Archive | January, 2012

The Infographics that are Better than Silly Bandz

28 Jan

Infographics are more rampant on social media than the Silly Bandz craze in 2010. And like many other things in this world, infographics can be done well or fail miserably. But while I did enjoy trading my dog-shaped Silly Bandz with my friend’s kids, that craze has come and gone. Infographics, with their attractive visuals driven by data, are here to stay. For a while at least.

There are some infographics that grab my attention, inspire me, educate me and envelop me in their visual story lines. Here are some of those infographics.

Inside the Mind of a Community Manager

There’s likely no better infographic than one portraying your job and nailing each and every point. Believe it or not, I have this graphic framed in my office. It makes me smile (spam warrior and pinata? Awesome.) because it’s true. And if anyone asks what I do, I just send them this link. They get it. Quickly. And that’s what a great infographic is all about.

Social Media Community Manager Infographic

Web Designers vs. Web Developers

Perhaps it’s the satirical nature of this infographic mixed with my eight years in advertising agencies that makes me laugh every time I view this infographic. It’s shareable (everyone knows one or both of these characters) and while it does take some reading to really get the data, you can enjoy it at face value as well.

Web Designers vs Web Developers Infographic

100 Million Professionals

Companies have tons of data about themselves and their customers. If you can get over the hurdle of sharing that data, it can be very rewarding to your community. It shows you’re tapped in and transparent. What’s even better? Making that data an infographic. Not only did LinkedIn share their data visually, but it’s easy to “get” within seconds. (I don’t know about you, but I want to connect with the martini whisperer!)

LinkedIn Membership Social Media Data

It’s great infographics like these that prove that they will last longer than crazes such as our rubbery friend, Silly Bandz. Infographics continue to pop up all the time. I also make them. Also, Guy Kawasaki is always tweeting some great ones. So follow him!

Do you enjoy infographics? If so, what are some of your favorites?

What Social Media Teaches us about Self Hypnosis

15 Jan

I’m learning more and more about self hypnosis, meditation and relaxation as my pregnant belly grows and the¬†indubitable labor approaches. With tools in hand, such as self hypnosis and relaxation, you can use your mind to get through challenging or discomforting times. And that makes you feel more prepared. At least, it does for me.

But how does social media play a role?

Social media and self hypnosis are practically one in the same. Self hypnosis is about focusing and leaving certain thoughts behind. As we scroll through our Facebook and Twitter feeds, we almost forget the world around us. We become engulfed in this pocket of social conversations, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Think about it.

How often do you start on Facebook and end up at some website that came from a video that came from a friend of a friend’s wall? We get so entrenched that we don’t know how we got to the final destination, how long we’ve spent on the social site and why we came there in the first place. That’s a dose of self hypnosis.

This is nothing new. In fact, we are in a self-hypnotic state quite often. At work, we become so focused that we lose track of time and even forget where we are. We’re dedicated and honing in on the task at hand. That’s self hypnosis and the social media experience is no different.

What can we do about it? Embrace it. After all, it’s a great way to keep your mind off the more discomforting stuff. I like Flipboard because I can cater my social media viewing experience to things like peaceful Instagram photos with an effortless swipe.

Do you agree that you can learn a few things about self hypnosis through social media? Share your thoughts.

Writing a Creative Brief in 140 Characters or Less

8 Jan

Creative Brief TwitterA while back I wrote about my goal to be a stronger creative brief writer. Today, I continue to strive for the ability to inspire others with the creatively-written word.

I think the hardest part of a creative brief is in the name itself: brief. How can you demonstrate your point, ensure all the moving parts are included and inspire your creative team while keeping your document “brief?” To me, the way is simple. Do it like Twitter.

Twitter’s 140-character-or-less rule forces all thoughts and ideas to be imperatively brief. Run-on sentences, multiple ideas and too much input are a thing of the past. The question is: Can creative briefs be condensed significantly while still providing enough input for the team to move forward?

I believe so and here’s why (each in 140 characters or less).

  • Concise over Comprehensive – Here’s the rub: Briefs needs to be thorough yet condensed. Draft everything you need to initially, then cull it back until it’s tight.
  • Strategic deliverable – A strong brief requires a strong strategy. Great strategic thinkers can boil down their thoughts. So be strategic, and you’ll be brief.
  • High level input – Any input provided to the team should be topline and high level. It’s not a place to tell long stories (save that for an input meeting).
  • The key takeaway is short – You want your team to remember one thing: your key takeaway. How can you accomplish that when it’s long? Cut back until it’s 140 characters.

A creative brief is the breeding ground for amazing creative. As creators of the brief, let’s be inspired by the concept of motivating our creative team. It’s about opening doors, breaking new ground and putting the energy in that you’d expect to get out.

Do you feel it’s possible to write a creative brief in 140 characters or less? How can we get there? What inspires you when you’re writing creative briefs? Share your thoughts here!


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