • Complement the text, by elaborating and clarifying when words can’t do the job alone.
    • Explain topics easier. Since 90% of information came comes to our brain is visually and 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text. Plus, 60% of people are visual learners.
    • Manuals use infographics. Thank heaven, since I’m the person that need manuals on installing Ikea furniture. We don’t have to be a carpenters or other tradespeople – when reading the text and it’s not registering – the graphics help show what to do next.
    • Infographics are visual and can go viral. If the topic is interesting and important – sharing the infographic on other social media can increase the SEO for the original website. It makes people interested in learning more about the topic.
    • Best used on stat/data numbers, like bar charts. A versatile tool to show relations on numbers, making the reader visually interested.
    • Grabs attention. Easy to digest information and it breaks up test content on a website to but all that was read in the article in a comprehensive summary.
    • A great tool to share. Just like a picture, people can share the information because it’s all wrapped up in one graphic. Pinterest have lots of infographics in many topics: job interviews, Social Media and even cooking. All linking back to the original website. A branding opportunity.
    • Easily digested, simple to understand and interesting to look at. Infographics help with accessibility. People with reading and comprehension difficulties or with languages. Infographics help tell the story quickly and with images for everything from manuals to medicine.

    The challenge for infographics is creating them so they make sense to everyone. The graphics/pictures must be relevant to what the topic is wanting to say. Also, know your target audience – infographics are not recommended on mobile phones/tablets.

    When people find that, the infographic is a great tool to have.

    At my job, I receive plenty of infographics for various policies, procedures and instructions. Some are confusing and useless, but when done right – I print them off and post them on my desk and refer back to them to refresh my memory on procedure and policies. Plus, it’s a pretty picture.

    I am a staunch supporter of good quality infographics.

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  8. I think infographics are a great tool to convey a mass of information in an easy to understand and compelling way - as long as it's done properly. Now properly is subjective, but personally I am referring to things like not using too much copy (it's an infoGRAPHIC). Overall visual aids are much more definitive in their meaning than text. That being said it is not the right tool to convey every message. It is also an extremely time consuming endeavour to undertake properly.

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  9. I'm going to start by echoing everyone else -- infographics are great so long as they're done properly. There are so many examples of bad infographics out there, which can not only turn people off but can even confuse and misinform if the information and graphics are laid out badly. But infographics that are put together well can be awesome -- the visuals can strengthen the copy and add guidance to the flow of the story being told. Plus, they often just LOOK cool.

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